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March 17, 2011
By Michael Brooke
THE value of investing in profes-
sional training for people to fix
human resource issues is the man-
tra of the RAN's 2009 winner of
the Queen's Gold Medal.
LEUT Andrew Davies was
awarded the medal in recognition of
his outstanding performance while
posted to HMAS Tobruk in 2009.
Chief of Navy VADM Russ
Crane presented the medal to
LEUT Davies at a ceremony aboard
HMAS Sydney (CAPT Peter Leavy)
on March 8, where he stated the
importance of recognising the con-
tributions of RAN personnel.
"The Queen's Gold Medal -- one
of Navy's most prestigious wards --
is presented annually to the officer
who has exhibited the most exem-
plary conduct, performance of duty
and level of achievement while
undergoing initial and application
course training," VADM Crane said.
LEUT Davies, who is posted to
Sydney as the DMEO, said he was
excited to receive such recognition,
which emphasised the value of the
training invested in him by Navy.
LEUT Davies said he posted to
Tobruk in 2009 as an assistant ME,
where he benefited greatly from the
training and mentoring he received
from the engineering HOD, LCDR
Lance Davis, and department per-
"I was able to excel at what I
was doing because of the training
invested in me by a fantastic engi-
neering department," he said.
LEUT Davies said the secret to
his success was to "do the best you
can -- even when no-one is watch-
His training mantra encapsulates
New Generation Navy principles, as
well as the recently released Fleet
Operating Concept (FOC), which
is designed to maximise training
opportunities and achieve directed
levels of preparedness in an endur-
ing and cost-effective manner.
COMAUSFLT, RADM Steve
Gilmore, said one of the FOC's
enduring aims was the generation
and sustainment of Navy's work-
force that was well trained, expe-
rienced and motivated to operate
platforms and systems.
"The FOC must deliver the
opportunities for the right training
to be delivered to the right people at
the right time," he said.
TOP EFFORT: Chief of Navy VADM Russ Crane presents LEUT
Andrew Davies with the Queen's Gold Medal.
Photo: ABIS Dove Smithett
By SGT Andrew Hetherington
NAVY'S contribution to this month's
Australian International Air Show 2011
at Avalon, Victoria included five air-
craft types and a detachment of 60
personnel from HMAS Albatross.
Aircraft and personnel came from
723, 817 and 816 Squadrons, NU
Squadron 808 and the RAN Historic
Navy Avalon Detachment
Commander LCDR Ian Parrott, from
723 Squadron, said his personnel were
involved in both flying and static dis-
"At Avalon we had all of our aircraft
types, including the Squirrel, Sea King,
Seahawk, MRH-90 and a Huey from our
Historic Flight," LCDR Parrott said.
"It was an opportunity for the public
to see our old aircraft with the new in the
same location, allowing people to com-
"It was also a significant event for the
Sea King, as it will most likely be one
of the last opportunities the public will
have to see it before it retires at the end
of this year."
LCDR Parrott said his personnel also
assisted Defence Force Recruiting with
their Avalon mission.
"We had a small team who brought
with them a helicopter simulator allow-
ing the public to get a taste of what it's
like to fly a naval aircraft," LCDR Parrott
"The message we were trying to put
across was that all three Services work
together and support each other."
Sea King aircrewman LSA Ben
McNeil, from 817 Squadron, was one of
the Navy representatives giving air show
visitors an insight into naval aviation life.
"This was my first air show and I've
never seen so many aircraft in one place
at one time," LSA McNeil said.
"The public was impressed with the
Sea King and surprised at how big it is."
He said he was eager to soon be
working on the MRH-90 when it comes
The MRH-90 Taipan of Nu Squadron
808 will replace the Sea King as the
Navy's maritime support helicopter oper-
ating from large support vessels, includ-
ing the LHDs when they enter service.
"It will be an exciting time for every-
one when the helicopters and the LHDs
come into service," LSA McNeil said.
"There's a lot to look forward to with
the MRH-90 -- I've had flights in them
and it will make our job in the back eas-
ON SHOW: LSA Ben McNeil, from 817 Squadron, shows Steven Jones and
his son Jyden the Sea King hoist.
Photo: SGT Andrew Hetherington
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