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An innovative solution, supporting defence objectives

By challenging conventional thinking and confronting continuous adversity, Defence Solution Lead Clint Williams achieved a feat previously deemed impossible - conducting warship trials crewed by merchant mariners instead of naval personnel.

Following a significant 12-month program of work, the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) sold two of its Inshore Patrol Vessels (IPVs) to the Irish Naval Service (INS).

Due to personnel shortages, the RNZN needed support to conduct the required trials before their vessels could be transported to Ireland, so they turned to Serco for help.

Crewing a warship with a civilian crew required a new and innovative approach. Faced with a tight deadline and the challenge of navigating separate commercial and military regulations, a process that proved to be complex and time-consuming, success was not guaranteed.

As the deadline edged closer challenges continued to persist, from an increasing list of additional requirements for the merchant mariners to comply with, challenges in work scheduling, a wide range of mechanical faults during the trials and the need for constant contingency plans. Clint remained dynamic and preserved to deliver the desired outcome for the RNZN.

Facing uncertainty throughout this project, Clint's determination paid off. The project was a success, as the trials of both IPVs were successfully completed with less than two weeks before the arrival of a sealift ship to transport the vessels to Ireland.

Making the impossible possible, we are proud of Clint's continuous commitment and innovative thinking, which has not only supported our customer but has also demonstrated that merchant mariners can crew Naval warships, providing an innovative solution to address defence objects.

At our annual global Pulse Awards, where we recognise those who have gone above and beyond, Clint was awarded with an innovation award for this program of work. This unparalleled achievement stands as a testament to Clint’s commitment to innovation, astute coordination, unwavering professionalism, and selflessness.

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