The Air Force Officer Training School (OTS) commemorated Air Force’s centenary by holding a graduation parade on December 2 at RAAF Base Point Cook, where the RAAF began.

Governor-General General (retd) David Hurley reviewed the parade for Class 06-21 and congratulated the participants, including OTS staff and instructors.

“For 100 years during times of war, including recent conflicts, and in peace time, the RAAF has demonstrated its capability, adaptability and reliability in helping to keep us safe and preserving our national interests both here and overseas,” General Hurley said.

“We are now in a very complex era of competing national interests across a wide range of global issues in which international defence forces will have an important role to play.

“I congratulate the staff and instructors on developing a series of modules focusing on what it means to be Air Force, working in the joint environment and understanding the newer elements of air power such as space and cyber warfare.”

The Governor-General urged the graduates to value the friendships and bonds they had made during their training at RAAF Base East Sale.

“In addition to technical proficiency, the course fosters the formation of lifelong mateship and memorable moments through shared hardship and humour,” he said.

“These bonds will serve you well in your career.

“As commissioned officers, you will be in command of Australians as they serve their country in military uniform.

“They will look to you and you will lead them and this will be one of the greatest privileges you experience.

“They will place their lives, their wellbeing and their professional success in your hands.

“This is a tremendous, weighty responsibility but I am confident that your education and training here at Officer Training School will have prepared you well.”

Governor-General General (retd) David Hurley presents Pilot Officer Nicola Mitchell the Officer Training School Leadership Sword for being the most outstanding graduate. Photo: Leading Seaman James McDougall

Outgoing Commanding Officer of OTS Wing Commander Daniel Cassilles, who was promoted to group captain by the Governor-General, said OTS had overcome considerable challenges in 2021 to graduate five Initial Officer Courses of up to 60 trainees per course.

“Maintaining firm COVID-19 measures to ensure training could be undertaken safely, included segregating trainees for two weeks prior to their courses and remote learning, was facilitated using recently upgraded technology within the school,” Group Captain Cassilles said.

“Course 06 started on August 9, just as COVID-19 case numbers in Victoria were at their peak.

“With leave restrictions imposed on the course for their first 12 weeks, this week is the first time many of the 54 graduates on parade have seen their friends and family since joining the Air Force.”

Group Captain Cassilles joined the Governor-General in congratulating the successful trainees and thanking his staff for their outstanding service.

More photos can be viewed on the Defence image gallery.