SEVEN local high school students have graduated from an innovative local naval program.
Victoria Pattie, Matilda Baard, Joel Longworthy, Jayden Cockley, Bailey Hooker, Michael Eccles and Lachlann Conway, from four Shoalhaven high schools, have completed the 10-week Naval Aviation Prospects Scheme (NAPS) course.
Staged by the Training Authority Aviation section at HMAS Albatross, the LongLook, QuickLook and NextStep programs gave the students the opportunity to undertake the in-depth NAPS course at the Naval Air Station for half a day a week for 10 weeks.
The students undertook a number of activities including visiting some of the squadrons on board to gain a firsthand look at what navy life and life in a squadron is all about.
The students were from Shoalhaven High, Bomaderry High, Nowra High and Nowra Anglican College.
They completed their course by giving a 20-minute presentation to the commanding officer of HMAS Albatross Captain Gordon Andrew, the Commanding Officer of 808 Squadron Commander Charlie Stephenson, the career advisers of their schools and families.
Each of the students undertook a different part of the presentation that covered some of the subjects they studied, including the principles of flight explaining how aircraft fly, different engine types including how turbines work, electronics, shallow water egress training (SWET) in which they were taught how to escape a ditched helicopter and a visit to the bomb dump.
On behalf of the students, Victoria Pattie thanked the navy for a wonderful opportunity.
She also paid credit to course co-ordinator Chief Petty Officer Glenn Smith for organising and running the course, along with Lieutenant Commander Scott Rayner for his help with the course.
“It has been an invaluable opportunity for all of us,” she said.
“We all really appreciate it and are now convinced more than ever about a life in the navy.”
CPO Smith, in turn, paid tribute to the students.
“I remember most of them from their first visits way back at the start of the year and they have come so far,” he said.
“They have been a brilliant group to work with and I look forward to seeing them all back here as members of the navy some time soon.”
The students were presented with their certificates by commanding officer of HMAS Albatross Captain Gordon Andrew and the commanding officer of 808 Squadron Commander Charlie Stephenson.