NAE Representatives Visit USS Carl Vinson

NAE Representatives Visit USS Carl Vinson

Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE) representatives visited USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) as part of a process improvement program known as “Boots on the Deck” (BoD), July 18.

BoD was crafted to give first-hand maintenance and supply work center knowledge to senior leaders of NAE provider commands, addressing processing and production.

Insights or issues viewed from the perspective of fleet Sailors were passed on to the provider commands as data for Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) and the AIRSpeed program.

Commander Naval Air Forces Vice Adm. Allen Myers; Executive Director for the Program Executive Officer, Aircraft Carriers, William Deligne of the Senior Executive Service; Commander Naval Supply Weapons Systems Support Rear Adm. John G. King; and Commander NAVAIR 6.0 Rear Adm. (Sel) C.J. Jaynes were some of the distinguished visitors who boarded Carl Vinson for the event.

During the visit’s opening brief, Deputy Director of NAE Mike Warriner explained the command’s mission to advance and sustain naval aviation’s war-fighting capabilities at an affordable cost today and in the future. He also referenced naval aviation as central to the Navy’s six core capabilities: forward presence, deterrence, sea control, maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and power projection.

“It’s important that we keep that [idea] up front and understand it is about the recumbent effects of all six of those core capabilities,” Warriner said. Underneath that, he added, NAE looks for the approach that maximizes efficiency and affordability while resolving interdependent naval aviation issues affecting multiple stakeholders.

After the initial briefing, Vinson’s Commanding Officer Capt. Kent D. Whalen, Vinson’s Executive Officer Cmdr. Paul C. Spedero, and NAE representatives toured six Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD) and Supply Department spaces.

The first part of the morning was spent discussing both NAE and shipboard program managers’ perspectives and developing ways to improve maintenance and supply business practices. Afterward, BoD provided the unique opportunity for naval aviation leadership to converse on a one-on-one basis with enlisted Sailors who had an intimate knowledge of the successes and issues of their work centers, said Jaynes.

“[Today’s visit] gave us the opportunity to talk to the Sailors directly and find out what challenges they are facing and how we can help them,” Jaynes said. “This is really our only opportunity to come face-to-face, on the deckplates, and find out how we can help and directly impact the challenges that they are facing.”
Carl Vinson Sailors who presented each space represented themselves, their work centers and Carl Vinson admirably, Myers said.

“The most junior Sailors – and these are kids that came into the Navy 18 months ago [and] have only been on board 10 or 12 months – they were advocates for Naval Aviation Enterprise and they were able to articulate ways they can make their work centers more effective,” Myers said. “They knew their business, they knew their mission, and they also knew how to talk about the enterprise in a way that impressed their supervisors and leadership. And we’re taking that back with us – that the culture of efficiency is alive and well on the Carl Vinson.”

The visit ended with a debriefing in which NAE representatives and Carl Vinson leadership started addressing issues generated during the visit and ways to implement the successful programs developed on board Carl Vinson in the rest of the fleet.

During the debriefing, Myers emphasized that a chief purpose of BoD and the NAE is to focus on creating a culture of efficiency from the most junior Sailor to the most senior leader.

“If naval aviation is about war-fighting, then the NAE is about making that war-fighting more capable, more efficient and more effective,” Myers said. “To see the faces of the people who are actually doing the work, and in this case to see the enthusiasm, is really rewarding.”

Myers added the visit to Carl Vinson showed him firsthand that young Sailors actually understand the goodness of a culture of efficiency and are employing it.

These kids wanted to make their work centers more efficient and more effective,” Myers said. “When they are that mission-focused – when they are that focused on making war-fighting more effective and more capable – then I think we are where we need to be.”

Naval Today Staff, July 23, 2012; Image: US Navy