The Carrier Readiness Team realizing the vision of the Naval Aviation Enterprise
LeFon, Carroll F.
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Naval aviation is a large and complex operation, with multiple stakeholders and an ingrained tension between generating combat readiness for current operations and procurement funds for future capabilities. Naval aviation leadership has developed an enterprise approach to managing these often competing requirements that uses modern business process tools under the fundamental principle of alignment. This process showed remarkable results at the factory-level, with production efforts generating significant savings and process efficiencies. From that initial success, the enterprise model was enlarged to overall management of aircraft flight hours, supply parts, personnel and production of replacement airframes. It was further enlarged to encompass the aircraft carrier fleet. This thesis examines the environment that drove the need to employ an enterprise construct, comparing it to the systems engineering approach used to bring new material solutions from concept of operations, to development and sustainment over the product lifecycles. It analyzes the tools and processes used, the benefits gained and the costs of executing under the enterprise management scheme. It analyzes how the Naval Aviation Enterprise model has been exported to other warfighting enterprises and the Navy generally. It concludes that enterprise alignment using modern business process tools indeed provides naval leadership with powerful leverage to generate combat readiness at reduced cost, now and in the future. It also concludes that further work remains to be done to ensure that an ingrained culture of consumption becomes cost-aware, and that real alignment of missions, functions and tasks must be undertaken to ensure that "quick wins" translate eventually into sustained, strategic change management.
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