While the Naval Aviation Prospects Scheme (NAPS) team are used to travelling throughout the Shoalhaven, their latest expedition took them a lot further afield - all the way to Hobart.
The distinctive 'Fly Navy' emblazoned van and bank of interactive helicopter emulators are a regular and popular fixture at school, sporting and community events where the team offer students the opportunity to test their flying skills in the emulators and their expert advice on the exciting range of career options available in naval aviation.
NAPS Coordinator, Chief Petty Officer Glenn Smith, said the invitation to participate in the Australian Defence Force Careers Expo in Hobart was their biggest logistical challenge since the program’s inception in 2007.
“Three-thousand kilometres, six days of driving, two overnight ferry transits on the Spirit of Tasmania, with just three days notice, did invoke a degree of stress, but it was definitely worth it,” he said.
“There were over 3,500 visitors to the Expo over two days so it was a definite buzz to take the NAPS experience to so many people at an event so far from home.”
“The interactive nature of the flight emulators always makes them very popular at events like this one. They offer a very realistic flying experience and everyone is always keen to experience what its like to be a 'birdie'.
“We have hundreds of students from schools throughout the Shoalhaven visit HMAS Albatross every year to participate in the wide range of vocational programs we offer.
“It is definitely one of the most satisfying aspects my job, but it was very exciting to take the NAPS experience on the road, to offer that experience to students who’ve never considered a career in the Fleet Air Arm or Navy.”