Drone racer awarded for inspiring next generation

Department of Defence

Sapper Alex Brown has been recognised for his dedication and commitment to the exponential growth of the Australian Army Drone Racing Team as one of Army’s most proactive and effective youth science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) engagement initiatives.

He was presented with the Army gold commendation in recognition of his exemplary performance as captain of the team by Senior Enlisted Adviser to the Chief of the Defence Force Warrant Officer Ken Robertson on behalf of the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Simon Stuart.

Sapper Brown joined the Army Drone Racing Team in 2019 and quickly became a familiar face at STEM engagement activities, outreach programs, career expos and drone racing demonstrations.

Taking on the role of team captain in 2022, he continued to pursue opportunities for the team members to share their knowledge, passion and expertise in drone technology, robotics and innovation.

Warrant Officer Robertson praised Sapper Brown’s contribution and commitment to drone racing, demonstrating the possibilities of combining a passion for technology with a career in the military.

“Sapper Brown is particularly commended for his dedication and commitment to inspiring our next generation to be curious about STEM and how important this technology will be in future warfare,” Warrant Officer Robertson said.

“The ADF Drone Racing Teams are excellent examples of technological advancement and joint integration within our Defence Force.

“Sapper Brown has been instrumental to the Army Drone Racing Team’s ever-growing success at successive Avalon international air shows, military international drone tournaments, the Army Cadet drone racing camps, plus open days and science exhibitions.”

‘The privilege of being captain in the drone team has provided me opportunities I never thought possible.’

During the Airshows Downunder Shellharbour drone racing tournament, Sapper Brown was presented with the award in the company of his family and team members.

“I was taken completely by surprise in receiving this award. As a team, we have navigated challenges, forged enduring friendships and inspired others to pursue their passions. I am profoundly thankful for each member’s contributions,” Sapper Brown said.

“The privilege of being captain in the drone team has provided me opportunities I never thought possible. From mentors and teammates, to community members and supporters, they have all played a vital role in shaping my path.

“Receiving the gold commendation is a testament to our collective efforts, and I am deeply honoured and humbled by this recognition.”

The ADF drone racing teams deliver STEM engagement programs aimed at inspiring the next generation to develop skills and knowledge in related pathways.

Through interactive demonstrations and hands-on activities on the simulators, the teams engage with spectators of all ages, sharing their passion for uncrewed aerial technology and highlighting the crucial role that drones have in modern warfare.

Drone racing is an authorised and encouraged adaptive sport in the Australian Defence Force.

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