Weather permitting, two proud Australians are scheduled to fly over Buckingham Palace in a flypast involving 68 aircraft to mark the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III.
CAPTION: Lieutenant Daniel Cochrane with the Merlin HM2 he flies on exchange with Royal Navy 820 Squadron in the United Kingdom.
Waving down at the thousands cheering on the newly-crowned King and Queen will be Royal Australian Air Force Warrant Officer Paul Shepherd and Royal Australian Navy Lieutenant Daniel Cochrane.
Both members are currently on exchange in the United Kingdom, embedded with British military squadrons.
This is Warrant Officer Shepherd’s fourth year on exchange with the Royal Air Force’s 51 Squadron.
The role has seen him participate in Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee last year, and now, welcoming in a new monarch in the flypast for His Majesty The King’s Coronation.
“It is magnificent to see everyone down on the Mall cheering as you fly past,” Warrant Officer Shepherd said.
“I feel very lucky to have been here for the Jubilee and now the Coronation.
“Flypasts are few and far between for me, so I am just so excited to be a part of it.
“It is pretty special.”
The feeling is similar for Lieutenant Cochrane who is currently on a three-year exchange with the Royal Navy’s 820 Squadron, flying the Merlin HM2.
“Flying over the Palace is something I never imagined doing,” Lieutenant Cochrane said.
“It is an opportunity of a lifetime.
“I have participated in a few flypasts in Australia, but nothing could compare to this.
“It is a massive event for the United Kingdom and for people all across the Commonwealth.”
The two members are excited to join the event alongside their colleagues and friends from the United Kingdom.
“Both militaries are very similar in the way we operate and the crews have been great to work with,” Warrant Officer Shepherd said.
Lieutenant Cochrane added that being on exchange in the United Kingdom had been a great opportunity to see how another nation operates – especially an ally as close as the British.
“The Royal Navy has been very supportive of me and including Commonwealth representatives in the Coronation’s flypast,” Lieutenant Cochrane said.
“I am so proud to be here.”