New pilots prepare to take to the skies from sea and land

This article has photo gallery Published on Ms Dallas McMaugh (author), ABIS Jarrod Mulvihill (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Albatross, NSW

Topic(s): HMAS Albatross, 723 Squadron, Graduation

Five EC-135s conduct a flyover during the 723 Squadron - Joint Helicopter School Course 003 Graduation at HMAS Albatross, Nowra. (photo: ABIS Jarrod Mulvihill)
Five EC-135s conduct a flyover during the 723 Squadron - Joint Helicopter School Course 003 Graduation at HMAS Albatross, Nowra.

Set within Navy’s 723 Squadron at HMAS Albatross, the Joint Helicopter School was designed to provide the foundation skills needed by future pilots, aircrew and Aviation Warfare Officers to operate the highly sophisticated combat helicopters used by the Royal Australian Navy and Australian Army.

Seventeen students graduated from the intensive 26 week course in a ceremony on 26 July.

It was the third intake to graduate since the Joint Helicopter School (JHS) commenced in January 2018.

Chief of the Defence Force, General Angus Campbell, was the Reviewing Officer for the graduation parade and took the opportunity to speak to the graduates about their role in Australian military aviation.

“Over the course of the past decade Defence has experienced the most significant modernisation in capability in its history.

“Your graduation today marks a further realisation of investment in our people, for the future.

“These people, including you, underpin our capability and give our force the combat edge it needs.

“Many aspire to fly with the Royal Australian Navy and Army, however, few ever realise this desire,” General Campbell said.

Lieutenant Commander Shaun Charlton is responsible for training pilots and aircrewmen in the Tactical Phase of the course and has been at the JHS for all three courses.

He said there had been a few modifications to the course along the way.

“The change has been immense.

“We learned so much from the first course, we tracked and implemented changes to make the school more productive, while maintaining or enhancing learning opportunities for the students.

“The way we program personnel and aircraft has evolved to maximise time and resources.

“Upon reflection, to see what we achieved with the first two courses, with all that concurrent activity, is quite amazing.”

Congratulations to all the graduates, including the course award winners:

Aviation Warfare Officer Dux: Sub Lieutenant Jonathon Wilson

Aircrewman Dux: Leading Seaman Jacob Williams


Aircrewmen: Leading Seaman Nathan Cox, Leading Seaman Jarrod Hall, Leading Seaman Sean Coxell and Leading Seaman Shaun Remfry.

Aviation Warfare Officers: Sub Lieutenant Taylor Gordon-Hall, Lieutenant Jayden Nisbett

Pilots: Lieutenant (Army) Jackson Davies, Lieutenant (Army) Reilly O’Neill, Lieutenant (Army) Jake Bronger, Lieutenant (Army) Jared Loch, Lieutenant (Army) Joshua Nitschke, Lieutenant (Amry) Luke Gadd, Lieutenant (Army) Ryan Glister, Major Stacey Austin.

Imagery is available on the Navy Image Gallery: