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NAS Oceana Sailors and Marines impress at Boots-on-Ground event: roughly 100 senior U.S. Navy officials gathered March 14 at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia, for a Boots-on-Ground event highlighting efforts by Sailors and Marines at Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic (FRCMA) to enhance Naval Aviation readiness.

The event included a tour of FRCMA's facilities and several briefs from maintainers on recent initiatives aimed at saving time and money when repairing lircraft parts, principally for the F/A-18A-D Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

"As I walked around today, it was great to see young Sailors who had some innovative idea, or some ingenious way to attack a problem or approach a process that didn't cost us a penny, and in some cases, the return on that investment is huge. That is the value of doing these events and really the value of the innovative, smart, young Sailors we've got in the Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE)," said Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, commander, Naval Air Forces.

FRCMA Commander Capt. Charles K. "Keith" Nixon said before the event that it had been planned as a "day in the life 3f an F-18." Sure enough, beginning with visit to the Commander, Strike Fighter Wing, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 hangar, the 10-hour tour then proceeded to Oceana's avionics, airframes, armament, power plants and aircraft divisions.

In total, FRCMA Sailors and Marines worked more than 395,500 hours in fiscal 2016 repairing aircraft. Nearly 60 percent of that work went toward planned maintenance intervals (PMIs), while in-service repairs (ISRs) accounted for 20 percent.

FRCMA Aircraft Department Head Chris Rice discussed ISR management, stating that aircraft that otherwise would be flyable absent the need for specific repair work, as opposed to planned maintenance, receive priority in his shop. His team handled 1,900 ISR work orders last year, Rice said.

Among other things, a manual detailing common repairs and formal training for aircraft examiners would boost efficiency in getting F/A-18s out of the hangar and back on the flight line, Rice said. Training deployed Sailors and Marines how to better spot and prevent corrosion would also reduce the number of aircraft downed for repair work.

"Whatever we can do as an enterprise to facilitate the fleet taking care of these aircraft, it makes our job that much easier," Rice said.

Vice Adm. Paul Grosklags, commander, Naval Air Systems Command, said the event was one of the most interactive and informative Boots-on-Ground events he had attended.

Though he came away impressed with some of the initiatives underway at Oceana, Grosklags said the NAE needs to ensure such efforts spread elsewhere.

"As we saw things that were being done successfully here, it underscores the need to more quickly replicate those successes at other sites," he said. "We must figure out how to transfer that knowledge and learning more quickly from one organization to another. That's the purpose and value of the NAE."

Jeff Newman is a staff writer and contributing editor to Naval Aviation News magazine.

Efficiency Excellence Earns Petty Officer Naval Aviation Award By Rita Boland

Saving Naval Aviation millions of dollars in efficiency efforts earned Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Virginia Anne Byarlay, the Work Center 01E/AIRSpeed lead petty officer (LPO) at Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic (FRCMA) Oceana, Virginia, a prestigious honor March 14.

Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, commander, Naval Air Forces, on behalf of the Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE), presented Byarlay with the NAE Boots on the Ground Site Visit Excellence Award.

"Your vision and personal efforts have been responsible for elevating FRCMA Oceana to the next level of enterprise behavior," Shoemaker wrote in his recognition letter. "The NAE will continue to benefit from your hard work, and each of us is appreciative of what you have done in support of the team."

In her role as the AIRSpeed work center supervisor, Byarlay distinguished herself through contributions to the continuous process improvement (CPI) culture. She facilitated, coached and mentored 102 people through AIRSpeed improvement projects, resulting in a cost avoidance of more than $2.5 million and identified nearly $70,000 of savings in maintenance hours. She also served as the subject matter expert for a CPI standardization event. Daily, she directs six petty officers in the command-wide implementation of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) and the Theory of Constraints (TOC). Byarlay led five TOC/buffer status red (BSR) rollouts that impacted her command by reducing backlogs by 10 percent per quarter and reducing the time to reliably repair (TRR) by 50 percent.

TOC is the theory that all work centers have some type of constraint. Byarlay's team chose it as the process improvement methodology to assist with the rollout of the BSR report from the Buffer Management Tool program for all maintenance work centers at FRCMA. A BSR report predicts when each work center may have a potential for an expeditious repair. Since the beginning of the redesign, 39 work centers are either meeting or beating their current TRR and 18 are meeting their ultimate design TRR.

Additionally, Byarlay co-led the Huntron/Pinpoint Optimization effort that created a database that helps quickly identify LSS or troubleshooting tools available for evaluating a circuit card's repair condition. Her work made the optimization option more readily available across all five FRCMA geographic locations; previously only part of the command used it.

"AT2 Byarlay is the driving force behind everything AIRSpeed and is responsible for spreading the culture of AIRSpeed like wildfire throughout FRCMA Oceana," said Lt. Jeremy Neiman, Byarlay's division officer. "Her passion to make everything and everyone better around her is what has always stood out to me."

Neiman and ATC Mark Barbee, Byarlay's lead chief petty officer at the time, nominated her for the NAE award.

"She was handpicked back in May 2016 to bring the program back to relevance, which she has done, and exceeded our expectations," Neiman continued. "Not only has she done so through the events mentioned, but through our organic training and certifications. With her steering the helm, we now have 92 trained green belts, eight certified green belts and three certified black belts, which ensures we are ready to take on any CPI initiative in the future."

Belts are part of the LSS process. Practitioners pursue training and certification as yellow, green and black belts, indicating an increasing level of proficiency.

"I am very proud to receive this award," Byarlay said. "When my team and I took over we had a lot of obstacles to face, and we were all excited to take on the responsibility of CPI for the command. With a little training and insight from ourCPI lead [Carla Trent], we were able to tackle all the different tasks and bring CPI back to what it was intended to do. I would never be able to do what I do without the help from my AIRSpeed team, and I'm excited to receive this award on all of our behalf."

Byarlay continues to work on her team coaching and LSS black belt certification. The time and effort necessary to reach these accomplishments are worth it to Byarlay because of the benefits process improvement offers to readiness.

"CPI is important in Naval Aviation due to the aging aircraft on the flight line," she said. "With the increase to repair costs and with manpower being diminished, the enterprise is trying to find ways to extend the life of the aircraft and its components for mission readiness utilizing CPI methods."

Rita Boland is a communications specialist supporting Naval Aviation Enterprise Public Affairs.

Caption: Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Virginia Anne Byarley, left, accepts the Naval Aviation Enterprise Boots on Ground Site Visit Excellence Award from Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, commander, Naval Air Forces during the March 14 Boots-on-Ground event at Naval Air Station Oceana, Va.

Story and photos by Todd Miller

Caption: Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Morgan Taylor adjusts a hook while inspecting a BRU-32 bomb rack unit during the March 14 Boots-on-Ground event at Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic Detachment Oceana, Va.

Caption: Capt. Christopher Boyle, commodore, Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic, speaks March 14 during an annual "Boots-on-Ground" tour of Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic (FRCMA) at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia.

Caption: Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class Karil Courtenay presents new maintenance procedures for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet's main landing gear shock absorber at the March 14 Boots-on-Ground event.

Caption: Sailors at Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic Detachment Norfolk, Va., prepare to remove a component of an F-414 motor.
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Title Annotation:BOOTS ON GROUND
Author:Newman, Jeff
Publication:Naval Aviation News
Geographic Code:1U5VA
Date:Mar 22, 2017
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