It was an exciting day for the Royal Australian Navy’s latest Aircrewman graduates, Richard Clark and Damien Wallace, when they were both presented with their Aircrewman wings and promoted to the rank of Leading Seaman in a ceremony at Nowra’s Fleet Air Arm Museum.
Coincidentally this is not the first time Richard and Damien have shared a graduation podium as in 2005 they both completed Year 12 at Sacred Heart College in Somerton SA.
Both joined the Navy on completing high school, Richard in April 2006, serving as a boatswains mate before changing over to Aircrewman and Damien in May 2006, specialising in Aircraft maintenance and obtaining his Certificate 4 in Aircraft Maintenance-Avionics.
Having lost touch with each other following high school Damien and Richard were surprised to meet up again, especially as they were once again about to embark on an intensive course of study, this time the Royal Australian Navy Aircrewman Rotary Course.
RAN Aircrewman are required to perform a variety of roles and the course covers a diverse range of topics including Combat Survival, Air Traffic Control, and Helicopter Underwater Escape Training. On completion of the ground training component students undertake the airborne phase at 723 Squadron on the AS350BA Squirrel helicopters, developing skills in the areas of winching, external load lifting, navigation and search and rescue.
The graduates will now put their new found skills into practice. On 26 May, Richard and Damien will both deploy to Townsville to participate in a Squadron training exercise which will include the conduct of utility operations with Townsville based Army landing craft.
Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20130144.