South Coast local, Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Richard Foster has earned a place on the Honours List this Australia Day for his efforts supporting aviation within the Royal Australian Navy.
LCDR Foster has been awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) for outstanding achievement as Project Officer at Training Authority - Aviation and the development of the Aviation Support Category training package.
The Director of Training Authority - Aviation, at the time of nomination, Commander Darryn Jose described the efforts of LCDR Foster as outstanding.
“LCDR Foster should be incredibly proud of what he’s achieved,” CMDR Jose said.
“He has performed a number of amazing feats, worked to a complex program and achieved outstanding results the Fleet Air Arm is going to reap for many years to come.
“In summary, I have been impressed by LCDR Foster during his time at TA-AVN.”
Originally from Wales, Richard started out in the Royal Navy as an Aircrewman Search and Rescue Diver before departing at the rank of Chief Petty Officer 24 years later.
Moving to Australia he then joined the Royal Australian Navy as a Leading Seaman.
Through another 24 years of service the aviation enthusiast worked hard to promote and earn his current rank of LCDR.
This isn’t the first time the Naval officer has been recognised for his work ethic, but it is a first for the Welshman to be honoured in his adopted home of Australia.
“During my time with the Royal Navy, I received the British Empire Medal on the 1990 Honours List,” LCDR Foster said.
“It was a significant achievement but I’ve always wanted something to represent my chosen country of Australia.”
After serving 24 years in the Royal Navy followed by another 24 years in the Royal Australian Navy LCDR Foster is aiming for fifty years in the uniform.
“I’m extremely grateful for my Naval career as it has given me the opportunity to do things that you wouldn’t normally do,” LCDR Foster said.
“I’ve qualified in 15 different aircraft types if you include my time in the Royal Navy but even with all those different types I still haven’t got a favourite.”
Although LCDR Foster has qualified in four Australian aircraft since moving to Australia he describes his time on operations as the highlight of his career.
“I was the Ship’s Aviation Officer onboard HMAS Kanimbla for a Gulf trip in 2003 and have been fortunate to work in emergency response to bushfires and tsunami recovery efforts.”
LCDR Forster is currently posted to HMAS Albatross where he hopes to achieve fifty years in uniform.
The Foster family, which includes wife Ann, two daughters, Sarah and Kim, and one son, Robert, moved to North Nowra on the South Coast in 1990.