Final graduates for the year ready to soar

Department of Defence

Fifteen students from 268 ADF Pilots Course have received their wings and graduated from 2 Flying Training School at RAAF Base Pearce.

At the last graduation of the year, guests were treated to a spectacular aerial display by Squadron Leader Andrew Robinson in a Pilatus PC-21 aircraft, as well as a static display of an MH-60R Seahawk helicopter.

The graduates were led onto the parade ground by the Western Australian Police Pipe Band before the parade welcomed the Commanding Officer Wing Commander Jay Tuffley and Reviewing Officer Head of Air Force Capability, Air Vice-Marshal Robert Denney.

A moving Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony for graduates was conducted by Elder Barry Winmar, whose digeridoo spirit-song reverberated through the parade ground.

Seven graduates received awards for their achievements during the course.

Sub-Lieutenant Lynton Dalla Rosa was awarded the Fit-to-Fight Physical Training Award, while Pilot Officer Keenan O’Sullivan was awarded the DJ Friedrichs Aerobatics Trophy for aerobatic skill.

Sub-Lieutenant David Sich received the Royal Australian Air Force Association (WA Division) Trophy for most improved and Sub-Lieutenant Anthony Nightingale received the Returned Services League Trophy for leadership.

Pilot Officer Blake Poole was awarded the Defence Force Welfare Association Prize for displaying the highest level of navigational skills and Pilot Officer Guy Templeman won the BP (Australia) Ltd Trophy for the highest aggregate of academic marks.

Finally, Sub-Lieutenant Michael Oliver was awarded the SJ Goble Memorial Trophy as most proficient pilot and the G Scutt/E Davey Memorial Trophy for most proficient at instrument flying, before being announced as the course dux and awarded the Pilatus Aircraft Trophy.

In his speech, Air Vice-Marshal Denney acknowledged the centurion graduates present from 168 Course and family and friends who had supported the current graduates to achieve the ultimate goal of receiving their wings on parade.

Air Vice-Marshal Denney told the new pilots it was an exciting time to be a part of the ADF.

“We have gone through some significant upgrades in our capabilities,” he said.

“You will be at the forefront of the development of these aircraft, and your role will be to provide airpower as part of the joint force of ADF operations and activity.

“Take the opportunities to learn and grow throughout your career; you never know where they can take you. Have courage, step up and lead.”

This milestone marks the beginning of an exciting career for the fifteen newest pilots as they move on to join their new Air Force and Navy squadrons across Australia.

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