AUS Aircraft Named In Honour Of Stephanie Rice
Department of Defence
Monday, 3 November 2008
AP-3C Orion Named “Stephanie” In Honour Of Stephanie Rice
The newest member of Task Group 633.2 has flown into the Middle East Area of Operations and has a big task ahead of her in support of Operations CATALYST and SLIPPER.
The freshly deployed AP-3C Orion from RAAF Edinburgh’s Number 11 Squadron was welcomed into the task group with a naming ceremony in honour of one of Australia’s finest female athletes.
The Orion, now known as Stephanie, was named by Maintenance Shift 23 Bravo after the Australian Olympic swimmer and three time gold medallist, Stephanie Rice.
Both Stephanie Rice and the newly deployed Orion aircraft have been destined for success ever since their arrival onto the big stage, according to Corporal Andrew Summers.
“The long smooth figure and design is built for speed and manoeuvrability whilst maintaining its sense of gracefulness,” said Corporal Summers.
Gold Crew Captain, Flight Lieutenant Jonathan Morgan, then honoured the occasion by spraying (non-alcoholic) champagne on the aircraft’s nose in celebration.
Naming military aircraft dates back to World War One with the B17 Flying Fortress becoming infamous during the World War Two.
Aircraft names have been chosen from cartoon characters or celebrities of that era such as Miss Saigon from the Vietnam War or Memphis Belle and Miss Daisy from World War Two.
The tradition of naming Orion aircraft on operations dates back to 92 Wing’s first tour to the Middle East in 2003.
“The naming of aircraft provides a level of operational security and a familiar personality that helps foster morale and a sense of ownership by all involved in support of its operations,” Flight Lieutenant Stefani said.