Excited for an executive challenge

Published on SGT Dave Morley (author and photographer)

Location(s): Sydney

Topic(s): HMAS Hobart (D39), Training Authority - Maritime Warfare, Training Authority - Safety and Seaworthiness

Petty Officer Boatswains Mate Daniel Mercer saluting while the National Anthem is being played as part of NUSHIP Hobart's rehearsal for her commissioning ceremony.   (photo: ABML-SC Craig Walton)
Petty Officer Boatswains Mate Daniel Mercer saluting while the National Anthem is being played as part of NUSHIP Hobart's rehearsal for her commissioning ceremony.
As destroyer HMAS Hobart headed out on her first sea time as a commissioned warship, there was an atmosphere of anticipation in the salty air – as the ship’s company got to see what she can do.
 
Petty Officer Boatswain Daniel Mercer previously served in Hobart II and is now the ship’s seamanship supervisor serving as part of the ship’s company of Hobart III.
 
He said it was a great opportunity for both him and all the commissioning crew.
 
“In my case, it’s even more exciting to have served in two ships with the same name,” Petty Officer Mercer said.
 
“My day-to-day work will involve bringing our Executive Department up to a baseline standard in seamanship; so that’s operating the small boats, the replenishment at sea rigging and other things as basic as line-handling, berthing and slipping from the wharf.
 
“Our crew is quite junior, especially in the Executive Department; we’ve got a lot of members whose only sea experience has been during the sea trials of this ship.
 
“It’ll certainly be a challenge, even with an experienced crew, with the different systems; it’s going to be an experience regardless to get these people up to the standards required by Navy.”
 
Petty Officer Mercer said he was looking forward to learning systems and techniques.
 
“It will be a massive learning environment, and we will experience facets of Navy life no one has yet done, because of the modernised systems the ship operates under,” he said.
 
Petty Officer Mercer joined Hobart II in early 1998 and served for two years until the ship decommissioned.
 
The latest Hobart joined the Australian Navy fleet on 23 September and is the first of three Air Warfare Destroyers.