From avionics to opportunity to honour

Published on Dave Devlin (author), CPL Kyle Genner (photographer)

Location(s): Ypres

Topic(s): Centenary of Anzac, Australia's Federation Guard

Royal Australian Navy sailor Able Seaman Jarryd Capper from Australia's Federation Guard based in Canberra, after a rehearsal for the commemoration of the Centenary of the Battle of Polygon Wood in Belgium.  (photo: CPL Kyle Genner)
Royal Australian Navy sailor Able Seaman Jarryd Capper from Australia's Federation Guard based in Canberra, after a rehearsal for the commemoration of the Centenary of the Battle of Polygon Wood in Belgium.
A posting to the Australian Defence Force’s ceremonial unit, Australia’s Federation Guard, in Canberra, has fulfilled one sailor’s goal of travelling to parts of the world he believed out of his reach.
 
Joining the Royal Australian Navy in 2010 and after successfully completing 18 months training in Melbourne and Wagga, Able Seaman Aviation Technician Avionics Jarryd Capper is often responsible for the maintenance and repair of aircraft systems and components including electrical, weapons, safety and survival equipment.
 
The Australian Navy operates some of the most sophisticated helicopters for military purposes. The safe and efficient operation of these aircraft requires the skills of avionics technicians trained in the application of the most up-to-date technology.
 
Whilst avionics is his core trade, life in the Navy provides varied employment and he has found himself also becoming an expert in drill and ceremonial procedures through his posting the Federation Guard.
 
Australia’s Federation Guard provides a tri-service ceremonial capability that has a significant role in marking national days of significance such as Australia Day, Anzac Day and Remembrance Day,  and conducts ceremonial services in Australia and overseas.
 
The sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen conduct modified drill movements to incorporate elements from all three services, in ceremonies that require catafalque and burial parties, honour guards, precision drill displays and saluting guns.
 
Able Seaman Capper is one of the team preparing to represent the Australian Defence Force at various commemorations throughout Belgium as part of the centenary of the Battle of Polygon Wood, Passchendaele, which took place in Belgium on 26 September 1917. The commemoration will remember the courage, strength and sacrifice of the 1st Australian Imperial Force and, in particular, the 5th Australian Division.
 
The Battle of Polygon Wood was a component of the Third Battle of Ypres, or 'Passchendaele', and was the 5th Australian Division's first major battle in Belgium. While the battle was considered a success for the Australian Imperial Force, it cost 5,770 Australian casualties.
 
Able Seaman Capper said travelling to Europe to take part in such important commemorations was something he had never imagined when he joined the Navy.
 
“It is a great honour to be able to take part in such a significant service that will remember the sacrifices made by many brave Australians,” he said.
 
“The sacrifices made by so many, some of whom never came home should never be forgotten.”
 
The Australian Defence Force supports activities and commemorative events that recognise Australia’s military history, the impact war and conflict has had on the nation and the sacrifices of those who serve.
 
For information on Australia’s Federation Guard visit http://www.defence.gov.au/AFG/
 
For information on employment opportunities in the Royal Australian Navy as an Aviation Technician Avionics visithttps://wwwnavy.defencejobs.gov.au/jobs/avionics-technician