The Saddlers' Company award for 41 Squadron RAF is presented annually to an airman who, in the opinion of the Commanding Officer, is the most deserving that year for the credit they have brought on themselves and the Squadron - be it for a specific action, their overall performance or for another notable reason.
Corporal David Nutland has been an integral member of 41(R) Sqn since his arrival just under 8 years ago. His previous Harrier experience allowed him to slip seamlessly into the Trials and Evaluation environment, passing on knowledge to his peers and effortlessly guiding teams during maintenance and weapon loading tasks. Tornado courses soon followed, vastly increasing his skill set and future worth. This has resulted in ‘Nutty’, as he is more fondly known, being regarded as an invaluable asset, not only to the Weapon trade desk but to the Squadron as a whole. When the Harrier GR 9 was retired from service, he took the lead in ensuring all associated armament GSE, spares and tooling held on the Squadron were returned via supply to the correct destinations. Showing exceptional managerial and communication skills, he successfully liaised with all parties to ensure all requirements were met well within set timescales.
He has been pivotal in advancing the capability of the Tornado GR4 with involvement in many trials both at home and abroad; Helmet Mounted Cuing System, Brimstone 2, Anti-Fast Inshore Attack Craft , Storm Shadow, Common Jamming Pod and Expendable Active Decoy to name but a few. His contribution and reasoned logic ensured these assets and procedures were thoroughly tested and engineering advice given to the appropriate Project Team before being released to general service. Many of these trials were conducted on the ranges of North America which has resulted in a considerable amount of time away from his family. Amiable and outgoing he has made many contacts within the local American community where he presents the Sqn in a positive manner.
His work outside the RAF is equally impressive. For over 7 years he has given up most of his spare time as a volunteer lifeboat crewman for the RNLI. His roles within the organisation are numerous. He has helped arrange and taken part in several major fundraising events, including a TV appearance. He also hosts visitors to Mablethorpe Lifeboat Station, giving tours and lectures on RNLI history and sea safety to all ages. He is regularly called away from his family to often life threatening and perilous situations. This can range from aiding mariners in distress to macabre tasks such as recovering suicide victims from the Humber Estuary. Recently, through dedication and hard work, he has completed his training for his Helms qualification on the smaller in-shore craft operated by the RNLI and is awaiting pass out by the RNLI Divisional Inspector. This gives him sole responsibility for crew safety and everything that happens during a rescue. Always looking to broaden his horizons, he is soon hoping to begin training at the RNLI College to Helm the larger class vessel at his station. A rigorous weekly training schedule sees him focus on teamwork, competence and safe procedures. It is due to this training, selfless dedication and well-rehearsed drills that countless people owe their lives to ‘Nutty’ and his team of volunteers
Even with his RNLI voluntary work, he still manages to find time to further serve the local community of Mablethorpe. As an active member of the Royal British Legion, assisting the branch to collect over £40,000 towards this worthwhile charity. He often assists elderly veterans with home visits, shopping and their general welfare. So highly regarded by his peers within this organisation, he has recently been requested to run for the position of deputy Chairman of his local branch. His emphatic commitment to both Service and community is a shining example to all personnel regardless of rank or trade and hopefully, the promotion which he fully deserves will be just around the corner.
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