Captain Raymond Saad

Captain Raymond Saad joined the Royal Australian Navy in July 1982 with a Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering Degree from Sydney University. After 14 months onboard HMAS Vampire for sea training and Harbour Watchkeeping Certificate, he joined HMAS Albatross for the Aviation Engineering Officers’ Application Course and Squadron Charge Certificate which were successfully completed in 1984. His first billet was at the Naval Aviation Logistics Management Squadron as Airframe Design Engineer working on Ship/Aircraft Integration, First Of Class Flight Trials and design projects for Squirrel, Sea King, Wessex and Bell Helicopters. This posting exposed Captain Saad to the full spectrum of aeronautical engineering design.

Captain Saad joined HC 723 Squadron as the Deputy Squadron Engineer Officer for four months before assuming the Senior Engineering Officer position in December 1988. In this senior engineering/maintenance manager position on the Squadron, he was responsible for all maintenance and repair activities conducted by over 200 Navy maintainers/technicians. The engineering responsibilities on the Squadron covered the planning, management, approval and oversight of all maintenance and repair activities which were carried out on more than 20 aircraft of five different types. On promotion to Lieutenant Commander, he joined Fleet Headquarters as the Fleet Aviation Engineering Officer in 1990 overseeing all aviation engineering activities at sea and monitoring the standards applied to ensure safety and compliance with policies and regulations followed by a posting to HMAS Darwin as a member of the Task Group Commander Staff for the first Gulf War deployment.

Captain Saad re-joined Fleet Headquarters in March 1991 for a short period before being posted to the United Kingdom to complete a Master of Science Degree in Aviation Engineering Management at Cranfield University. On return to Australia, he was posted to the Directorate of Aviation Engineering - Navy as Staff Officer Airworthiness Control in October 1992. This position was responsible primarily for the development of aviation engineering policies and maintenance instructions for all Navy helicopters. He successfully completed the Aircraft Accident Investigation Course at Cranfield University in the United Kingdom in June 1995, just in time, to be appointed the Officer In Charge of the Sea King Accident Investigation Team at Bamaga (Far North Queensland, Australia).

He was posted to the Naval Aviation Logistics Management Squadron as the Chief Logistics Support Officer (a senior management position at the Commander rank) in March 1996 and promoted to the rank of Commander in July 1997. Captain Saad was then selected to be the Officer In Charge of the Naval Aviation Logistics Management Squadron from August 1998 till December 1998 (ie. Commander of the Navy Aviation Systems Program Office which is a very senior position within the Naval Aviation Engineering Branch, normally at the Captain rank).

Captain Saad then joined the Directorate of Navy Professional Requirements (Engineering & Logistics) within the Navy Systems Command in Canberra as the Assistant Director Aviation Engineering Policy responsible for Aviation Engineering policy matters and Category Sponsorship issues for all RAN Aviation Engineers and Aviation Technical Sailors.

Captain Saad was then appointed as the Director, Navy Aviation Logistics Management Unit which is responsible for the provision of in-service engineering, repair, maintenance and logistics support services for all RAN helicopters and, later, in April 2003, he was appointed as the Seahawk Platform Executive within the Navy Aviation Systems Program Office. During these postings, he carried out the duties of the Chief Engineer on many occasions while the incumbent was absent on duty and/or leave.

Next assignment was at Navy Headquarters from February 2005 until December 2006 as the Director of Navy Ministerials and Coordination where he was responsible for all communications and correspondence with Ministers and Government Agencies, including Senate inquiries, on behalf of Chief of Navy and Deputy Chief of Navy.

Captain Saad was then posted to the Naval Attaché Office at the Australian Embassy in Washington, DC as the Staff Officer Aviation/Chief of Staff - Navy from January 2007 until January 2010 where he was responsible for all aviation engineering and operational matters between Naval aviation agencies in Australia and the US Navy, Department of Defence and the US Coast Guard.

Upon return to Australia, Captain Saad was posted to Air 9000 Phase 8 (Romeo) Project Office as the Technical Director and Design Acceptance Representative (Chief Engineer) responsible for all Engineering, Logistics and Test and Evaluation aspects of the MH-60R (Romeo) helicopter. He had a personal delegation from the Technical Airworthiness Regulator in the Australian Defence Force to undertake Design Acceptance functions on behalf of the Commonwealth. Basically, he was charged to make a determination of the technical acceptability of equipment design (ie. the MH-60R helicopter and associated equipment in this case) for Service use.

Captain Saad joined the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) Headquarters in December 2013 as the Chief Staff Officer - Aviation Engineering responsible for the oversight of engineering, maintenance and logistics support across the FAA and provision of engineering and technical airworthiness advice at the strategic level.

Captain Saad retired from the permanent Navy in December 2016 and joined the Sea Power Centre - Australia in January 2020 as the Visiting Navy Fellow Program Manager.

Visiting Naval Fellow Program Manager