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International Programs and The Naval Aviation System Team.

International programs comprise a critical component within the mission, the business, and the processes of the Naval Aviation Systems Team (TEAM). We currently support 45 countries through 1500 foreign military sales (FMS) cases valued at over $29 billion. From state-of-the-art aircraft and systems, through older, battle-proven products, to a multitude of research, development, test and evaluation, training, and logistics services, we provide a one-stop shop for the world's naval aviation needs.

The TEAM's 30,500 civilian and military members are located at eight major sites around the United States, including Patuxent River, Maryland; Lakehurst, New Jersey; Cherry Point, North Carolina; Jacksonville and Orlando Florida; and China Lake, Point Mugu, and North Island, California. Organizationally, the TEAM includes the Naval Air Systems Command Headquarters, Naval Air Warfare Centers (Aircraft and Weapons Divisions, Logistics Support Activities, and three depots) and the Program Executive Offices (Joint Strike Fighter; Tactical Air Programs; Air Anti-Submarine Warfare, Assault, and Special Mission Programs; and Cruise Missiles and Joint Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). It is a large, talented, and innovative TEAM, fully confident in achieving our Vision: "One TEAM supporting the Warfighter....delivering 21st Century aviation solutions enabling dominance from the sea."

Two concepts are fundamental to our success within the TEAM overall, and within our international efforts. First, our Program Managers, Air (PMAs) are totally responsible for their aircraft or aviation system throughout its entire life cycle, including those items operated by foreign forces. Second, our people, based on their education and experience, are aligned into eight competencies (program management, contracts, logistics, research and engineering, test and evaluation, industrial, corporate operations, and shore station management) to insure the standardization of operational processes and the refreshment of professional competence through continuous learning. Most importantly, though, these people are formed into integrated program teams (IPTs) where they apply their talents in direct support of the PMAs, who, in turn, assure that their products are delivered to the operating forces, foreign as well as domestic. Our role in AIR 1.4, the International Programs Department, is to support these IPTs throug h coordination, development, and implementation of international programs processes, policy, training, and financial management.

This combination of PMA teams and staff office within the established organizational and operating framework of the TEAM presents significant advantages in terms of personnel efficiency and product relevance. With only 199 individuals working international programs full time, we still manage over 49 percent of the value of all Navy programs. Additionally, we are able to offer our foreign customers the most up-to-date capability, because our people are side-by-side with their domestic counterparts. They know the latest information and, with direct access to the decision makers, they can interject the benefits of the international market at the earliest stages of program development. However, as we know all too well, more is being required of these people on a daily basis.

Globally, nationally, and locally, the challenges facing our international program professionals continue to grow and accelerate. Competition now comes from multi-nation consortiums, from global corporations, from niche-market entrepreneurs. Offset arrangements can become the focal point of a case, vice an ancillary consideration. Customer nations are seeking the absolute best value and are looking for our processes to move, as the commercial says, at the speed of business." Mergers and industrial base concerns garner headlines, and absorb a significant portion of our time. Administrative budgets sag under the burdens of necessary, but time-consuming, process analysis, financial accounting, and technology insertion. The litany of concerns is familiar....but, perhaps the list of possible solutions is not.

Within the TEAM international community, we have established three goals, which are now the benchmark for measuring all our actions, both strategic and tactical. These goals, general by design, allow significant flexibility for all members of the team. The first, "Build on past success and current capability," focuses on our many past accomplishments and emphasizes using them as a foundation for the future. The second, "Keep our international programs personnel and processes in the mainstream of TEAM, Department of the Navy, and Department of Defense activity," expands our real-time scope, looking to the many changes taking place on a national level, and forcing us to define our role within them. The third, "Accelerate reinvention within the TEAM and the Navy," represents our legacy to our successors, built on the past and framed by the present.

Against the first goal, we have developed a process to proactively support U.S. and allied warfighters by meeting the coalition warfare and interoperability goals of the unified commanders-in-chief. The process is a simple input-analysis/development-output-feedback loop, but this simplicity is key to its success. In line with our theme of employing current capability, as input we will use documents that are already prepared in the normal course of business, i.e. TEAM program and business unit plans, commanders in chief theater engagement plans, and Navy International Programs Office (Navy IPO) strategic plan. By adding direct inputs from security assistance officers and country desk officers, we have more than enough data to begin the analysis/development phase. We will analyze and cross-check program/business unit, country, and regional strategies, searching for possible cost, schedule, performance, and logistics efficiencies and/or inconsistencies, and develop our TEAM strategies accordingly. The primary o utputs, again already required documents, would be the TEAM international business plan and the Javits Report to Congress. Historically focused on programs alone, these documents will now also compile these programs by business unit, country, and region, tying together the defined commanders in chief requirements and the proposed TEAM solutions. Feedback would flow via available and emerging technology, such as knowledge management tools and the web, and through face-to-face contact at commanders in chief security assistance conferences, international air shows, and dedicated visits.

We are also using past success and current capability in a restructuring of our MR 1.4 organization and workload. Our 29 people are experts in our mission areas of process, policy, training, and financial management, but our alignment had diffused this expertise, causing confusion for our customers and frustration within our workforce. Now, our four divisions have clearly delineated tasks and are staffed by the best people to get those tasks done. Our Program Management Division (AIR 1.4.1) will focus on the creation and execution of cases, using the Defense Security Assistance Management System (DSAMS) as its primary tool. The Training and Policy Standardization Division (AIR 1.4.2) is charged with maintaining our knowledge base and the expertise of the international program community. (For those familiar with Naval aviation, this division is the equivalent of a squadron's NATOPS (Naval Aviation Training and Operating Procedures Standardization) organization.) International cooperation programs, including foreign comparative testing and international air shows, fall under AIR 1.4.4. Lastly, all business and financial management functions are performed by AIR 1.4.7.

With both these actions, the commanders-in-chief support process and the AIR 1.4 restructuring, the emphasis was on using the excellent resources already available to us and synthesizing them in new ways to enhance our overall capability. Meeting our second goal will not be as clear cut.

The mainstream of TEAM, Department of the Navy, and Department of Defense activity is more akin to a torrent than to a stream. With the revolution in military affairs and the revolution in business affairs as the overarching concepts, the breadth and depth of ongoing changes to our procedures, our organizations, and our technology are staggering. Within the TEAM, based on an Activity Based Costing (ABC) evaluation, we are implementing business process reengineering for a multitude of our fundamental processes. We are also embracing enterprise resource planning, a truly monumental effort that will define the ways and means of collecting, storing, and sharing our information (program, financial, and personnel). The Navy is creating the Navy Marine Corps internet, and DoD is changing its acquisition process. Now, obviously, it would be nice to press on with our integrated program business and await the impacts of these programs. However, in the interests of our people and for the survival of our international e fforts, waiting is the last thing we should do.

In fact, we have done the opposite of waiting, adopting a straightforward, assertive approach: when a team is created, we put an international program person on it; when a meeting is held, international program people attend it; when we have asked for our comments, we make them. Our intention is twofold: make sure our international program community is aware of what is taking place in the larger context, and make sure our international program requirements are included in the design of these processes and systems. Our people have this need-to-know to make informed career choices and to be as knowledgeable as their domestic counterparts. Our requirements must be included or we will become peripheral, i.e., expendable, within our parent organizations.

On a more measurable scale, we are developing a way to include the effects of international program during calculation of the total ownership cost of our programs. Some concepts such as economies of scale on a production line, require little analysis. However, ideas such as designing "export" versions during development, instead of much later in the process, require significant examination. This effort could significantly influence non-recurring costs, both in identifying specific costs shared with foreign customers and in reducing the costs of altering an existing system to render it releasable. Maintenance, repairs, technical data and consumables, also will be included in this evaluation.

Our last goal, in essence, combines the first two: we must reinvent our existing processes in order to maintain pace with a rapidly changing environment. Likewise, our actions to meet this goal mirror the fundamental concepts of our other actions. In two very positive cases, we have taken our basic IPT ideas and expanded their scope to meet the emerging requirements of all participants. For the Dutch P-3 aircraft capabilities upkeep program, PMA 290 (P-3 and S-3 aircraft), Lockheed Martin, and the Royal Netherlands Navy created a cohesive team from the outset of LOA development. This allowed clear communications, shared expectations, and coordinated decision-making, ultimately building trust within the team and reducing risk to the program. Most importantly, it demonstrated if we fully immerse our customers in our routine processes, we will alleviate much of the mystery, frustration, and misgivings that plague many of our relationships. We must give them sufficient information on what they are getting and wh y the price is what it is, so that they themselves feel comfortable with the program and that they can justify it to their home authorities.

A second instance of an expanded IPT is Team Hawkeye, comprised of PMA 231 (E-2C Hawkeye aircraft), Northrop Grumman, AIR 1.4, Navy IPO, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. This Team was formed to jointly develop strategies to meet current customer requirements, and to ensure the E-2C weapons system can respond to new customer requirements. This innovative approach will ensure a coordinated effort when dealing with the customer and will maximize the E-2C's integrated program benefits of cost savings, interoperability, and commonality.

These are the goals for our TEAM and a few of our efforts to achieve them. Other efforts are also underway, and many more are required. Yet, we're confident we will succeed... because of our people, because of our belief in our mission, and because we have very clear direction from our leadership:

Information technology and an increased emphasis on international coalition-building will mark the Navy of the next century..."

Admiral Jay Johnson, Chief of Naval Operations, 8 November 1999.

C'mon aboard....it'll be a heck of a ride!

About the Author

Captain Mike Dougherty is a Naval Academy graduate, a Naval Flight Officer, and an Acquisition Professional. He has served in a variety of Operational, Program Management, and Logistics positions in both headquarters and field activities. His tours as Commanding Officer include the Naval Air Technical Services Facility, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1991-1994) and the Naval Air Engineering Station, Lakehurst NJ (1997-1999). Captain Dougherty assumed his current position as NAVAIR's International Programs Department Head (Air 1.4) in July 1999.
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Article Details
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Author:Dougherty, Michael J.
Publication:DISAM Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2000
Words:2022
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