Personnel and colleagues marked the change of command of No. 44 Wing at RAAF Base Williamtown on September 25.
Held in the Merauke Auditorium, Group Captain Ruth Elsley handed over command to the incoming Commanding Officer Group Captain Robert Graham.
Commander of Surveillance and Response Group Air Commodore Barbara Courtney addressed attendees at the socially distanced event highlighting the strong leadership observed in No. 44 Wing.
“Group Captain Elsley used her experiences as an air traffic controller, deployments and other experiences to set a strong direction and to drive growth across No. 44 Wing,” Air Commodore Courtney said.
Reflecting on her journey, Group Captain Elsley acknowledged the efforts of personnel and staff in achieving mission success.
“19 months ago I accepted command, which has been an extreme honour and privilege placed in my care – to deliver capability for Surveillance and Response Group,” she said.
“I thank the previous Officer Commanding for their passion and determination and those members currently serving in No 44 Wing who display a daily commitment - striving for excellence across the wing.”
At the event, Commanding Officer No. 44 Wing Headquarters Wing Commander Gregory Jervis presented a special memento to Group Captain Elsley upon her departure.
As incoming Commanding Officer No. 44 Wing, Group Captain Graham brings a wealth of experience from serving decades in the Air Force. His career achievements include appointments in Combat Support Group, Headquarters Joint Operations Command and Air Force Headquarters.
Group Captain Graham has also served on multiple deployments, including to the Middle East and Somalia.
Group Captain Graham thanked Group Captain Elsley for her commitment, personal efforts and the Wing’s achievements in 2020, including the support to Operation Bushfire Assist, Operation COVID19 Assist - delivering current and developing future capability across the Wing.
He also said he was looking forward to returning to familiar territory.
“After spending approximately 10 years away from No. 44 Wing, it feels like I have arrived back at home,” Group Captain Graham said.
No 44 Wing was first formed on December 14, 1942, and is headquartered at Williamtown.
It conducts air space control, air navigation services for ADF operations and taskings at home and on deployment.