After two years in Command, Captain Gordon Andrew formally handed over command of HMAS Albatross to aviator, Captain Simon Bateman at a ceremony in Nowra last week.
Reflecting on his time in charge of the Naval Air Station, Captain Andrew says it has been one of the most professionally rewarding postings of his 34 year.
“Having command of Albatross has been one of the most professionally rewarding postings of my 34 year career. Leading the dedicated men and women who serve at the base has been a pleasure. We have achieved a great deal and provided fantastic support to the Fleet Air Arm,” said Captain Andrew.
“One of the highlights of my command was the Freedom of Entry parade to celebrate Albatross’ 65th anniversary. Leading 1,000 Officers and Sailors through the streets of Nowra, while the Fleet Air Arm conducted a flypast was a proud moment. The warm and enthusiastic reception we received from the spectators, demonstrated the strong bonds that Albatross has with the local community.”
“It will be sad to leave the South Coast community, but I am looking forward to my next posting as Chief of Staff at the Australian Defence College,” said Captain Andrew.
While he is new to the role of Commanding Officer of Albatross, Captain Simon Bateman is very familiar with the Naval Air Station having held a range of positions within the Fleet Air Arm, including Chief of Staff.
Captain Bateman, whose last position was that of Director Navy Communications and Coordination, says he is looking forward to leading Albatross into a very exciting period for the Fleet Air Arm.
“Work has already commenced on the new facilities for 725 and 816 Squadron and we will see the arrival of the first MH-60R Seahawk helicopters at the end of 2014. Together with the MRH-90 helicopters from 808 Squadron they will be providing embarked flights at sea for the Royal Australian Navy and we at HMAS Albatross are a part of that. It’s a good feeling”.
Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20132642.