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News | April 26, 2021

Fleet Readiness Center Southeast’s Trainers Production Line wins 2020 NAVAIR Commander's Award

By Ashley Lombardo

NAVAIR Commander Vice Adm. Dean Peters presented FRCSE with the award during a virtual event live-streamed from NAVAIR Headquarters in Patuxent River, Md. This year marked the 21st annual observance of the awards, which recognize teams that improve speed and readiness within Naval aviation.

"You have demonstrated creativity, boldness and leadership that are the building blocks of our mission-aligned organization," said Vice Adm. Dean Peters, commander, Naval Air Systems Command. "Thank you for setting the bar high, and also congratulations for a job well done. You have accomplished so much under the unprecedented environment of this last year."

Nominations were plentiful this year, as 52 submissions were received among the nine award categories, including four aligned with increasing material readiness, two supporting the delivery of new capabilities with increased speed, one for innovative, agile business operations (enabler of speed) and another highlighting leadership.

The awards are separated into three distinctive areas, delivering capability with greater speed, increasing readiness and providing innovative technologies and business solutions. 

During 2020, a historically challenging year by any standard, the FRCSE T-6 Production Team didn't just hit the Commander's initiative; they crushed it. By reducing production cycle time from 187 days to 77 days, the folks from the T-6 line committed to sending a record number of aircraft back to the Fleet and they achieved just that.

“This team was able to attain success by staying flexible throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and a very active hurricane season, which affected flight operations and supply logistics,” said Clint Batten, FRCSE's Trainers Production Line Lead.

Fleet pilot training requirements prompted the highly productive T-6 team to rally and raise the bar, and they delivered in a big way, but not without hard work and adjustments.   

The team didn't just speed up the timeline providing urgent support to the Fleet, but they also took steps to ensure every artisan on the floor received impeccable guidance. The result – outstanding excellence in quality. 

By continued application of the Naval Sustainment System (NSS) and other management principles, the team flourished using open lines of communication while working diligently to update and reengineer directives, work documents, routers, maintenances references and quality checkpoints. These practices resulted in 24 of 33 aircraft being delivered with zero deficiencies, an 18 percent decrease in defective work hours and a 16 percent reduction in the cost of poor quality. 

“Our success at the Trainer line is a result of many different teams, both internal and external, working to enhance the training opportunities of our future pilots,” said Batten. “This program embodies the COMFRC initiative of generating readiness through teamwork.”

Still, Batten believes they can shave off even more time from each delivery without sacrificing quality. He anticipates an even more successful FY21 for the team with a projected 37 aircraft back to the fleet.

"To all of our awardees, I just want to say thank you for making an impact," said Peters. "This is just a small token of our appreciation of what you do. Thank you for what you do every day for the Navy and Marine Corps team. It is really making a difference."

What’s certain is that despite their sparkling new accolades, the T-6 production team will continue to drive forward in their pursuit of excellence.

About Fleet Readiness Center Southeast

Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE) is Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia's largest maintenance, repair, overhaul and technical services provider, employing more than 5,000 civilian, military and contract workers. With annual revenue exceeding $1 billion, the organization serves as an integral part of the greater U.S. Navy, Naval Air Systems Command, and Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers by maintaining the combat airpower for America's military forces.