NAWCWD financials, hiring break records in FY18

Nov 6, 2018

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NAVAL AIR WARFARE CENTER WEAPONS DIVISION, CHINA LAKE, Calif. - Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division broke financial and hiring records in fiscal year 2018, hiring more, contracting more, and taking more new orders than ever before.

Overall new orders came in at $1.78 billion, approximately $100 million more than budgeted for FY18, according to Merrie Giles, NAWCWD comptroller. The additional new orders required additional hiring, pushing total end-strength to 6,035 personnel, 39 more than anticipated.

In the end, NAWCWD closed out FY18 with 412 more employees than in FY17. But that’s not the whole story.

“Our total hires were higher than any year in WD history,” said Richard Cracraft, NAWCWD’s director of Total Force Strategy and Management. “Our attrition was also higher than it has been since the late ‘90s.”

So what does adding more than 400 employees coupled with high attrition look like? It looks like 866 hiring actions.

“Our team did a great job this year,” Cracraft said. “We were able to use Direct Hiring Authorities in greater numbers than we have in the past. We also maximized our DHA to bring in the largest cohort of ESPDs in our history – 303.”

ESDPs are participants in the entry-level Engineer and Scientist Development Program.

Contracts personnel were also digging deep in FY18, awarding contracts worth $3.7 billion and obligating more than $1 billion for the first time. These awards included a record $291 million in small business obligations.

“The team faced a rapidly changing environment in FY18,” said Collin Kyte, NAWCWD director for contracts. Changes included acquisition threshold changes that “allowed larger and more complex projects to be procured via simplified acquisition procedures, resulting in significant time savings.”

The major contracts team completed nearly 3,000 contract actions in the fiscal year, and awarded the largest single contract in NAWCWD history. The $1.5 billion contract with Boeing provides system upgrades for the F/A-18 and EA-18G aircraft. The action was completed six months ahead of schedule and included a negotiated cost savings of approximately $157 million, according to Kyte.

Other changes allowed purchase card transactions to be used for higher-value supplies.

“WD was on the forefront of granting full purchase card authority within 60 days,” Kyte said. “This aggressive approach translated to over 1,400 additional purchase card transactions being processed in the last three quarters of the fiscal year.”

For Kyte, contracting and purchasing is about being a good steward of taxpayer dollars, but also – and perhaps more importantly – it’s about supporting the fleet.

“By effectively and efficiently completing our portion of the mission, we enable key development activities and the issuance of new technology and capability directly into the hands of the warfighter,” he said.

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<p>China Lake, in California’s Mojave Desert, is home to NAVAIR’s Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD). Few areas in the world offer such wide variety of geographical features in close proximity...mountains, deserts, canyons, caves and forests. The unencroached air and land ranges at China Lake provide unmatched geographic conditions in which to develop and test weapon systems and explore tactics for desert and mountain environments.</p>

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