Helicopter Deck Landing Qualifications (DLQs): A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Comparative Alternatives
Wood, Frank R. "Chip"
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: This project was completed by the Resource Management Solutions Group, on behalf of the Commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic (CHSCWL), and facilitated through the Naval Postgraduate School Executive MBA program. The purpose is to collect and analyze data pertaining to current scheduling challenges for helicopter pilot deck landing qualifications (DLQs). The data is used to compare three potential courses of action (COAs) and provide a recommendation for a COA to pursue based on the lowest cost alternative that meets operational requirements. This study focuses on the MH-60S helicopter squadrons assigned to CHSCWL. Sortie data was gathered from the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Two and interview data collected from various Norfolk-based MH-60S squadrons was incorporated as well. This project focuses primarily on two areas of interest: alleviating the DLQ scheduling challenges experienced between CHSCWL and the United States Second Fleet (C2F) and finding the most cost effective solution that also meets the operational requirements of the Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS), Fleet squadrons, and ships assigned to C2F. Our analysis examines three possible courses of action: COA 1: Continue to conduct DLQ events using the current process of utilizing fleet ships already underway for training COA 2: Dedicate a C2F duty ship with sole responsibility of conducting DLQ events for a specified period of time during its duty rotation COA 3: Award a civilian company a contract to utilize a Helicopter Landing Trainer (HLT) to conduct DLQ events in the Chesapeake Bay or James River The results show all three COAs are capable of meeting DLQ requests; however, COA 3 provides the best solution for two main reasons. A Helicopter Landing Trainer allows for the highest level of operational readiness and minimizes the scheduling difficulties that have been experienced with DLQ requirements. Additionally, using a cost comparison, COA 3 proves to be the least costly alternative. The decision to utilize an HLT would potentially yield an annual savings of nearly $1.0 million.
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