THE link between Coffs Harbour and the the Royal Australian Navy will be officially recognised next month when the 725 Squadron receives the keys to the city.
Royal Australian Navy units foster close relationships with communities throughout Australia in the tradition of adopting a city.
As part of the program, service men and women attend significant events in their adopted city – including Anzac Day ceremonies.
Lieutenant Commander Peter Talbot was one of many personnel from the squadron who attended Coffs Harbour’s service on Monday.
“Historically all naval air squadrons have been linked to a city in Australia – it’s about creating a bond and relationship that we develop,” Lieut Commander Talbot said.
725 Squadron operates from the Naval Air Station at Nowra and is a training unit for Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’ naval combat helicopters.
The squadron was first formed in the Royal Australian Navy more than 50 years ago and has a history in the Royal Navy stretching back to 1943.
“Before it was commissioned, the squadron started with around 110 Australians learning to fly, maintain and operate the Romeo aircraft in Florida,” Mr Talbot said.
“We’re now in a position where we’re training our aircrew before sending them to the front line squadron to deploy with the aircraft.”
Lieutenant Daniel Cochrane said no two days were the same.
“The job has it’s own challenges and rewards,” Lieut. Cochrane.
“We train in missions, anti subsurface missions, and training to keep our skills for deployments.
Lieut Will Gladding said attending Coffs Harbour’s Anzac Day ceremony was a special honour.
“The commemoration and celebration of the Anzac spirit is something all Australians should be proud of,” Liet. Gladding said.
The official freedom of entry ceremony will include a march through Coffs Harbour on May 19.