NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. — The Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft Program Office (PMA-290) P-8A Poseidon sustainment and readiness team received the NAVAIR Commander’s Award for best improvement in mission capable or full mission capable readiness during a ceremony April 20, 2022.
The team developed an execution strategy focused on leveraging data-driven approaches and collaboration with stakeholders enabling the fleet to sustain the P-8A, which translated into a significant and sustained number of fully mission capable aircraft being available on the flight line.
“We know our mission is not about us; it’s about how we support those who are on the front lines,” said Tom Rudowsky, NAVAIR deputy commander. “Today’s winners embody the spirit of our community. You’re leading by example and reinforcing the behaviors that are the building blocks for a winning NAVAIR culture.”
The P-8A reached an all-time high of 61 fully mission capable (FMC) aircraft and sustained an average FMC rate of 41% this year, which is up 86% from the previous year as reported in the platform’s daily aircraft maintenance supply readiness metrics.
As the aircraft inventory continues to climb, the P-8A sustainment and readiness team has engaged with the fleet and stakeholders to stay ahead of forecasted challenges and to tackle issues as fast as possible. The team focused on three key initiatives: attacking degraders, leveraging proven Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE) processes, and fostering team relationships through improved communication.
To attack the top degraders, components that prevent an aircraft from flying, the team built and developed a critical degrader list specifically focusing on components having the biggest impact on FMC rates.
“This new focus has enabled us to align all stakeholders on identifying component level barriers across the entire value stream and prioritize resources to mitigate the constraints,” said Cmdr. Dan Hutton, PMA-290 sustainment co-lead. “The efforts have led to reliability improvements and maintenance strategy changes on multiple components and is a key reason we continue to sustain improvements in P-8A FMC rates.”
The team leveraged proven NAE processes by observing the positive impacts and results generated by the Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic maintenance operations center directly supporting the P-8A fleet over the last year. These efforts enabled the identification of P-8A specific roadblocks and provided daily opportunities to capture trends, drive reliability improvements, and understand where the most direct benefits are for the fleet.
“These exceptional improvements have enabled the fleet to continue to sustain a forward deployed 98% mission completion rate in direct support of combatant commanders’ requirements,” Hutton added.
Another way the sustainment and readiness team attacks challenges are by fostering and continuing to improve the relationship with the supply team at Naval Supply System Command (NAVSUP) Weapons Systems Support and Defense Logistics Agency Aviation.
In addition to the normal work associated with resolving supply provisioning, allowancing, repair, and replenishment issues, the teams’ have been equal partners in collaborative efforts to improve the supply system’s ability to respond to customer demand.
One example is the creation of a baseline critical items list. It enabled the entire team to assess the health across critical items of repair/spare pipeline, inventory range, and depth at wholesale and retail levels. This focus along with NAVSUP’s investment of $450 million over FY19-23 for flight line allowances resulted in a 98% first-pass effective rate.
“As the platform continues to age and new sustainment challenges arise, the team is constantly striving to improve standardized processes to rapidly respond and support continued readiness for the warfighter,” Hutton said. “The impact of MPRA Fleet leadership across the hangar decks and flight lines cannot be understated. The teamwork of squadron aircrew and maintainers, focused on improving readiness within their lifeline is our frontline of sustainment. Combine that with the program office and supply chain talent pool, and we’re postured to improve P-8A readiness well into the future.”
The Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft Program Office manages the acquisition, development, support, and delivery of the Navy’s maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.