A new phase awaits for 808

Published on Ms Dallas McMaugh (author), LSIS Sarah Williams (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Albatross, 808 Squadron, HMAS Canberra (L02), Change of Command

(L-R) Commanding Officer 808 Squadron, Commander Adrian Capner (left) hands the weight of command to Commander Michael Waddell, during the handover ceremony held in the hanger of 808 Squadron, HMAS Albatross.  (photo: LSIS Sarah Williams)
(L-R) Commanding Officer 808 Squadron, Commander Adrian Capner (left) hands the weight of command to Commander Michael Waddell, during the handover ceremony held in the hanger of 808 Squadron, HMAS Albatross.

Navy's home to the MRH-90 helicopter, 808 Squadron, assembled for the traditional rowing ashore of the outgoing Commanding Officer as Commander Adrian Capner handed over the “trident of power” to Commander Michael Waddell recently.

Commander Capner said the ceremony presented the perfect opportunity to reflect on what the squadron has achieved in the past two years.

“It’s fantastic to see where we’ve been and where we’re at and in my opinion we got there for one reason and that’s because we’re a capability of 205 people and not just six aircraft," he said.

"I think it’s important that we don’t miss that and focus on the equipment instead of the people, when I consider it was your hard work, your experience and your perseverance that got us to this point.

"You should be as proud of this as I am."

Commander Capner said 808 Squadron was about to embark on a new era.

He pointed to his time as Commanding Officer as continuing work on First of Class Flight Trials and developing Navy capability.

"The squadron is now entering a phase where flights and embarkations are becoming routine and I want to ask that you maintain your cohesiveness during this era, that you remain one squadron working together in partnership with our ships to provide the best possible maritime helicopter capability you can," he said.

"As you go forward remember 808’s motto - Strength in Unity.”

Commander Capner thanked the men and women of the squadron for their support.

“Your professionalism, your humour, your banter, your dedication have just been exceptional and I am honoured to have been your Commanding Officer," he said.

“My time here has been the hardest, most gruelling, most physical challenging, most emotional and yet the greatest job I’ve had to date in the Royal Australian Navy.

"If you can work out how that all comes together please let me know."

Commander Capner, who will now take over as Commander-Air in amphibious ship, HMAS Canberra, said that two activities topped the list of the many highlights of his two year tenure.

"I am most proud of seeing the flights embark at sea after a lot of hard work to get there and flying the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their Australian tour.”