Commander Carl Capper

CMDR Carl Capper

Commander Carl Loder Capper was born in Birmingham England, 25 February 1962 and immigrated to Australia with his family in March 1975. He joined the Royal Australian Navy, 8 January 1978 as an Apprentice Aircraft and Engines Technician and spent the next two years at the RAN Apprentice Training Establishment, HMAS Nirimba. He posted to the RAN Naval Air Station, HMAS Albatross in January 1980 for continuation training on S2E/G Tracker aircraft with both VC851 and VS816 Squadrons, which included a deployment on the Aircraft Carrier HMAS Melbourne before completing his trade certificate in December 1981.

After posting to the Aircraft Support Unit at HMAS Albatross in January 1982, he undertook a number of supervisory positions over the next four years as Supervisor in charge of Cleaning & Engraving Bay, Rotor Blade Repair & Maintenance Bay, R1820 Engine Bay and Hydraulic Workshop. During this period he was promoted to Leading Seaman in March 1983. He posted to HS817 Squadron in May 1986 as a Sea King Maintenance Manager and was promoted to Petty Officer in July 1986. In January 1987 he undertook advanced Sea King Training with the Royal Navy in the UK and after four months consolidation training as a Maintenance Supervisor on 849 Squadron, returned to Australia in June 1987 as a Sea King Maintenance Instructor. After completing his Higher School Certificate at night school, he was commissioned as a Sub-Lieutenant in January 1990 and posted to the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology to undertake a Certificate of Technology (Aircraft).

Commander Capper posted back to HMAS Albatross in July 1991 for Aviation Engineer Officer Course after which he consolidated his training on HC723 Squadron and was awarded his Aviation Engineer Certificate of Competence and Promoted to Lieutenant in January 1992. He was then posted as the Manager Aviation Technical Training before being posted to sea in HMAS Success, June 1993 as the Assistant Marine Engineer Officer. He was subsequently awarded his Marine Engineer Certificate of Competence in July 1994. He was then posted to the Directorate of Navy Logistic Policy as Staff Officer Aviation Engineering and Staff Officer Marine Engineering and, after completing Integrated Logistic Managers Course, became an ILS specialist providing ILS advice and support to a number of major Ship and Aircraft Projects. During this period he completed a Graduate Diploma in Management Studies on a part-time basis though the University of NSW. In December 1996 he was posted to HS817 Squadron as the Deputy Aviation Engineer Officer and was awarded his Aviation Engineer Charge Certification in August 1997. After 20 years service, Commander Capper transferred to the Australian Naval Reserve in January 1998 and joined Australian Search and Rescue as their SAR Resources Engineer and a SAR Dropmaster Instructor.

Commander Capper transferred back to the Permanent Navy in June 2000 and, after promotion to Lieutenant Commander in November 2000, was posted to 817 Squadron as the Squadron Aviation Engineer Officer. In April 2002 he was then selected for an overseas exchange with the USN as a Seahawk Systems Engineer with PMA299 at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland. Returning to HMAS Albatross in June 2004 he took up the position of Sea King Platform Manager within the Naval Aviation Systems Program Office. During this period he undertook a Project Management program through the Australian Institute of Project Management and was accepted as a Master Project Director in 2006.

Promoted to Commander in January 2007, he was posted to the Directorate General Technical Airworthiness in Melbourne as the Deputy Director Rotary - Wing Systems assuming responsibility for the structural integrity of all ADF rotary-wing aircraft. In January 2009, he was then posted to the Office of Chief of Air Force and the Aviation Capability Improvement Team, which was tasked to identify and develop efficiencies and improvements in aviation across all three services. In January 2011 he was selected as the Executive Officer HMAS Albatross and Commander Air of the Naval Air Station and during this period he assumed Command of HMAS Albatross for over three months. While in Command, CMDR Capper successfully steered HMAS Albatross through a Parliamentary Works Committee (a Senate Estimates Committee) securing $210M in funding for the redevelopment of HMAS Albatross and over saw the decommissioning of 817 Squadron.

Commander Capper assumed the position of Deputy Director Ops (CMDRs) - Navy Personnel Career Management Agency, in December 2012, with responsibility for the career management and postings of Navy CMDR Warfare Officers. This was followed by an Operational Deployment embedded with NATO in Kabul as the Afghan Nation Army Trust Fund Manger, January to August 2014. On return he undertook a review in to the fleet management of Army watercraft for the Rizzo Reform Program. Commander Capper assumed command as Commanding Officer HMAS Cairns on 16 January 2015.