An intrepid logistician successfully challenged high flight-hour costs and spare parts availability impacts to the Navy’s H-53, saving millions of taxpayer dollars, delivering vital efficiencies to warfighters in theater, and receiving recognition from the Navy in the process.

The Department of the Navy named Marine Corps Lt. Col David Phillips, lead Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) logistician for the H-53 In-Service Program (PMA-261), the military recipient of its top logistics award, the Adm. Stan Arthur Award for Logistics Excellence.  Rear Adm. Paul Sohl, commander, Fleet Readiness Centers and NAVAIR assistant commander for Logistics and Industrial Operations, presented the award to Phillips during a video teleconference ceremony July 2.

“This recognition speaks of leaders like [Phillips] to drive [efficiencies] throughout the program,” said Sohl. “We need more [efficiencies].”

By working with warfighters in Afghanistan, Phillips was able to reduce component lead time by 30 percent for the H-53 Main Gearbox Housing and reduce lead time of main rotor shafts by 40 percent.

“This was a team effort,” Phillips said, deflecting credit. “Everything we do should help the warfighter and that is my main focus of effort.”

“I didn’t even know I was nominated for the award,” he said. “I didn’t find out until the [award announcement] message went out and I started getting phone calls. It is truly an honor to receive such a prestigious award.”

Phillips worked with the Marine Aviation Logistics Support Program Pilot in Afghanistan to compare the availability of materials against trending failures. His focus was to ensure materials were available when required.

In the meantime, his team also saved the Navy millions of dollars by spending money in the right places.

Phillips also identified shortfalls in critical components. Procuring these components at the right time eliminated more than $3 million of flight hour costs.