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August 30, 2012
AFTER months of intensive train-
ing, four of the Navy's latest avi-
ators were presented with their
wings at a graduation ceremony
in Nowra on July 26.
LS Mitchell Barrie, AB Liam
Carruthers, AB Anthony Da Silva
and AB Benjamin Webb are now
qualified to perform a variety of
roles including meteorology, navi-
gation, winching, aviation medi-
cine, search and rescue techniques,
and combat survival.
The graduation reviewing offic-
er, Commander Australian Fleet
RADM Tim Barrett, said comple-
tion of the demanding course had
prepared the graduates for employ-
ment in Navy's aircraft at a very
"In fact, you couldn't have cho-
sen a better time to become aircrew-
men," RADM told the graduates.
"Right now, we have our ships,
with embarked flights, in the
Middle East, North Asia, South-
West Pacific and off the coast of the
United States. They carry with pride
the responsibility of defending
Australian interests in both peace
and conflict and you will play a piv-
otal role in continuing this over the
years to come.
"It is your generation that will
operate the sensor suite of our new
"With an anti-submarine war-
fare focus, you will be required to
control the most advanced air capa-
bilities our Navy has ever operated
including dipping sonar, active and
passive acoustic sensors, and other
AB Anthony Da Silva was sur-
prised when announced as dux of
"It was incredibly testing but it
was a real team effort," he said.
"We all studied together and I
owe it to them."
THE next specialist group of mine
warfare officers graduated at a cer-
emony at HMAS Waterhen on July
20. Eight officers graduated from the
21st Mine Warfare Officers Course
and will now join a specialist branch
that will support RAN task groups
conducting expeditionary warfare to
tackle threats posed by sea-mines.
Training Authority -- Maritime
Warfare CAPT Jay Bannister said
mine warfare was a vital capability
and the graduates would face sig-
nificant challenges as they enabled
a new-look Navy with LHDs and
AWDs to confront future threats.
"You will be critical and wholly
integrated with our future Navy and
how it is operated," he said.
"Today you are young, special-
ised lieutenants who in a few years
will be instrumental in developing
and delivering future capability and
planning and executing complex
joint or combined operations/exer-
The graduation was especially
memorable for LEUT Brad Pettit
who received the CMDR John Boyd
Carter Memorial Dux award.
"There was a lot of hard work
during the past four months, not only
by me but all the other graduates.
Any one of them could have earned
the dux award because I think I was
just lucky," LEUT Pettit said.
LEUT Darren Schuback
received the Warfare Community
Medallion, however, operation-
al duties saw him post to HMAS
Anzac as part of the ship's enhanced
boarding capability and deploy on
The Warfare Community
Medallion was awarded to LEUT
Schuback in recognition for exhibit-
ing the best Navy values of honour,
honesty, courage integrity and loy-
alty during the course.
The graduates' next career mile-
stone is qualification as a mine clear-
ance diving officer or principal war-
fare officer mine warfare (PWO MW).
OIC Mine Warfare Faculty
LCDR Paul Koerber said during the
next year the Mine Warfare Officers'
Course would become a key compo-
nent of the recently developed PWO
The graduates included LEUT
Darren Schuback (HMAS Anzac),
LEUT James Brewster (HMAS
Huon), LEUT Jonathon Little
(HMAS Huon), and LEUTs Beau
Mulraney, Evgeni Goldberg, Daniel
Buys, Brad Pettit, and Ben Martin
(RNZN) posted to HMAS Penguin
(RANDS) for clearance diving
Gaining their wings
Warfare grads rewarded
AVIATORS GRADUATE: Commander Australian Fleet RADM Tim Barrett with the graduates of Aircrew Rotary Course 05 (L-R) AB Benjamin Webb,
AB Anthony Da Silva, RADM Barrett, AB Liam Carruthers and LS Mitchell Barrie.
Photo: LSIS Yuri Ramsey
AB Da Silva described the course
as the toughest nine months of his
life, but while the aspects of combat
survival training were challenging,
he said the hardest part was trying
to study while giving his partner a
helping hand with their two boys.
He said the diversity and the excite-
ment was the best part of being an
"My job is very different to an
everyday job; not many people get
the chance to jump out of a heli-
copter or fly low altitude through
valleys, conducting map of the earth
flying," he said.
RADM Barrett also reminded the
new aircrewman that their gradu-
ation marked the beginning of the
next chapter of learning.
"As you consolidate here at 723
Squadron and as you move to 816,
808 and, eventually to our new
Romeo Squadron, you must continue
to strive to develop our understand-
ing of our assets, learning how to
safely develop the potential we have
in our aircraft and in each other."
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