Fleet Readiness Centers Greatly Improve Aircraft Delivery Rate
By DANIEL P. TAYLOR, Seapower Special Correspondent
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The Navy’s Fleet Readiness Centers (FRCs)were able to deliver 74 percent of aircraft on time — a dramatic increase over previous levels — thanks to a combination of factors, one official told attendees April 10 at the Sea-Air-Space Exposition.
Martin Ahmad, deputy commander of Navy Fleet Readiness Centers, said that FRCs were able to achieve that mark in fiscal 2017. He defined “on-time” as meeting the date FRC workers set after getting an aircraft, conducting an evaluation, and then determining when they could return it to the fleet.
“That’s helped us reduce our backlog,” Ahmad said.
He said the reason for the better on-time delivery rate was multi-faceted, but gave a lot of credit to “critical chain project management,” which is a method of managing projects that emphasizes the resources — whether that be people or equipment — needed to execute project tasks.
He also praised engineers at Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), who he said “really stepped up” to do the engineering analysis necessary to fix the many different problems that plague aging aircraft when they come up.
“Many of our repairs are very unique, because the aircraft has failed in ways that wasn’t planned,” Ahmad said. “So we have to do an analysis quickly to determine what the repair is, and NAVAIR engineering has really stepped up to the plate over the last several years and accelerated the pace.
“So it’s all those things really together — it’s been a collaboration and a partnership across many entities,” he said.