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News | May 22, 2019

NAVAIR Recognizes FRCSW NSS Project Manager

By Jim Markle

Cynthia Champagne has been selected by Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) as its 6.0 Logistics and Industrial Operations Employee of the Quarter, First Quarter 2019.

Champagne is the Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) Navy Sustainment System (NSS) project manager for the commands 6.0 competencies. Since October, her work proved instrumental in reducing the number of Naval Supply Systems Command F/A-18 Super Hornet material Issue Priority Group One (IPG-1) aircraft by 38 percent. IPG-1 aircraft are aircraft that are downed, often for components.

"The NSS was an initiative brought on by SECNAV who hired the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to look at the way we do business today, and what we need to do to transform into a higher-performing organization to meet Commander, Navy Air Forces objective of 341 mission-ready Super Hornets by October," Champagne said.

The NSS is built on six pillars designed to increase production and speed. The FRC pillar targets best commercial practices to enhance production quality and cost efficiencies while improving turn-around times. Other pillars are designed to eliminate constraints on short-term downed aircraft; improve organizational-level maintenance and safety near the flight line; renovate the supply chain; improve how systems are sustained; and streamline infrastructure sustainment to support fundamental changes.

As the command contact to BCG, Champagne acts as the facilitator to arrange resources and work requests.

"I'm the contact person to get rigger support, prints, or whatever they need to transform the particular production workshop were working in," she said. 

"The Super Hornet components production was the first targeted by BCG, with an emphasis on single and double canopies and generator control units (GCU). Initially we started with those components but the shop may work on other airframes as well," she said. "Over time, as we pull away and go other shops, under the program, they will continue to fold in the rest of the workload and use the same process and procedures to manage the non-E and F workload. That way, all of our customers are happy instead of just one."

"Eventually, all FRCSW shops and off-site locations will undergo the NSS transformation. To date, all of the shops in Building 250 have been completed, most of those in Building 472 and the three main avionics shops, as well. Programs that are heavily aligned to AIRSpeed, like the E-2 production line, don't need a complete revamping of their procedures," Champagne noted. "They were pretty Lean and had a lot of visual cues throughout. We really didn't have to do a lot. They just needed to start the process of meetings and holding people accountable, using the actual NSS system to run their program."

Champagne and BCG are currently assessing the LM2500 engine program and plant maintenance.

"It's been a great experience," she said. "To see the appreciation from the shop personnel, and the supervision and leadership in the programs getting the attention they need --- they're very appreciative of that. And I got to see people who are now DPMs who went through the apprentice program when I was the apprentice programmer. It's impressive to see how well they're doing and how they're dedicated to the success of this program."

Champagne will complete 32 years of service to the command this year.  

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