Flag Panel Tailhook '19

Naval Aviation Leaders Deliver NAE Update at 2019 Tailhook Symposium

Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller, III, Commander Naval Air Forces, opened the first night of the 2019 Tailhook Association Symposium by leading a discussion panel focusing on updates on readiness within the Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE), here on Sept. 5.

The NAE is a partnership of stakeholders in aviation focusing on sustaining required readiness and advancing warfighting capabilities at the best possible cost.

Miller, the Navy’s “Air Boss,” along with Vice Adm. Dean Peters, commander, Naval Air Systems Command; Rear Adm. Greg Harris, director, Air Warfare (N98); and Rear Adm. Roy Kelley, Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, delivered the update to Naval and industry aviation attendees.

According to Miller, after a decade of Naval Aviation averaging between 250-260 mission-capable F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets, the Navy is consistently above 300, and is trending upward.  

“It’s a matter of focus and priorities,” said Miller.  “We have changed the way we do business.  We’re treating the aircraft like a patient, and there is ownership at the petty officer level in our hangar bays.”

In October, 2018, the aviation community implemented the Naval Sustainment System (NSS); the NSS is an initiative that began with a month-long kickoff at Fleet Readiness Center Southwest and focuses on a Performance to Plan approach to improve aviation readiness and achieve the mission-capable aircraft goals by Oct. 1.

“We have established an ability to sustain readiness,” said Peters. “The nation is investing in Naval Aviation.”

Kelley said that one of the biggest changes as we see improving readiness is in flight hour execution. “We’ve executed all our flight hours this year, and that is a good thing,” he said.

“We’re getting healthy and we’re on the right track,” Kelley added. “A lot of effort has gone into putting the right people in the same room and working together.”

The update concluded with the panel fielding questions, including about modernization of the aviation fleet during the return to readiness over the past year.

“We’re going to maintain the momentum,” said Miller. “I’m confident we’re going to be able to do that.”

“Naval Aviation is going to get what we need,” said Harris, answering a question about future budgets. “It’s important to continue the initiative and keep readiness going; and make ourselves more efficient and reliable.”

The Tailhook Convention is an annual event run by the Tailhook Association – an independent, fraternal, nonprofit organization supporting aircraft carrier and other sea-based aviation. More information about the Tailhook Association can be found at https://www.tailhook.net

For more news from the Naval Aviation Enterprise, visit www.nae.navy.mil

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