This July marks ten years since the establishment of the Naval Aviation Enterprise, a partnership of Navy and Marine Corps aviation leaders working together to advance readiness at an affordable cost. Since 2004, Naval Aviation leaders have been—and still are—collaborating across commands and service branches to target cost drivers and readiness degraders.
Since the Marine Corps joined the Enterprise in 2007, the partnership has been a key aspect of Marine Aviation’s readiness efforts.
“The NAE process has done an exceptional job of breaking through Type/Model/Series stovepipes, giving us a standardized and transparent way to view our platform's relative health through a common prism—and on a level playing field,” said Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation and co-lead of the NAE.
The Enterprise approach developed out of several readiness improvement initiatives in the late 1990s and early 2000s, such as the Naval Aviation Pilot Production Improvement Program, the Aviation Maintenance and Supply Readiness Working Groups and the Naval Aviation Readiness Integrated Improvement Program. Recognizing the value in cross-functional teamwork and data-driven decisions, leaders at the time officially chartered the Naval Aviation Enterprise in July 2004.
Today, Davis leads the NAE along with co-leads Vice Adm. David Buss, Commander, Naval Air Forces, and Vice Adm. David Dunaway, Commander, Naval Air Systems Command. As today’s Naval Aviation community faces an environment with limited resources and a high demand for Naval Aviation capabilities, the Enterprise framework provides processes and forums to enable collaborative problem-solving.
“As with all ‘process’ efforts like this, they are only useful if they lead to a ‘product,’” said Davis. “Our ‘product’ is readiness—and obtaining that readiness in the most efficient and sensible way.”
Over the past seven years, Marine Aviation accomplishments through the NAE have included driving down the cost per flight hour for the MV-22 Osprey, instituting AIRSpeed continuous process improvement programs throughout the maintenance and supply communities, and recently setting up the F-35B Type/Model/Series team and working to establish its readiness metrics.
Looking forward, NAE leaders acknowledge that there are challenges ahead and believe that the Enterprise partnership can be leveraged to help solve problems and improve warfighting readiness.
“We must turn the NAE into an engine of change and make it the premier portal for increased readiness for our naval assets. If the NAE only produces a snapshot of our ‘problems’ and we don't take action with what we learn through its venues, then it will not deliver the true value we desire—value that our warfighters deserve!” said Davis. “We are committed to making the NAE a readiness engine.”