January was a month of milestones for the Fleet Air Arm’s Quality Assurance Inspector and Auditor, with Warrant Officer Aviation Technician Aircraft Colin Tietzel marking not only his 53rd year of service in the Royal Australian Navy, but also his birthday and retirement.
When his colleagues in the Assurance Cell heard Warrant Officer Tietzel planned nothing more than a quiet beer at sunset as way of celebration, they were determined to give him the send off they felt he deserved.
The team began planning what they considered a more fitting farewell for the Warrant Officer, a surprise gathering of family and colleagues onboard HMAS Adelaide.
This location was key for several reasons; Warrant Officer Tietzel originally joined the Navy in Adelaide and his son, Commander David Tietzel, is the ship’s Executive Officer.
Mr Rod Tremlett, one of the Public Service Avionics Technicians was a key organiser.
"My motivation for organising the event was sheer admiration for Col and his family, and this motivation was supported by many others," he said.
"I couldn't think of anyone more deserving of a lovely farewell.
"His absolute dedication and conspicuous service have made the Navy a better place for all, and I wanted to make sure we celebrated a wonderful career and one of our most valued shipmates."
On the evening of 9 January, Warrant Officer Tietzel arrived onboard Adelaide, where he was greeted by many familiar faces from his long and distinguished career.
Head of Joint Systems Division, Rear Admiral Tony Dalton presented Warrant Officer Tietzel with his Gold Service medallion, saying that his contribution to Defence had been of the highest standard.
“In his five decades of service he has played a pivotal role in the growth of the Fleet Air Arm, particularly in his training and mentoring of hundreds of sailors," Rear Admiral Dalton said.
Rear Admiral Dalton also presented a bouquet of flowers to Warrant Officer Tietzel’s wife Rhonda, in acknowledgement of her invaluable support and contribution.
On behalf of the aviation world Commander Tietzel presented his father with an engraved Sea King Tail rotor blade and, as a memento of the celebration of three such significant milestones, a collage of the current and previous Adelaides.
As per his original plan, Warrant Officer Tietzel then enjoyed the beauty of the sun setting over Sydney Harbour.