Chief of Staff of the Royal Australian Navy’s Fleet Air Arm, Captain Don Dezentje, welcomed the Navy’s newest pilots into the ranks of the Fleet Air Arm at a graduation ceremony held at 2 Flight Training School, at RAAF Pearce in Western Australia.
The graduation, which was held on 29 August 2013, was a long anticipated event for the two aviators, Sub Lieutenants Mark Green and Will Stow, who felt a sense of excited relief that they had finally earned their wings after nearly two years chasing the dream.
Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Tim Barrett, one of the Royal Australian Navy’s most senior aviators, was also on hand as the Reviewing Officer to pin on the treasured pilots brevet on the two graduates.
The training conducted at 2FTS provides the necessary skills for Navy and Air Force pilots to fly fixed wing aircraft in various conditions with an emphasis on both civil and military operations. The course predominantly focuses on teaching advanced flying techniques, instrument flying, formation flying and complex navigational training.
The Advanced Pilots Course held at 2FTS is one of the military’s most challenging courses and a difficult course to in which to excel. The two graduates were surprised to not only be awarded their wings, but SBLT Green was also awarded the Leadership award for outstanding leadership displayed on course and the Most Improved Award for achieving the most impressive progress throughout the course, while SBLT Stow was presented the Academic Award for achieving the highest aggregate of academic marks throughout the course.
The graduation culminated with an entertaining Parent/Graduate Mess Dinner and the Graduation Ball where the students had a chance let their hair down with their friends and family after the intensive nine month flying course.
Although the road to achieving their wings has come to an end, both newly initiated pilots understand that their career in the FAA has just begun. SBLTs Green and Stow have both been posted to HMAS Albatross where they will commence their helicopter conversion at 723 SQN in the near future.