Navy aviators on parade in Coffs Harbour

This article has photo gallery Published on Ms Natalie Staples (author), CPL Nicci Freeman (photographer), ABIS Sarah Williams (photographer), LCDR Stephan Immerz (photographer), LEUT Jakob Kapelj (photographer)

Location(s): Coffs Harbour, New South Wales

Royal Australian Navy Lieutenant Commander Todd Glynn, Executive Officer, 725 Squadron, stands with an MH-60R 'Romeo' Seahawk helicopter at the Australian International Airshow 2015, Avalon, Victoria.  (photo: CPL Nicci Freeman)
Royal Australian Navy Lieutenant Commander Todd Glynn, Executive Officer, 725 Squadron, stands with an MH-60R 'Romeo' Seahawk helicopter at the Australian International Airshow 2015, Avalon, Victoria.

Naval aviators from 725 Squadron will march through Coffs Harbour on 19 May, for the first time since being 'adopted' by the City in March 2015.

Around 115 naval aviators, 10 local Cadets and a contingent of the Royal Australian Navy Band will exercise Freedom of Entry, which Commanding Officer 725 Squadron, Commander Matt Royals says affirms their links with their adopted City.

“We’re looking forward to celebrating our relationship with the Coffs Harbour community and invite the public to come watch,” he said.

“While some of the Squadron made it to Coffs to support Anzac Day services in April, this is the first time since 2006 that a Freedom of Entry parade has been conducted in the region.” 

805 Squadron were previously adopted by Coffs Harbour City, but decommissioned in 2008.  

“725 Squadron is proud to continue the tradition set by 805 Squadron,” Commander Royals said.

The march will step off at 11am from outside the Coffs Harbour City Council Chambers on Castle Street. The contingent will march with swords drawn, bayonets fixed, band playing and colours flying.  

Police Local Area Commander, Mark Holohan will challenge the parade on the corner of Castle and Vernon Streets while Mayor of Coffs Harbour, Councillor Denise Knight will take the salute. The parade Reviewing Officer will be Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer.

The tradition of Freedom of Entry originates in medieval times, when a city would show its trust in a group of men-at-arms by allowing them to enter their walls without being disarmed. Nowadays the right of Freedom of Entry is a symbolic mark of honour and support from a city to a military unit.

725 Squadron operate as the training squadron for the Seahawk Romeo maritime combat helicopters (MH-60R) aircraft, the Navy’s newest aircraft and next generation submarine hunter and anti-surface warfare helicopter.

More information on 725 Squadron is available at http://www.navy.gov.au/725-squadron.