HMAS Albatross welcomes Navy’s latest graduate Aviators

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Anthony Martin (author), POIS Justin Brown (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Albatross, NSW

Topic(s): 725 Squadron, 808 Squadron, Training Authority - Aviation

Commanding Officer 723 Squadron, Commander Bruce Willington, RAN, (left) with graduates of Aircrewman Rotary Course 15, Leading Seaman (LS) Daniel Atkins, Able Seaman (AB) Brendan Raychaudhuri and AB Corey Mumberson, at HMAS Albatross. (photo: POIS Justin Brown)
Commanding Officer 723 Squadron, Commander Bruce Willington, RAN, (left) with graduates of Aircrewman Rotary Course 15, Leading Seaman (LS) Daniel Atkins, Able Seaman (AB) Brendan Raychaudhuri and AB Corey Mumberson, at HMAS Albatross.

Deputy Commander Fleet Air Arm, Captain Peter Ashworth presented Aircrewman wings to Leading Seaman (LS) Daniel Atkins, Able Seaman (AB) Corey Mumberson and AB Brendan Raychaudhuri on Friday 27 July 2018.

The wings were presented in recognition of the dedication and application required to complete the Aircrewman Rotary Course in front of family, friends, colleagues and Senior Officers.

Candidates go through a rigorous and intense selection process to transfer to Navy Aircrewman, where everything from physical fitness, decision making, spatial awareness, cognitive aptitude and the ability to function under pressure are closely scrutinised.

The Aircrewman Rotary Course covers a range of topics such as Meteorology, Air Traffic Control, aviation medicine, combat survival, weapons, surface swimmer and Helicopter Underwater Escape Training. Further training includes a complex flying phase which consists of winching, navigation, load lifting, search and rescue, and confined area landings to name a few.

AB Brendan Raychaudhuri, a former Aircraft Technician, said the highlight was definitely the flying phase. “It’s intense, challenging and requires dedication but there’s no better feeling then coming back from a successful sortie knowing all the hard work you have put in has paid off.”

For LS Daniel Atkins it was a natural progression from a Combat Systems Operator to an Aircrewman with the aim to become a Sensor Operator on the Seahawk Romeo. “Moving from a two dimensional space in a ship's Operations Room to a three dimensional airborne environment and being individually responsible in the backseat was extremely challenging but also the most rewarding” said LS Atkins.

The three members said they couldn’t have got through the course if it weren’t for their instructors, Chief Petty Officers Carly Mercer and Steven Rissman. “We all respond to different training techniques and they knew exactly how to get the most out of each of us. Due to their professionalism and commitment we were always comfortable in the back of the aircraft, even under pressure and in situations we had never been in before” said AB Corey Mumberson.

The graduates are now moving onto the next big step in their careers with postings to 808 and 725 Squadrons.