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Aviation Soldier of the Year

For outstanding service in the performance of duty as the Training Sergeant and the Squadron Aircrewmen Instructor at the 171st Aviation Squadron, 6th Aviation Regiment.

Sergeant Laycock has conducted pivotal work contributing to the development of the Army’s Special Operations Aviation capability. He has been inspirational in the establishment and introduction of updated Aircrewman Special Operations flying procedures, leading to significantly safer flying operations. This was demonstrated by his ability to identify capability faults and then develop and put into practice strategies to overcome specified deficiencies. His superior knowledge of both his trade skills and the operational requirements of the Tactical Assault Groups contributed to the development of procedures to enhance the interoperability between both the Commando Regiments and the Special Air Service Regiment with respect to aviation.

Sergeant Laycock’s professionalism and ability to engage with personnel has developed and enhanced the reputations of his squadron and the Australian Army. This was well demonstrated when he conducted a liaison and information exchange visit with the United States Army’s, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. He conducted himself well above the standard expected from someone of his rank and experience during this engagement. Throughout the visit he remained positively engaged in all of the activities. He continuously analysed the new information he was receiving whilst concurrently developing methods to implement this knowledge in Australia.

Throughout 2013 Sergeant Laycock was primarily employed as the 171st Aviation Squadron Training Sergeant. Additionally, he was the Senior Qualified Aircrewman Instructor for the squadron. While performing these roles there were periods where he was also temporarily conducting the duties of the Regimental Aircrewman Standards Warrant Officer. This is a noteworthy achievement as very few similarly ranked members could manage the same responsibility. It was through superior knowledge, dedication and an exemplary work ethic that he excelled in all these positions.

Sergeant Laycock’s skills and expertise are highly sought after by a number of agencies within the Australian Army relating to Special Operations and general aviation issues. Due to his understanding and meticulous planning he was able to identify areas of concern with the 3rd Brigade’s helicopter insertion and extraction training and mitigate and rectify these issues. The success of this training and the subsequent enhancement of 3 Brigades operational capability was a direct result of his individual actions.

Over the past two years Sergeant Laycock has played a crucial role in the successful qualification of new Special Operations Aircrewmen and pilots. His dedication and willingness to extend himself have been exemplary. The results of his efforts at the 171st Aviation Squadron have greatly assisted the Army to produce a highly effective Special Operations Aviation Task Group.

Sergeant Laycock’s exceptional standards of professionalism, organisation, and commitment are an inspiration to his peers and subordinates and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Australian Army.

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