Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE) senior leadership visited Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 26 and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron (MALS) 26 aboard Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River as part of the Boots-on-the-Ground (BoG) program Dec. 12.
This event focused on the readiness of MAG-26’s MV-22B Ospreys while highlighting the challenges and best practices of the commands visited.
Those in attendance included Deputy Commandant of Aviation Lt. Gen. Stephen Rudder; Commander, Naval Air Forces Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller; and Commander, Naval Air Systems Command Vice Adm. Dean Peters.
“We’re down here hopefully getting dirty with you, to look at the challenges, put money against it, put man power against it, put contracts against it, whatever it takes to get the job done,” Rudder said during his opening remarks.
At the beginning of the day, NAE leaders and industry partners were briefed on readiness degraders related to corrosion and engineering product turnaround time.
“Today we’re going to show you what we do well and we’re going to show you what we do not do so well,” said Marine Col. Chris Boniface, MAG-26 Commanding Officer. “We’re going to show our initiatives, and we’re going to show you where we need some help. The areas that we’re focused on, I’ll tell you right now … corrosion is killing me.”
An issue that requires extensive engineering and repair work, corrosion has impacted readiness of the Osprey by taking aircraft out of reporting. The MAG/MALS-26 team has been focusing efforts to prevent corrosion by conducting inspections and training Marines on how to identify and treat the issue.
One of the main objectives of a BoG is to identify “head-hurters” and capture actions items that will optimize readiness, but the event also provides NAE leaders the opportunity to see first-hand how maintenance and supply activities have incorporated better business practices.
Marine Cpl. Timothy Martin, an aviation hydraulic mechanic from MALS-26, briefed leaders on a tool he developed to assist with the removal of screws from the brake keys of the Osprey’s main landing gear wheels.
“Our Marines who work in our tire shop were having a hard time removing brake key screws because the screws would often get stripped while attempting to remove them,” Martin said. “I was working in our machine shop at the time and realized that there must be a better way to remove the screws.
“I made a plastic body and a metal screw and nut to fill the space in between the sides of the wheel half. This allows the application of adequate pressure to the heads of the screws. I measured its success in the amount of screws that were removed without the need for the machine shop to get involved.”
This solution, like many others, has allowed the MAG/MALS-26 team to save the Marine Corps both time and money—something that NAE leaders will be able to endorse and promote across Naval Aviation.
The NAE is a cooperative partnership of Naval Aviation stakeholders focused on sustaining required current readiness and advancing future warfighting capabilities at best possible cost. It is comprised of Sailors, Marines, civilians and contractors from across service branches and organizations, working together to identify and resolve readiness barriers and warfighting degraders.
Gulianna Dunn is a communications specialist with NAE public affairs.
Martin Earns NAE Award
By Gulianna Dunn
It’s not every day that a simple fix to a problem can save thousands of dollars, but for one Marine, his innovative solution did just that for Naval Aviation. His efforts were rewarded at a Boots-on-the-Ground event aboard Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, N.C., Dec. 12.
Marine Cpl. Timothy Martin, an aviation hydraulic mechanic with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron (MALS) 26, was awarded the Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE) Excellence Award for creating a tool to assist with the removal of screws from the brake keys of the MV-22 Osprey’s main landing gear wheels. The award recognizes one or more Sailors, Marines and civilian employees for their contributions to Naval Aviation and for serving as positive examples of enterprise behavior.
Martin figured out a way to remove the screws by making a plastic body and a metal screw and nut to fill the space in between the sides of the wheel half, which allowed adequate pressure to be applied to the heads of the screws.
“I measured its success in the amount of screws that were removed without the need for the machine shop to get involved,” Martin said.
Serving his first enlistment, Martin said he joined the Marine Corps because “I always felt a calling to do something in the military service. I wasn’t sure exactly what, but I knew that it was something that I was supposed to do.”
Martin was presented the award by Deputy Commandant of Aviation Lt. Gen. Stephen Rudder. “When they were talking about this before, I couldn’t visualize it, so we just had to come down here and see it. It was such a simple fix, but it is definitely special,” Rudder said.
Dubbed “The Martin” by Rudder, the tool has led to the expedient repair of 17 wheel assemblies and helped save 320 man hours and more than $229,000 in material costs.