HEADQUARTERS, NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md.– The 22nd annual NAVAIR Commander’s Awards, held both virtually and in-person Wednesday, April 20, recognized individuals and teams for technical, business, and leadership excellence in increasing fleet readiness and speed of capability to the fleet.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Commander Tom Rudowsky stated, “The key to any successful organization is the people, and today we get to recognize our teammates who did their jobs exceptionally well.”

(Back Left) Deputy Commander Thomas Rudowsky with award-winners of the NAVAIR 2022 Commander’s Awards, Wednesday, April 20. Credit: NAVAIr Public Affairs Office

“You are being recognized for delivering capability with greater speed, improving readiness, availability, and affordability,” Rudowsky said. “You are leading by example and reinforcing the behaviors that are the building blocks for a winning NAVAIR culture. You’re showing all of us how to get real and get better. I am inspired by your accomplishments and confident you will continue to do great things.”    

Finalists were selected from 81 teams and individuals from across NAVAIR who exemplify the behaviors and approaches that will enable NAVAIR to deliver the warfighting capability the fleet needs, at an affordable cost.

Award selections were made in 10 categories aligned directly to NAVAIR’s focus areas (speed of capability, affordability, and availability).

Also recognized were awardees for Small Business Advocacy and the Association of Naval Aviation Edward H. Heinemann Award. A new Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion category was added to recognize the contributions of employees who foster a supportive, inclusive and respectful work culture, and to honor the accomplishments of Cmdr. Alyce Victorine Grillet died in 2019 at the age of 47. Grillet was an active leader on both the Individuals with Targeted Disabilities and LGBTQ+A Diversity Action Teams.

The 2022 Commander’s Award winners are as follows:


V-22 Aircraft Integrated Program Team, Fleet Readiness Center East, Cherry Point, N.C.

The V-22 Aircraft IPT returned multiple V-22 aircraft after performing planned maintenance interval events in record time during FY21. The first was a COMFRC and FRC East record for a cycle time (CT) of just 297 days. The team then completed and returned a V-22 in 220 days, beating the CT goal by 30 days. The first Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) V-22 was returned in only 122 days.


Readiness Cell Team, PMA-209, Patuxent River, Md.

The PMA-209 Readiness Cell’s analytical rigor and data-driven decision making resulted in 255 managed systems affecting over 4,000 Navy/Marine Corps aircraft exhibiting a more than 30% increase in readiness across Degrader Action Cell (DAC) efforts and achieving overall air combat electronics fully mission capable (FMC) rate of 92% in FY21. The PMA-209’s Readiness Cell use of readiness levers focused on changes to procedures, technical publications, and cross-organization collaboration avoided expensive component re-design while reducing backorders up to 100%, reducing repair requirements up to 50%, improving on-wing time up to 40% and avoiding $50 million of cost across Navy/Marine Corps Type/Model/Series (T/M/S).


P-8A Sustainment and Readiness Team, PEO (A), Patuxent River, Md.

During CY21, the P-8A Sustainment and Readiness Team developed an execution strategy focused on leveraging data-driven approaches and extraordinary collaboration with critical stakeholders enabling the fleet to sustain the P-8A at an average FMC rate of 41% across the fleet, an improvement of 86% over the previous CY20 FMC rate of 22%. This directly translated to twice the number of FMC P-8s available for tasking on average from 21 during CY20 to 44 during CY21. These exceptional improvements have enabled the fleet to continue to sustain a 98% mission completion rate in direct support to the multitude of combatant commanders as well as worldwide highly sensitive reconnaissance operational missions in our most important theaters.


H-60 Vertical Lift Production Team, Fleet Readiness Center Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla.

FRCSE’s Vertical Lift Production Team significantly reduced turn-around time and cost on MH-60R aircraft in FY21. In response to the National Security System turn-around-time reduction initiative, FRCSE reevaluated and streamlined its Preventive Maintenance Inspection PMI execution processes, optimizing the NSS execution principles. Not only did FRCSE reduce turn-around-time, but also significantly reduced cost in FY21. The reduced turn-around-time was accomplished even with the addition of work content from technical directives AFC-480 and AFC-500, with an average 23-day (16%) decrease in turn-around-time from the previous FY21 aircraft. The team completed 100% of their aircraft within the scheduled completion date.


Standoff Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare (OASUW) Targeting Team, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif.

The Standoff OASuW Targeting Team is in the process of developing and transitioning to the Fleet’s essential mission planning tools. The Surface Target Attack Monitor (STAM), Rapid Adaptive Planning Time Sensitive Targeting Offensive Responsive Strike (RAPTORS) Future Naval Capability (FNC), and the dynamic integrated operations FNC products facilitate closing the kill chain gap between Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) and weapon engagement in long-range OASuW missions.


Diana DeCarlo, Naval Test Wing Atlantic, Patuxent River, Md.

DeCarlo is widely recognized and celebrated in her role as an outstanding mentor and an exceptional leader. In only her second full year as the Integrated Mission and Avionics Test and Evaluation Division head, she has handled adversity with the skill and grace of a seasoned veteran, championed new and innovative ideas that focus on effectiveness and efficiency, collaborated with senior leaders across Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) to develop best of breed solutions, and empowered employees at all levels within the division to carry out her vision. DeCarlo has been a constant advocate for diversity, understating and encouraging alternative solutions to unique challenges faced by the organization. Through all these efforts, Decarlo has guided the division with a steady hand and maintained a positive outlook.


Re-Imagine OPNAV Team/Cost & Readiness Impact Model (CRIM), Naval Air Systems Command Sustainment Group, Patuxent River, Md.

A combined team developed a web-based discrete event simulation as well as a driver-based model that links investments to outcomes utilizing an extensive data set that takes into account all aspects of the operational and sustainment environments using advanced data analysis, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. The Cost and Readiness Impact Model (CRIM) enables the Navy to identify, prioritize, and optimize high leverage investment opportunities by providing an outcome-focused, multi-echelon high fidelity modeling capability that is applicable across a wide range of organizational applications.


Andrew Rock, Fleet Readiness Center East, Cherry Point, N.C.

Rock leads the V-22 Integrated Product Team and the V-22 production line at FRC East. Under his leadership, they returned multiple V-22 aircraft back to the fleet in record time during FY21. Rock has promoted a culture of “safety first” by example and by keeping it paramount, the team sustained Gold Level standing in the Department of Labor OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program for the sixth year in a row by completing safety training, holding operational risk management sessions, adhering to the correct personal protective equipment, and complying with job hazard analysis unique to the V-22 product line. Under his leadership, the team reduced recordable injuries by 14%, exceeding the established fiscal year goal of 4%.


Adversary Aircraft Integrated Process Team, PMA-226, PEO (CS), Cherry Point, N.C.

The PMA-226 F-5 Adversary Aircraft team’s novel strategy to completely modernize Navy and Marine Corps F-5 aircraft reduced development cost by 78%, procurement cycle time by 68%, and delivered the first modernized F-5 aircraft in less than three years. Combining an Other Transaction Authority approach, leveraging existing commercial items, and an unprecedented three-month test program delivered aircraft that addressed the top five Naval Aviation Requirements Group priorities and three of the top Systems Safety Working Group identified risks.


Michael Alicea, Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Fla.

Alicea is directly responsible for the net positive changes for minority races up 12%, females up 6%, individuals with targeted disabilities up 51%, and 30% individuals with disabilities up 19%. As a result of his advocacy and dedication, NAWCTSD maintains a population of 15.9% individuals with disabilities and 3.4% individuals with targeted disabilities, well above Department of Defense and U.S. goals of 12% individuals with disabilities and 2% individuals with targeted disabilities, and the Navy’s goals of 14% and 3% respectively. The average processing time for RA cases at NAWCTSD was 16 days – the lowest in NAVAIR and far below the regulatory timeframe.


T-45C Heads Up Display Video Camera System Replacement Team, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Webster Outlying Field, St. Inigoes, Md.

NAWCAD WOLF rapidly designed and produced a Heads-Up Display Video Camera System to overcome T-45C obsolescence issues. Projected to operate through CY35, the T-45C provides carrier-based flight operations training for pilots destined for advanced fighter/attack aircraft. The system is a key component that presents critical flight/weapons data/symbology for post-mission analysis. The team successfully designed, tested, and delivered 150 systems. More significantly, the team incorporated critical cost efficiencies that allowed sufficient funding for the second run of 100, the third run of 50, and the lifetime parts buy.


Individual category: Scott C. Hansen, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif.

Hansen used an innovative small business solution to award a contract to an 8(a) vendor on a mission-critical requirement for the design of a Control and Data Acquisition Center that was destroyed in the earthquakes at NAWCWD China Lake. The four-month timeline, for an estimated $80 million requirement, was impossible with the traditional procurement process.

Team category: Naval Air Systems Command Security Cooperation Programs Office (SCPO), Patuxent River, Md.

The NAVAIR Security Cooperation Programs Office has recognized and embraced small businesses as a key to their ability to provide international partners with the improved speed of product delivery, and the sustainment flexibility that has been mandated by executive-level leadership and by the ever-changing operational environment.

Team category: Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division Surface and Undersea Directorate, Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Fla.

The NAWCTSD Surface and Undersea Directorate division made exemplary efforts in maximizing small business participation in FY21 by encouraging managers to support small business initiatives and ensure early involvement of NAVAIR’s Office of Small Business, contributing to NAVAIR’s yearly small business targets and resulting in increased small business participation. As a result, the division obligated approximately 35% of its total obligation authority to small businesses, which is 18.2% higher than the NAWCTSD FY21 goal of 17%, and contributed greatly to the NAWCTSD FY21 achievement of 21.93% of all obligated dollars going to small business prime contractors.

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