E-2D Sustainment Pilot Program Created

Department of Navy (DoN) leaders established an enduring and disciplined sustainment management process by approving and launching the first Sustainment Program Baseline (SPB) pilot for the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye in fiscal 2020.

while the Navy achieved the Secretary of Defense’s mission-capable F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft rate at the end of fiscal 2019, maintaining those readiness levels remains at the forefront.

“We are implementing new processes to bring more rigor into our sustainment efforts, and therefore increasing our output to the fleet,” said Sean Burke, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Sustainment). “This sustainment pilot will improve the accuracy of our requirements, funding, performance and governance of weapon system sustainment.”

Sustainment is the management of everything required to enable future readiness; it reaches back through the enterprise from the flight line, across multiple organizations and disciplines, and consumes more than half of the Navy’s budget. To maintain mission-capable rates across the fleet, a highly complex naval sustainment ‘system of systems’ must manage tens of thousands of parts from thousands of suppliers, truckloads of ever-changing technical data, millions of software lines of code and billions in funding must be aligned, finely tuned and actively managed.

A key component of the pilot process is identifying specific performance requirements for supply, repair, support equipment, engineering, trainers, maintenance and technical data unique for the E-2D that enable fleet squadrons to achieve readiness. The SPB identifies and governs complex interdependencies and refines resource allocation risks across the sustainment system.

Capt. Keith Hash, E-2/C-2 Airborne Command & Control Systems program manager, and Capt. Matthew Duffy, E-2 Wing commodore, have worked closely together to address readiness issues. The E-2D SPB takes their partnership to a new level, with a weapon system focused sustainment document submitted by the fleet commander and the program manager.

“We welcome the SPB and its processes of setting specific comprehensive requirements and regularly measuring performance across the span of product support providers,” Duffy said. “This will ultimately generate more readiness and provide additional [full mission capable] Advanced Hawkeyes ready for the high-end fight.”

Traditionally, the fleet has reported mission capability, but under SPB, Duffy and Hash will also report quarterly on the performance of the sustainment system to their approved requirements directly to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Assistant Secretary Of The Navy Research, Development & Acquisition and Commander, Naval Air Forces.

The DoN anticipates the SPB concept to evolve as they mature and refine the process and expand the use of SPBs. The Marine Corps has developed and submitted their first SPB pilot for the H-1 program.

Shirley Franko is with the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Sustainment). 

Aviation Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Nathaniel Massey, left, and Aviation Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Anyssa Medina do a phase inspection on an E-2D Hawkeye attached to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121 in the hangar bay of aboard aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). (U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Garrett LaBarge)