Professionalism, excellence and long term commitment were recognised at an award ceremony in Jacksonville, Florida for a number of RAN members within New Squadron 725 (NUSQN 725).
NUSQN 725 has been deployed to the United States of America since February 2013 to train on the new Seahawk helicopter. The new generation Seahawk Romeo maritime warfare helicopter will replace the RAN’s ageing fleet of S-70B-2 ‘Bravo’ Seahawks.
The US Navy, which already operates the Seahawk Romeo, is training NUSQN 725 personnel to ensure the RAN is ‘Romeo ready’ for when the new helicopters arrive in Australia.
The Commanding Officer of NUSQN 725, CMDR Frost, took great pleasure in presenting a Head of Helicopter System Division (HHSD) Silver Commendation to LEUT Kapelj and a Bravo Zulu to LEUT Hale also from HHSD.
LEUT Kapelj’s Silver Commendation was awarded for his outstanding service in support of the Hellfire Missile system acquisition. His efforts resulted in not only significant cost savings to Defence but also greatly improved the RAN’s knowledge of this weapon system for our future helicopter.
In presenting the award, CMDR Frost stated that he was “very pleased to have LEUT Kapelj on the Romeo team. His knowledge of the weapon systems and his clear commitment to capability delivery are exactly the qualities required to bring this new helicopter into service.”
Also recognised for his outstanding efforts in supporting aviation capability was LEUT Hale, receiving a Bravo Zulu from RADM Dalton. LEUT Hale was recognised for his efforts supporting the successful introduction into service of the WESCAM capability to the current S-70B-2 Seahawk fleet.
After presenting the award, CMDR Frost announced, “The clear passion and commitment to capability demonstrated by LEUT Hale are again the traits we in NUSQN 725 strive for, and I am sure he will play a very critical role in supporting the Romeo capability now and well into the future.”
CMDR Frost also took great pleasure in awarding PO Di Rowan with her Defence Long Service Medal. PO Rowan is currently in Jacksonville accompanying her husband who is posted as part of NUSQN 725.