PATUXENT RIVER, Md.– Maj. Gen. Gregory Masiello, Program Executive Officer for Air Anti-Submarine Warfare, Assault and Special Mission Programs (PEO(A)), gave a brief overview of the substantial portfolio he oversees to start off the second day of speaker presentations on behalf of Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) at the 2021 Sea-Air-Space Expo Aug. 3.
PEO(A) provides fleet capability and capacity, supporting the development and sustainment of Navy and Marine Corps helicopters, special mission aircraft, and aviation anti-submarine warfare equipment and aircraft.
Along with the P-8 Poseidon and its role in anti-submarine warfare, Masiello said the H-60 program is seeing a lot of interest with foreign customers, including a close partnership with Australia. He said the H-60 helos not only represent one of the largest amounts of fleet aircraft for the Navy but also has the “most robust” foreign military sales customers, having added three additional countries during the past year.
One of the Navy’s newest aircraft, the CMV-22B Osprey, will be deploying soon aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) for the first time as part of the integrated carrier group, with the aim for the Osprey to replace the C-2 Greyhound, he said.
“It’s a new and expanded capability that will be fielded as the [carrier onboard delivery] replacement, but as most of us have seen that platform perform in different roles, I think over time we will see the Navy expand its utility of that aircraft,” Masiello said.
However, despite all of the new capabilities and aircraft being devised and deployed, Masiello stressed that the ability to maintain the aircraft—and the maintainers that perform those duties—can not be taken for granted.
“No matter what we put downrange, there is a Sailor or Marine that’s got to maintain it in a relatively austere environment on a pitching deck of a ship,” he said. “And if you look at what we ask of our Sailors or Marines to do forward, that’s what we need out of the gear: for it to be almost to be as rugged as they are and, quite frankly, less demanding.”
Masiello’s full presentation can be viewedhere.
Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers Updates
Rear Adm. Joseph Hornbuckle, Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers (COMFRC), and COMFRC Executive Director Roy Harris gave an overview of the FRCs and their role in maintaining the fleet as well as the FRCs recent overhaul under the Naval Sustainment System-Aviation (NSS-A).
Over the past several years, the FRCs underwent the restructuring of everything from streamlining equipment and repair times, to supply chain adjustments, realigned cost estimates, and more in order to lower downtime of and upkeep of mission-capable aircraft, Harris said.
The next step in streamlining the FRC output is the Fleet Readiness Center Infrastructure Optimization Plan (FIOP).
“It is designed to reset aviation maintenance’s most critical facilities and equipment,” Hornbuckle said. … The intended outcome of FIOP is to revitalize aviation infrastructure to include multi-use sustainment facilities, with the most sufficient power and security available and to optimize maintenance production configurations in support of this sustainment system of not only our legacy platforms but of our future platforms for decades to come.”
Hornbuckle said the FIOP is currently in the process of providing comprehensive assessments of the aging facilities and equipment infrastructure, “and will result in an enterprise strategy and master plan.”
The full presentation can be viewedhere.
Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division
From a remote location, Capt. Dan Covelli, Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD), gave a detailed history of the division. He focused on the importance of its location in Orlando, Florida, including its placement near a vibrant technological and entertainment/gaming industry, as well as more than half a million college students which help provide a pool of talent to the command. He also explained that NAWCTSD’s outreach programs help allow the command to provide more than 1,500 training systems and services around the world.
Covelli’s full presentation can be viewedhere.
E-2/C-2 Airborne Command and Control Systems Program Office
With a focus on transitioning from one legacy platform to a new command and control platform, Capt. Pete Arrobio, E-2 /C-2 Airborne Command & Control Systems Program manager, spoke about the challenges the program office is overcoming in continuing to maintain the three platforms it sustains—the E-2D /C and the C-2A—as the two latter platforms approach sundown in the next couple of years.
Arrobio said the program office’s top priorities are deploying and sustaining 22 fully mission-capable (MC) E-2Ds and sustain 28 MC E-2Ds, and they look to achieve that goal in the same manner as the FRCs: through the NSS-A approach to reforms.
“It has been an amazing journey, especially with our industry teammates, to decrease repair turnaround times, get supplies delivered sooner and really help the fleet maintain this platform and make improvements along the way.”
Both the E-2D and E-2C are currently receiving capability upgrades to communications systems, with one of the most significant upgrades recently achieved is aerial refueling capabilities with the E-2D.
Arrobio’s complete presentation can be viewed here.