Claud A. Jones Award
CDR David C. Neily, USN
For his significant contribution to naval engineering as set forth in the following:
Commander Neily made numerous outstanding contributions to Naval Engineering and Fleet Readiness while serving as Repair Officer on board USS SIERRA (AD-18) and then as Commanding Officer of Shore Intermediate Maintenance Activity, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Demonstrating superb engineering skill and dynamic leadership, CDR Neily led the 350 men and women of USS SIERRA's Repair Department through a six month Mediterranean deployment which established a new standard of excellence for deployed tenders. His 49 year old ship completed more than 4500 jobs on 32 different ships during 16 alongside availabilities and 22 concurrent availabilities. He provided the inspiration and driving force behind several highly innovative ship repair techniques which saved the taxpayers millions of dollars and allowed numerous ships to remain on station and battle ready.
Utilizing a new Gas Turbine Repair Shop, built from scratch by CDR Neily, USS SIERRA successfully completed three separate Gas Turbine Generator change-outs, two of which were done while at anchor under extremely difficult conditions. His shop successfully completed an emergency change-out of an entire main propulsion Gas Turbine Engine and numerous other gas turbine repairs permitting several critical assets to sail on schedule in support of Operation Desert Storm.
USS SIERRA was dispatched to Florida on short notice to assist the Hurricane Andrew relief efforts. Utilizing detailed material lists developed by CDR Neily, tons of supplies and equipment were loaded in a matter of hours and USS SIERRA was the first Navy ship to arrive in the area. Because of his brilliant planning, USS SIERRA dispatched hundreds of properly prepared and equipped workers immediately upon arrival.
As Commanding Officer of Shore Intermediate Maintenance Activity, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, CDR Neily demonstrated superb leadership and engineering expertise. SIMA GTMO played a vital role when the mass exodus of Haitian migrants began, outfitting virtually every Coast Guard cutter and Navy ship on the east coast with special equipment vital to at-sea rescue. This huge task was repeated when Cuban migrants went to sea in unstable makeshift craft.
CDR Neily's infectious "Can Do" approach and tireless determination have expanded the traditional boundaries which define what can be accomplished by a forward deployed maintenance organization, and he has clearly demonstrated a tremendous potential for Naval Maintenance Activities in non-traditional roles such as disaster relief. CDR Neily is most worthy to receive the Claud A. Jones Award for 1994.