RENO, Nevada (NNS) -- Seven Navy flag officers talked with members of the naval aviation community participating in a flag panel during the 2018 Tailhook Association Reunion in Reno, Nevada.
The panel, moderated by Miller, are leaders of the Naval Aviation Enterprise -- a partnership of naval aviation stakeholders focused on readiness and advancing future warfighting capabilities at best possible cost.
“We’re all aligned through the Navy, the Marine Corps and naval aviation to get after what our priorities are and to understand our issues, so we can improve things rapidly,” said Miller. This panel’s focus is to talk about the effort that each of us are applying toward that full mission capable aircraft.”
The panel members were Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller, Commander, Naval Air Forces/Commander, Naval Air Force Pacific Fleet; Vice Admiral William Lescher, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Integration of Capabilities and Resources; Vice Adm. Dean Peters, commander, Naval Air Systems Command; Lieutenant General Steven Rudder, Deputy Commandant for Aviation, Headquarters Marine Corps; Rear Adm. Scott Conn, Director, Air Warfare, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; Rear Adm. William Crane, Commander, Naval Air Force Reserve; Rear Adm. Michael Zarkowski, Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers; and Rear Adm. Richard Duke Heinz, Commander, Naval Supply Systems Command.
The leaders spoke of their united efforts to recover and generate readiness, acknowledging the need for close collaboration between industry partners and naval aviation.
“We have to strengthen our partnership with industry,” said Peters. “We have to renew our relationships, ensure transparency and that everything we do as a combined government and industry team is focused on up aircraft.”
Peters addressed the need to tackle readiness specifically the functions of reliability, asset management, maintenance capability and supply.
“Our aircraft – the components on those aircraft – are failing much sooner than they were predicted to,” explained Peters. “We’re missing something in our design review process and the way we test and field those aircraft. We have to do better. That’s just one of the high leverage activities that we are doing from the technical side.”
From the Fleet Readiness Center perspective, Zarkowski addressed the expectations of naval aviation maintenance capabilities.
“All of the JOs [junior officers] and mid-grade officers should expect from us aircraft out of our PMI [planned intermediate maintenance] lines, out of our rework and our mod[ification] lines that are quality aircraft, delivered to you on time and ready to go,” said Zarkowski.
Following the panelists' remarks, audience members asked questions on issues ranging from live, virtual, constructive (LVC) training, cannibalization rates of aircraft components to questions on retention rates of talented operators and pilots.
“We are moving forward to repair our parts – all of this with one goal in mind – and that’s more up aircraft that can fight and win tonight,” said Miller. “We are aligned, committed and focused to get that done as rapidly as possible.”
The Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE) is a cooperative partnership of naval aviation stakeholders focused on sustaining required current readiness and advancing future warfighting capabilities at best possible cost. It is comprised of Sailors, Marines, civilians, and contractors from across service branches and organizations, working together to identify and resolve readiness barriers and warfighting degraders.
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