The Navy’s aviation depots have seen a 40-percent increase in fighter jet throughput since they changed how to approach repairing the legacy F/A-18C Hornets a year ago, the Navy’s director of air warfare told the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.Rear Adm. Michael Manazir said in a hearing on aircraft carrier presence that the depots moved from a lean manufacturing model, which emphasizes rigid scheduling, to a critical chain process management emphasizes having the correct resources and allows for flexible scheduling.
Okay, that’s just some inside baseball on depot level work on the legacy Hornets.
But near the end of the post, there’s this:
The second reason for the projected shortfall is that the Navy hasn’t procured enough extra F-18s to make up for running the planes – and the carrier strike group as a whole – harder than anticipated due to global demand for carrier presence.
That’s pretty inexcusable. I can’t think of an airframe that the Navy hasn’t had to extend the lifetime on going back to the A-4 Skyhawk and F-4 Phantom. And the crunch of high deployment rates and airframe hours has been a persistent problem for a similar length of time.
Every cynic and critic that complained when NavAir adopted the Naval Aviation Enterprise model of management warned that issues like this would undoubtedly rise were told to shut up and color inside the lines. Maybe they’re owed an apology.