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News | May 11, 2020

Fleet Readiness Center Southeast earns 2019 Commander's Award for Best Fleet Readiness Center Shop

By Fleet Readiness Center Southeast Public Affairs

On Tuesday, March 10, leadership from Fleet Readiness Center Southeast’s (FRCSE) F414 Engine Production Team were all smiles as they accepted the 2019 NAVAIR Commander's Award for Best Fleet Readiness Center Shop.

Eleven awards, many of the most noteworthy from NAVAIR, were given at the ceremony. Finalists were selected from 71 teams and individuals from across the enterprise. The winners represent four distinct categories, alignment and increased readiness, support delivering new capabilities with increased speed, innovative business operations and leadership.

Earning these accolades takes some serious drive and elbow grease, and according to Vice Adm. Dean Peters, commander, Naval Air Systems Command, the awards are given to teams that represent the best of the best during the previous fiscal year.

"It's the same awards we've always had at NAVAIR, but really with a Commander's intent focus," he said. "We took a few of the categories that we have historically looked at, but really focused it on those things that contributed to speed and readiness. I was blown away by the great work that's going on here at NAVAIR."

During 2019, FRCSE's F414 engine team, in direct response to the Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE) Engine Readiness Goals Challenge, was encouraged by  leadership to push past the norm and deliver critical parts to the fleet at a faster rate and in less time than ever before.

Producing their usual 143 F414 engine modules per month, equating to a fleet engine build of 47 engines per month, is an incredible feat on any standards, but the team was encouraged to do more.

A highly-productive team was asked to raise the bar even higher, and they delivered in a big way, but not without hard work and adjustments. 

"Our artisans were able to maneuver around a lot of change," said FRCSE's Engines Facility Military Production Director Lt. j.g. Antonio Hart. "They embraced the need for an increase in readiness and moved forward with producing products at a much faster pace. Our process engineers and airspeed team revitalized the whole process, and the artisans took it and ran with it," he continued.

With support from leadership and partners, their usual numbers were left in their rearview. The team responded by increasing to 178 engine modules per month, a consistent 64 engine build rate – an upsurge that is directly responsible for the sustainment of the F/A-18 E/F's mission capable Super Hornets throughout 2019.

"I would accredit reaching this goal to a collaborative team effort. From our partners in General Electric, who were able to supply the parts and components to our performance-based logistics team to our production controllers and artisans on the floor, everyone did a phenomenal job," said Hart. "The team comes in every day ready to create outstanding products."

In fact, the Navy's goal of reaching 341 mission capable Super Hornets by October 1, 2019, was not only achieved but exceeded, thanks in large part to the contributions of the team.

"I think that each member of the team understands the award, its magnitude and the recognition," said Hart. "It is awesome to bring this award home, and for each team member to understand that what they do every day in support of the fleet is phenomenal."

As the FRCSE F414 engine team continues to push through the fiscal year with an outstanding accomplishment at their backs, it provides just the right amount of fuel to keep things moving at an exceptional rate.

"These folks set the bar high, and that's what we want to show to the audience that's out there," said Peters. "So across the workforce, we hope that everyone's inspired by these stories of accomplishment so that they will look at their own efforts and they'll push it just a bit little further – just a little bit faster, they'll go for the higher amount of readiness, and that's what we're really trying to achieve."