Frequently Asked Questions

Leadership, Culture and Communication Questions and Answers

Q:        What is the NAE?
A:        The Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE) is a warfighting partnership that solves complex, cross-command issues in order to make decisions for the greater good of Naval Aviation and thus more efficiently provide Naval Aviation warfighting readiness to support our national interests.

Q:        When was the NAE founded?
A:        The NAE was officially named in July 2004. The first of the Navy’s Warfare Enterprises (WE), the NAE is a collaborative warfighting partnership in which interdependent Naval Aviation issues affecting multiple target audiences are resolved on an enterprise-wide basis. Naval Aviation in the 1990s found itself facing insufficient parts availability and reliability, increasing cannibalizations and ever longer working hours for its Sailors and Marines. The NAE grew out of previous process improvement efforts, such as multiple Air Boards, the Naval Aviation Pilot Production Improvement Program (NAPPI) in the 1990s, the Aviation Maintenance and Supply Readiness (AMSR) group and the Naval Aviation Readiness Integrated Improvement Program (NAVRIIP).

Q.4:    What was the NAE Total Obligation Authority (TOA) in FY-08?
A.4:     Approximately $45.9 billion for FY-08. This was broken down
into the following appropriations: Research Development Test and Evaluation (RDTE) $6.7B or 13.6%; Military Personnel (MP/RP) $6.3B or 13.9%; Aviation Procurement-Navy (APN) $15.3B or 31.4%; Ships Construction-Navy (SCN) $3.5B or 7.1%; Other Procurement-Navy (OPN) $0.9B or 1.8%; Weapons Procurement-Navy (WPN) $0.6B or 1.2%; Procurement of Ammo Navy/Marine Corps (PAN/MC) $0.4B or 0.8%; and Operation and Maintenance-Navy (OMN/R) $12.3B or 23.3%.

Q.5:    The NAE has oversight of how many aircraft?
A.5:     Approximately 3,700 active Navy and Marine Corps aircraft. For the Navy approximately 1,800; and for the Marine Corps approximately 1,200; and for CNATRA approximately 700.

Q.6:    Currently, how many kinds of manned aircraft are in Naval Aviation?
A.6:    Currently, the Navy and Marine Corps have approximately 38 different models of aircraft, including: Fleet: AH-1, UH-1, H-3, H-46, CH-53D, CH-53E, MH-53E, H-60, MV-22, AV-8, F/A-18A-D, F/A-18E-F, EA-18G, EA-6B, E-6B, E-2, S-3, P-3, EP-3; Fleet Support: C-2, C-9, C-12, C-20, C-26, C-37, C-40, C-130, F-5, F-16, UC-35; Training: T-2, T-6, T-34, T-38, T-39, T-44, T-45, TH-57. Within these models of aircraft, there are a number of series variations, some in very small numbers.

Q.7:    What does the Navy mean when it talks about "entitlements"?
A.7:     An entitlement is the agreed upon required level of a particular resource, such as aircraft or personnel, against which performance to target is managed. This is a key concept in producing only the amount of readiness required to meet requirements.

Q.8:    What is the single fleet–driven metric of the NAE?
A.8:     Naval Aviation forces efficiently delivered for tasking.

Q.9:    What is the "Theory of Constraints?"
A.9:     The Theory of Constraints examines the throughput of an entire system and focuses scarce resources on the most constraining bottleneck in the process to rescale the output to the desired amount. It helps to avoid expending scarce resources on parts of the process that would not affect the overall outcome or throughput.

Q.10:  What is "Lean Six-Sigma?"
A.10:  Lean Six-Sigma is a toolset the NAE uses to examine and improve processes to eliminate waste in the value stream and to reduce the variation in the output of a process. Lean is a strategy that facilitates an organization’s ability to make its product without defects. Six Sigma makes processes less variable and more predictable. By using this toolset, continuous process improvement practitioners can improve quality better allocate scarce resources.

Q.11:  What are Cross Functional Teams?
A.11:  Cross Functional Teams (CFT) are groups of individuals, with different functional expertise, who focus on eliminating the barriers to efficiently provide Naval Aviation readiness by working together to improve the processes that cross NAE organizational boundaries.

Q.12:  How many CFTs are included in the NAE?
A.12:  Three. The Current Readiness CFT, Future Capabilities CFT, and the Total Force CFT. The Integrated Resource Management Team (IRMT) is an additional team that supports the NAE and each CFT.

Q.13:  Who are the CFT leads and IRMT lead and what do they do?
A.13:  Cross Functional Team Leads and IRMT Lead:
Current Readiness CFT Lead: Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Responsible for defining, standardizing, and managing how Naval Aviation measures, sustains and plans for current aircraft readiness.

The Future Readiness CFT Lead: Director, Air Warfare Division (OPNAV N88).  Responsible for engaging NAE stakeholders to more effectively and efficiently produce required levels of future readiness while optimizing costs by identifying readiness-related issues to the NAE. 

Total Force CFT Lead: Chief of Naval Air Training. Responsible for a Total Force strategy that will transform manpower and personnel management into a technologically enhanced system.

Integrated Resources Management Team Lead: Commander, Naval Air Forces Assistant Chief of Staff for Requirements (N8) Responsible for support to all CFTs by managing the fiscal interface between the NAE and critical resource sponsors.

Readiness Questions and Answers

Q.1:    Why do we need the Current Readiness CFT to help improve readiness?
A.1:     Naval Aviation readiness is produced by the interdependent activities of commands in and outside of the Navy that are responsible for resources, such as policy, logistics, funding, weaponry, personnel, and training. Before 2002, when NAVRIIP, the Naval Aviation Readiness Integrated Improvement Team (Current Readiness’ precursor) came online, commands operated within their stovepipes, conducting business without understanding how their decisions affected others. Readiness was produced in spite of the barriers constantly encountered by Sailors and Marines, but the inefficiencies experienced put a great burden on our Sailors and Marines.

As a cross-functional team (CFT), Current Readiness brings together subject matter experts who represent the target audiences that produce Naval Aviation readiness. They manage resources in an end-to-end process, rather than a series of independent tasks “owned” by separate entities.

Current Readiness also works with the other CFTs/teams (Total Force CFT, Future Readiness CFT and the Integrated Resource Management Team) on common areas. Barriers that cannot be resolved at this level are elevated to the NAE, and, if necessary, the Fleet Readiness Enterprise or the Navy Enterprise for further attention by higher-ranking decision makers.

Q.2:    Why doesn’t the NAE use Mission Capable (MC) Full Mission Capable (FMC) metrics to determine readiness levels? 
A.2:     Traditional methods of measuring Mission Capable (MC), Partial Mission Capable and Full Mission Capable (FMC) aircraft fall short of capturing the complexity of today’s modern aircraft. MC/FMC does not have the granularity to    account for the relationship between training requirements and aircraft configuration. Aircraft ready-for-tasking (RFT) metrics depict the statuses of the different aircraft, missions, systems and combinations of systems necessary to perform tasks as a unit progresses through the Fleet Readiness Training Plan or its deployment cycle. RFT gives leadership at all levels better visibility into what it takes to provide the right aircraft in the right place at the right time in the right configuration.

Q.3:    How is NAE metrics information reported from squadrons and wings used by the NAE leadership?
A.3:     In the past, Naval Aviation culture called for commanders to solve their readiness shortfalls without help from outside activities. Senior leadership recognizes that not all readiness degrader issues can be addressed at the local level, but require action from decision makers. The data provided by the squadrons and wings provides leadership the visibility into deckplate-level barriers that they need to effectively resolve them. This depends on Sailors and Marines providing forthright information to their chain of command and means that data should be used to inform and assist in solving problems, not as a report card.

Q.4:    Will this increase the availability of parts needed to produce “up” aircraft?
A4:      Recent logistics process improvements have helped. The current ready-for-tasking gap of aircraft has been reduced by 50 percent from FY06 to FY08. The current non-mission capable supply/partial mission capable supply backorder rate is the lowest in Naval Inventory Control Point’s history. But supply is just one element of readiness. Stakeholders also must manage the resources that address people, parts and money - including manpower, facilities, maintenance, training, transportation, data interface and support equipment. Naval Aviation leadership works as a team to apply these resources to achieve the required readiness. Also, the process improvements have meant less inventory is needed in the system, as the existing maintenance workforce is able to create ready for issue parts faster with more reliability and more predictability.

Q.5:    How are the warfighters on the flight line involved with Current Readiness?
A.5:     NAE personnel visit and work with TMS teams, Fleet Readiness Centers, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadrons, and air wings to install better processes, monitor metrics and remove barriers to improved readiness. Root causes are analyzed across numerous integrated logistics support functional areas; fixes or solutions to longstanding systemic barriers are initiated. Teams are assembled to address these issues, and problems that can’t be fixed locally are escalated to the Marine Aviation Executive Readiness Board, the NAE Air Board or higher-level Navy enterprises for resolution. Open and honest participation in identifying barriers that stand in the way of required readiness is key.

People Questions and Answers

Q.1:    Why does the NAE need a Total Force CFT?
A.1:     A review of the Navy's existing approach to managing its people revealed several key environmental and cultural challenges:

  • Existing personnel data systems do not allow us to adequately understand the composition, attributes, and cost of our Total Force
  • Throughout the Enterprise people skills are mismatched to the work required
  • We tend to operate in stove-piped organizations
  • Budget pressures will continue to impact the size of our total force

Q.2:    How is the Total Force CFT addressing some of the existing people management challenges?
A.2:     To address existing challenges, the NAE TF CFT is:
Developing an in-depth baseline of the Total Force currently employed in support of the NAE

  • Developing comprehensive metrics to better understand the issues, value and cost of our Total Force
  • Mapping and optimizing the existing NAE Total Force value chain
  • Collecting, evaluating, and implementing approved people-related readiness initiatives
  • Working with the Navy’s Total Force (formerly the Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education - MPTE) organization to deliver a transformed, competency–focused manpower and personnel system
  • Working to create a performance–based culture that values the contributions of our people
  • Clearly linking work requirements to warfighting readiness
  • Striving to become an employer of choice to attract the best talent in the future marketplace

The NAE TF approach will continuously be updated to reflect the changing needs of the Navy and the world.

Q.3:    How does the NAE’s Total Force initiative relate to other Navy Total Force initiatives?
A.3:     The NAE TF CFT will work closely with existing Navy TF initiatives to ensure that NAE’s specific activities, objectives, and program goals are aligned with those of the Navy, and NAE TF objectives are communicated to the larger Navy TF leadership.

Q.4:    What is the vision for the NAE Total Force CFT?
A.4:     The NAE TF CFT vision is to provide an agile and efficient workforce that ensures the right people, with the right competencies, are in the right place, at the right time, to accomplish the right work for the best value now and in the future.

Q.5:    How will the Total Force CFT achieve its vision?
A.5:     To achieve its vision, the TF CFT will:

  • Match talent to task
  • Shape the work, then shape the workforce
  • Use technology to streamline or eliminate unnecessary work
  • Enhance the growth and development of our people
  • Recruit the best candidates and reward our best performers
  • Afford our future

Life Cycle Cost Questions and Answers

Q1:     What is the Integrated Resource Management Team? 
A1:      The Integrated Resource Management Team (IRMT) supports the NAE’s three CFTs and NAE leadership with an integrated view of Navy aviation budgets developed by all four NAE Resource Sponsors (OPNAV N1, N6, N43, N88) during the planning and programming phases of the Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) process, as well as timely issues that have direct application to the NAE.

Q2:     Is the IRMT a CFT?
A2:      No, the IRMT provides an integrating function that supports the NAE’s three CFTs and NAE leadership.



















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