Navy Newsstand (Dec. 13, 2005): Hornet industry and Navy teams win honors.
The Boeing Integrated Defense Systems F/A-18 program won top honors at Aviation Week's 2005 Program Excellence Awards during the publication's Aerospace & Defense Programs and Productivity Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. Nov. 15. Boeing is the prime contractor manufacturing the aircraft.
Two Navy-led teams supporting the Hornet fleet were also recently announced winners of the first Secretary of Defense Performance Based Logistics Awards competition.
Aviation Week's program excellence initiative evaluates four categories of program leadership--strategic linkage, organizational capability, managing complexity, and delivering performance. The initiative, launched in 2004, was developed on the basis of distinguishing between leadership and management, and the multi-faceted complexities of program leadership. The criteria were developed in concert with NASA, Defense Acquisition University, the Strategic Leadership Institute, and industry leaders.
"Smart program management among the Hornet Navy and industry team is essential to meeting our shared obligation to the warfighter. This program continues to deliver increasing capabilities at decreasing cost, ahead of schedule, all while the Navy is proving the worth of the aircraft in combat today," said Capt. Donald Gaddis, the Navy's F/A-18 program manager (PMA 265) at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md. "This is a model acquisitions program that has set new standards of industry support."
The program's award submission pointed out that the Super Hornet has the highest readiness rate of any Navy tactical aircraft, even while equipped with state-of-the-art technologies. The Super Hornet is a multi-mission aircraft used for air superiority, day/night strike with precision-guided weapons, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defense, maritime strike, reconnaissance, forward air control, and mid-air refueling.
"The Hornet program has set the benchmark for future programs in the key areas of cost, schedule, overall performance, and integrating complex technologies. The Hornet program's success is due directly to the culture the Hornet team leadership has fostered," according to the program's award submission statement.
The two recognized Navy teams are Navy/General Electric F404 PBL Team (sub-system level winner) and the Navy/Honeywell Auxiliary Power Unit Total Logistics Support PBL team (component level winner). Navy Inventory Control Point leads both teams.
The teams were selected from among numerous submissions from all military services. Their innovative logistics support solutions significantly increased the readiness of the F/A-18 Hornet, and that of other Navy aircraft, and reduced the cost to operate and maintain those aircraft. The teams received their awards at the Aerospace Industries Association Fall Product Support Conference in Hilton Head, S.C. Nov. 7-9.
The Hornet program--which includes the Navy and the Boeing-led Hornet Industry Team (Northrop Grumman, General Electric, and Raytheon)--was previously recognized with the Collier Trophy in 2000, which cited the Super Hornet's previous year performance, efficiency, and safety as well as completion of the developmental program ahead of schedule and under cost.
Wagner is with Naval Air Systems Command, Program Executive Office (Tactical Aircraft Programs) Public Affairs.