Year of firsts for Albatross sailor

Published on LEUT Todd Fitzgerald (author), LSIS Nina Fogliani (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Albatross, HMAS Cerberus

Topic(s): HMAS Albatross, Bell 429, AS350BA Squirrel, 723 Squadron, EC-135T2

Able Seaman Aviation Technician Avionics Nicole Otte and Leading Seaman Aviation Technician Avionics Adam Kohler from 723 Squadron working on their team's aviation challenge during the 2016  Engineering Challenge Competition held at HMAS Cerberus in Victoria. (photo: LSIS Nina Fogliani)
Able Seaman Aviation Technician Avionics Nicole Otte and Leading Seaman Aviation Technician Avionics Adam Kohler from 723 Squadron working on their team's aviation challenge during the 2016 Engineering Challenge Competition held at HMAS Cerberus in Victoria.

Leading Seaman Aviation Technician Avionics Adam Kohler has been named the HMAS Albatross Sailor of the Year for 2016.

The honour capped off a successful year for Leading Seaman Kohler who was also part of a team that won the aviation section of the Royal Australian Navy Engineering Challenge.

He said the secret to his success was simple; he enjoys his job.

“I am genuinely excited by coming to work each day. The role is challenging, allows me to show initiative and the work is meaningful,” he said.

“I am learning something new each day. I have access to the latest tools and maintenance equipment and I am part of a close-knit technical team,” he said.

Leading Seaman Kohler is a maintenance team trade supervisor at 723 Squadron, the Navy’s helicopter training squadron and home to the Squirrel AS350BA, Bell 429 and the recently introduced EC135.

HMAS Albatross is home to the Fleet Air Arm, the centre of Navy’s maritime aviation capability. The squadron's main role is the training of pilots, aviation warfare officers and aircrewmen.

Albatross
 Commanding Officer Captain Fiona Sneath, said Leading Seaman Kohler’s efforts had been consistently professional, tirelessly dutiful and always to the highest standards.

Captain Sneath highlighted Leading Seaman Kohler’s exceptional technical and leadership skills.

She said his devotion to ensuring strong links between the Navy and the local Shoalhaven community was an example to all.

“Regardless of the task at hand, high profile or not, you consistently delivered a level of service and dedication well beyond expectation and your personal sacrifice is commendable,” Captain Sneath said. 

“In doing so, you have made a wonderful contribution to your squadron, establishment and the reputation of Navy in the Shoalhaven region.

“Your achievements and manner are entirely aligned with Navy’s Signature Behaviours, are of the highest order in keeping with the finest traditions of 723 Squadron and the Royal Australian Navy, and make you the worthy recipient of the HMAS Albatross Sailor of the Year 2016,” she said.

The Sailor of the Year award is presented in bases and ships across the fleet. It is given to the sailor who consistently lives Navy values and signature behaviours.

The award recognises those who demonstrate innovation, continuous improvement, fix problems and take action, as well as strengthen relationships with local partners.

The Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, introduced the Royal Australian Navy Engineering Challenge in 2012 while he was Chief of Navy.

The aim of the competition is to promote teamwork, skill-of-hand and job planning skills among technical Sailors, with three categories: mechanical, electronics and aviation.