News | July 10, 2024

NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support Achieves Engine Readiness Goals

By Angela King-Sweigart, public affairs specialist with Naval Supply Systems Command

Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Weapon Systems Support (WSS) led the charge to ensure the Navy’s F414 engines meet engine readiness goals in support of the overarching 80 percent mission-capable strike fighter goal.

The F414 engine is used in several military aircraft including the Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler.

“These engines are critical in ensuring our aviators are able to accomplish their missions,” said Navy Capt. Andy Henwood, director of NAVSUP WSS aviation operations.

In October 2018, the Secretary of Defense established the readiness goal of having 80 percent of the Navy’s F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets Mission Capable. This increased the minimum engine requirement by several hundred engines overnight. The newly increased minimum engine requirement meant engine readiness goals were not being met.
This challenge has taken several years to solve, and a huge effort on the part of many different team members. Team members had to work with contractors and Navy organizations to rapidly increase the number of ready for issue engines. That meant meetings to explain the new mission requirements and looking for ways to increase the velocity of engine output, said Marine Corps Maj. A.J. Dobson, NAVSUP WSS engines Integrated Weapon System Team director.

“This challenge required us to bring in all the stakeholders to deliberately address the current barriers,” Dobson said. “We held multiple standing meetings per week, went on dozens of visits to vendors and sub-vendors...all to build relationships and fix the problem.”

“This was an example of the entire team embracing the red and refusing to settle for status quo,” Henwood said. “We continued to pressurize the system and compress timelines to ensure we returned the fleet to the required level of readiness.”

Henwood is proud of the team and acknowledges that—while this was a finish line of sorts—the effort needs to be continued to maintain the newly achieved readiness.
“This shows what can be accomplished and the power of the team,” he said. “When you start communicating, there’s power. What looks like an insurmountable goal—one that we thought would take years to accomplish—we were able to complete.”

The effort was a collaboration between vendors, NAVAIR and Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE).

NAVSUP WSS is one of 11 commands under Commander, NAVSUP. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, NAVSUP employs a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel. NAVSUP and the Navy Supply Corps conduct and enable supply chain, acquisition, operational logistics and Sailor and family care activities with our mission partners to generate readiness and sustain naval forces worldwide to prevent and decisively win wars.

Written by Angela King-Sweigart, public affairs specialist with Naval Supply Systems Command.