HEADQUARTERS, NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md.– Six NAVAIR teams and a program manager were recognized as winners at the Department of the Navy’s Acquisition Excellence Awards ceremony Nov. 4.

“We’re recognizing today the best of the best, but the winners represent all the great efforts over the past year,” said Frederick J. Stefany, acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition, listing the COVID-19 international pandemic supply issues and continued maximum telework as challenges. “Everyone stepped up and did incredible things this year.”

The annual DoN Acquisition Excellence Awards recognize individuals and teams who have made outstanding contributions in enhancing competition and promoting innovation throughout the acquisition lifecycle in support of Navy and Marine Corps acquisition programs. To watch the awards ceremony, click here.

Below is a list of the NAVAIR winners, chosen from 170 nominations across the Navy.

Competition Excellence Acquisition Team of the Year Award: Advance Helicopter Training System Team

The Advanced Helicopter Training System Team, part of the Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems (PMA-273) Program Office at NAVAIR, executed its streamlined Advanced Helicopter Training System acquisition program to ensure the Navy has the capacity to train the single largest training pipeline — several hundred aviation students annually — for chief of naval aviation training at Naval Air Station Whiting Field through 2050. The team achieved multiple competitive contract awards in just a year and a half: a full and open competition for the TH-73A helicopter, full and open competition for the Aircrew Training Systems contract, and a fair opportunity competition for contractor logistics services. The TH-73 contract resulted in the first single-engine helicopter becoming Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-certified for instrument flight rules and FAA airworthiness in 35 years at significant savings (30%) from the cost estimate. These competitive strategies returned approximately $287 million in cost savings to the Navy.

Sarkis Tatigian Award: Common Aviation Support Equipment Program Office

The Common Aviation Support Equipment Program Office (PMA-260) demonstrated leadership and a culture of small business in delivering equipment used throughout Navy and Marine Corps aviation. PMA-260 obligated $42.7 million on contracts across 34 different small businesses, representing 20% of the PMA’s total contract funding in the fiscal year 2020; and increased the number of small businesses receiving contracts by 62% since the fiscal year 2018, increasing funds to small businesses by 22%. These awards extend across many categories, including service-disabled and veteran-owned small businesses, woman-owned small businesses, historically underutilized business zone (HUBZone) small businesses, and small disadvantaged businesses. PMA-260’s use of small business supports the industry base, accelerates new capability deliveries to the warfighter, and improves fleet readiness with enhanced support equipment for aircraft maintenance and repair.

International Acquisition Partnership Award: H-60 Multi-Mission Helicopters Program

The H-60 Multi-Mission Helicopters Program Team has increased U.S. Navy readiness with shared investments for software, capability development, obsolescence, and joint procurements through foreign military sales production and sustainment programs with 13 countries, the Capability Assurance Program, and the Joint Program Office with the Royal Australian Navy. They increased allied readiness by establishing international operating bases for MH-60R partners, multiple international training programs, and aircraft deliveries to foreign customers. Through four new acquisition programs, the team continues to improve anti-submarine warfare capability around the world with its closest allies. The team has reduced Department of Navy acquisition costs significantly, enhanced Navy capability through expanded interoperability, and initiated and sustained 13 international acquisition programs that will enhance our alliances and partnerships and strengthen the National Defense Strategy element of “Deepening Interoperability.”

Sustainment Team of the Year Award: P-8A Sustainment & Readiness Team

The P-8A Sustainment & Readiness Team designed and led transformational P-8A sustainment efforts, resulting in improved warfighting capability and the highest aircraft availability in the P-8A program’s history. Their execution strategy, data-driven approach, and extraordinary collaboration led to the first readiness milestone in this $35 billion major defense acquisition program, achieving and sustaining a yearlong fleet-wide 75% P-8A mission capable rate in the calendar year 2020. The team achieved a 4% increase in mission-capable aircraft from the previous year as the overall number of fleet aircraft grew, increasing supply system demand significantly. Continuing these improvements in the calendar year 2021, the P-8A continues to set new highs in availability and sustain an 87% mission capable rate for deployed units. The team’s ability to pull together and align myriad stakeholders to tackle and dismantle barriers and establish repeatable processes has proven instrumental in delivering improved P-8A readiness.

Supply Chain Excellence Award: FA-18 and EA-18G Integrated Supply Chain Management Team

The F/A-18 and EA-18G International New Business Integrated Program Team completed an unprecedented year of complex aircraft offerings that far surpassed historical norms, including engagements with seven potential partners. The team’s efforts have the potential to reduce costs across the program lifecycle, resulting from $800 million in foreign contributions, $400 million from obsolescence cost-sharing, and $40 million for geo-location capability cost-sharing, with an additional estimated $250-$500 million in potential cost avoidance for the Navy related to production line shutdown and restart costs. The team’s accomplishments, collaboration, and professionalism enhance military effectiveness through the use of common foreign and U.S. aircraft and systems, strengthen key regional alliances in Europe and the Indian Pacific Command, and supports the Abraham Accords.

Program Manager of the Year ACAT I Award: Capt. Michael Orr

Capt. Michael Orr demonstrated superior leadership and program management leading the 1,100-member Airborne Electronic Attack Systems Team for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and Royal Australian Air Force. He successfully conducted two Next Generation Jammer Low Band Demonstration of Existing Technologies contracts and shifted acquisition strategies within months of achieving Milestone B, while simultaneously conducting source selection for follow-on competition. Through innovative acquisition practices, he positioned the Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band program for a successful Milestone C and subsequent Low Rate Initial Production contract. Remaining focused on reliability and delivering quality products to the warfighter, Orr conducted numerous ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System improvement efforts successfully, resulting in an 11.5% increase in transmitter availability across all bands and an $8.2 million cost savings that decreased requirements and increased service life for the legacy system.

“Our winners exemplify a ‘can-do’ culture of agility, innovation, and stakeholder engagement that are foundational to warfighter success,” said NAVAIR Commander Vice Adm. Carl Chebi. “I am extremely proud of their commitment and focus on outcomes that matter to the fleet – capability, affordability, and availability.”

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