HAMILL, David Tale
Warrant Officer Marine Technician (Propulsion), Royal New Zealand Navy

CITATION
New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration
As the Marine Engineering Warrant Officer on board HMNZS TE MANA, Warrant Officer HAMILL was responsible for the management and operation of the marine engineering department. He rendered outstanding service in this role from August 2013 to March 2014, firstly in achieving the highest readiness grading possible in the ship’s intensive pre-deployment work-ups, and subsequently during its deployment on anti-piracy operations in the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden.

His commitment to engineering excellence engendered a superior level of performance in his department that has facilitated the identification of solutions to engineering problems which, due to the ship’s age, more often than not required careful consideration of equipment obsolescence, long lead times for replacement parts and remote support from shore. A critical example of this during the anti-piracy deployment was the way in which he dealt with a major fault that developed in the cooling systems for one of the main diesel propulsion units. With this engine out of commission, the ship was required to run on its gas turbine engines, seriously affecting its range and endurance and putting the entire operation at risk. After a temporary repair failed, Warrant Officer HAMILL traced the cause of the fault to alignment and vibration problems with the coolant pipe-work. Replacement pipe-work was modified to eliminate recurrence of the problems, and the ship was able to continue its mission.

During the deployment, Warrant Officer HAMILL also carried out a self-maintenance period in Darwin that saw significant modifications being made to some of the diesel engine systems, and succeeded in finding remedies to a number of long-term maintenance problems that had defeated his predecessors. His technical skill, outstanding leadership and perseverance were critical to HMNZS TE MANA’s ability to reach the operational area off the coast of Africa, to remain on station, and to complete all its operational tasks.

KNOWN AWARDS
New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration
New Zealand Operational Service Medal
New Zealand General Service Medal
Royal New Zealand Navy Long Service & Good Conduct Medal
New Zealand Defence Service Medal
Regular

NOTES
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THE PRO PATRIA PROJECT