Maximizing Air Readiness through Fiscal Stewardship


From Naval Power & Force Projection/Summer 2017

Brig. Gen. Gregory L. Masiello
Assistant Commander for
Logistics & Industrial Operations
U.S. Naval Air Systems Command

Brigadier General Masiello is the Assistant Commander for Logistics & Industrial Operations, Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, MD. Of Linthicum MD, Masiello was commissioned in May 1987 from the United States Naval Academy. After Basic School, he reported to Flight School at NAS Pensacola. In October 1989, Brigadier General Masiello was designated a Naval Aviator and assigned to HMT-303 for UH-1N Fleet Replacement Training. Upon completion, assigned to HMLA-267, he deployed to Okinawa, and subsequently to the Philippines in support of MAGTF(C) 4-90. Following MAWTS-1 Weapons and Tactics Instructor course, Brigadier General Masiello deployed with HMM-164 (REIN), 13th MEU (SOC), supporting Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. Post Amphibious Warfare School in May 1995, Brigadier General Masiello served at Officers Candidate School, and reported to HMX-1 in August 1995; served as UH-1N Division Head and Operational Test Director, Plans Officer, Assistant Operations Officer, Presidential Command Pilot, and Marine One Pilot.

In May 1999, Brigadier General Masiello reported for duty as Staff Secretary to 1st MAW Commanding General, in Okinawa. In March 2000, he went to Naval Postgraduate School for advanced acquisition study, graduating with a Master of Science degree in Management, with “Distinction” and as a RADM McClellan Award for academic excellence recipient. From June 2002 until May 2006, Brigadier General Masiello served as VH Assistant Program Manager for Systems Engineering and as Deputy Program Manager, Presidential Helicopter Replacement (VXX/VH-71) Program in Presidential Helicopters Program Office – PMA-261/274. In May 2006, reassigned to V-22 Joint Program Office (PMA-275), he served as MV Deputy Program Manager and Director, Weapons Systems Integration until August 2007.

Masiello then reported to National Defense University, for the Senior Acquisition Course at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He served as Deputy Program Executive Officer, Air ASW, Assault and Special Mission Programs for Operations from June 2008 through July 2009. Brigadier General Masiello served as V-22 Joint Program Manager, PMA-275, from August 2009 to July 2013. He served as Senior Military Assistant to Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, from July 2013 to August 2014. From August 2014 to November 2015, he served as F-35 Joint Program Director of Follow-on Development. Brigadier General Masiello assumed his current position as the Assistant Commander for Logistics & Industrial Operations, Naval Air Systems Command in November 2015.

NP&FP: Please speak to your role as Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Assistant Commander of Logistics and Industrial Operations (Air 6.0).

Brig. Gen. Masiello: As Air 6.0, I am responsible for providing acquisition and in-service support of all naval aviation programs. This includes the resources needed to develop, plan and integrate logistics support functions required to maintain the readiness and operational capability of weapon systems and subsystems.

Air 6.0, one of eight competencies (or communities of practice) within NAVAIR, is the resource financial manager for Aircraft Depot Maintenance and Aircraft Spares and Repair Parts Procurement accounts. Through our Air 6.0 resource managers and NAVAIR Corporate Operations and Total Force competency (Air 7.0) business and financial managers, we develop, coordinate and monitor budget development and budget execution of our enabler accounts such as Aircraft Spares and Repair Parts Procurement (APN-6), Aviation Technical Data and Engineering Services (1A3A), Air Systems Support (1A4N), Aviation Depot Maintenance (1A5A), Aviation Depot Operations Support (1A6A), Aviation Logistics (1A9A) and Equipment Maintenance (1C7C). We work closely with Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers (COMFRC) to maintain, repair and overhaul Navy and Marine Corps aviation assets and support equipment.

In addition, I am one of five flag/general officers who lead the Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE) Engineering, Maintenance and Supply Chain Management Team. This cross-functional team oversees and enables our aviation elements—the five functional disciplines that support the warfighter in the field. This includes engineering in support of in-service aircraft provided by NAVAIR Research and Engineering (Air 4.0); organizational-, intermediate- and depot-level maintenance overseen by COMFRC and Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAP); the 12 elements of product support/logistics as coordinated and provided by Air 6.0; as well as material and supply support at the DoD level by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and at the department level by Navy Supply Systems Command, Weapons System Support (NAVSUP WSS). As a whole, the team provides all “elements” to support our Navy and Marine Corps aviation forces.

NP&FP: Describe the state of NAVAIR logistics operations for the coming year(s).

Brig. Gen. Masiello: Decades of war and an increased demand for capabilities have presented readiness challenges for naval aviation. “Modernization and maintenance” is a singular term; we need both to address aviation readiness and our warfighting needs. Delays in modernizing select programs means flying and sustaining legacy aircraft well beyond their intended service life. Continuing resolutions and sequestration have created funding uncertainties and have impacted aircraft maintenance and repair schedules.

To improve aviation readiness, we are transforming processes and practices from reactive (applying solutions to problems as they arise) to predictive (anticipating and precluding risks) to proactive (taking preemptive actions enabled by our smart aircraft). Air 6.0’s strategic priorities include:

  • Increase aircraft readiness through material/non-material solutions
  • Improve affordability
  • Increase speed to the fleet
  • Enhance our workforce culture of performance

Our logistics and industrial enterprise initiatives support our approach. Comprised of multiple lines of effort (LOE), we are centered on a core competency of data analytics that change how we process information and inform decisions across the enterprise.

Air 6.0’s data analytic tools help decision makers see the health of naval aviation. We developed an aircraft management dashboard that provides a visual representation of real-time readiness statuses across the inventory, sorted by type/model/series (TMS), units and/or individual aircraft bureau numbers. We are enhancing this view to include total asset visibility (TAV)—real-time data on the movement of components and materials across our fleet. With TAV, we will also possess the ability to track artisans’ locations and levels of expertise.

Readiness playbooks for each TMS aircraft, developed by aircraft program offices, prioritize “at-the-ready” initiatives and strategies that will sustain readiness into the future. Two predictive readiness tools—a readiness forecast model (RFM) and a predictive analytics model (PAM)—move us into the predictive environment essential for programs managers to make data-informed decisions. RFM applies tactical information from our programs’ or fleet’s current plans, known constraints and funding levels to forecast expected readiness for the next 12 months. PAM enables strategic solutions and investment opportunities articulated in the program playbooks and prioritizes them according to their impact on readiness. PAM will show how investments could reduce readiness gaps over a 10-year-period and inform our budgeting process.

Sustaining engineering is an essential element of our predictive approach. Our aircraft and programs manage and mine large volumes of data. Condition-based maintenance (CBM), which has been used in naval aviation for years, is showing a return on investment on this front.

CBM plus (CBM+) gives engineers real-time data from sensors embedded in components that indicate failures much earlier than before. As a result, instead of removing an entire subsystem for repair at pre-determined intervals, engineers can identify subcomponents for replacement, saving time, maintenance hours and money. CBM+ practices occurring on the H-1 main gearbox (MGB) have reduced its high removal rate by identifying anomalies within subcomponents before they fail and enabled predictive maintenance actions. Since May 2016, this H-1 CBM+ diagnostic maintenance strategy has avoided more than $40 million in MGB repair costs, approximately 8,000 maintenance man-hours; and more than 20 precautionary landings. Engineers are also using data on our CH-53s and H-60s to update component service life limits and manage them based on actual use.

NP&FP: From a current challenges perspective, please speak to some key areas impacting support to the fleet and fleet readiness.

Brig. Gen. Masiello: A lack of harmony and alignment within our readiness enabler funding accounts continues to impede how naval aviation manages readiness. Dollars for program-related logistics, technical data, spares, air systems support, support equipment, safety and others all drive how the flying hour program is executed. Our team developed a sustainment account harmonization tool to help programmers and NAE decision makers identify the necessary resources across enabler and readiness accounts and determine the impact of funding levels. Using tools such as these will help smooth our episodic budget process and help us make informed resourcing decisions.

NP&FP: How is Air 6.0 facilitating working efforts with other DoD agencies and mitigating associated challenges?

Brig. Gen. Masiello: Readiness is a team sport. Collaboration among all stakeholders and providers is essential. Air 6.0, DLA-Aviation, NAVSUP WSS and the Marine Corps Aviation Logistics Support Branch are writing joint standard work packages that define clear lines of responsibilities, specific actions and how to measure results.

To increase aircraft readiness and reduce aircraft downtime for supply, we have developed end-to-end supply chain metrics that focus on identifying opportunities to address systemic challenges. We have established teams, using existing and emerging data analytic tools, to improve flight line readiness. These cross-functional teams are creating a roadmap to address our system architecture, processes, funding requirements and concept of operations across naval aviation sustainment.

Because of growing technology use and the need to secure data, Air 6.0 is a member of the NAVAIR Cyber Incident Response Team. This team includes the Department of Homeland Security, Navy Safety Center, Naval Criminal Investigation Service, Defense Cyber Crime Center and Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. To support increased cyber awareness, we are training all Air 6.0 employees in this area.

NP&FP: From an industry partnering perspective, how is Air 6.0 working to broaden and strengthen capability implementation efforts? Brig.

Gen. Masiello: Industry continues to be integral in naval aviation’s acquisition and sustainment. We have taken steps to improve our industrial support contracts, including initiating Fast Acquisition Solutions to Enable Readiness, a family of Navy-wide, multiple-award, indefinite quantity, indefinite delivery contracts to acquire industrial support. Air 6.0 has also established an Agile Industrial Support Initiative, an assisted acquisition service that will help program offices, product support managers and assistant program managers as they contract for industrial support, to include contractor logistic support, performance-based logistics and heavy depot maintenance.

Organic supportability of platforms requires technical data to support maintenance, repair and overhaul of fielded systems, with a concurrent need for engineering data to assist in long-term sustainment and modernization of weapons systems. Disputed data rights have, in some circumstances, impacted readiness and led to prolonged negotiations when the government asserted its rights years after fielding a platform. We are now addressing this requirement and expectation early in the acquisition phase as well as actively implementing strategies and approaches with industry partners on securing appropriate rights for tomorrow’s weapon systems.

NP&FP: Any other goals Air 6.0 is addressing going forward in 2017? Brig.

Gen. Masiello: Air 6.0 is working closely with COMFRC and other partners to develop and modernize processes key to NAE Sustainment Vision 2020—an approach to transform naval aviation’s current practices into a real-time, agile, cost-effective, proactive sustainment system. NAVAIR Commander Vice Adm. Paul Grosklags recently articulated his framework for Vision 2020 as four pillars:

  • Supply
  • Maintenance planning
  • Manpower (including training)
  • Facilities/infrastructure (including support equipment and test benches)

A partner in this initiative, Air 6.0 will use this architecture to leverage its current data collection, visualization and logistics execution tools and develop new solutions as needed with an eye to capitalize on the vast array of data available within the sustainment infrastructure. Long term, the goal is to employ a digital thread that connects widely disparate information from multiple sources, making that data available to decision makers at any level within the NAE.

Alignment of all readiness lines of effort is crucial to naval aviation’s future. With this focus and framework, Air 6.0 and other stakeholders will enable sustained readiness and quicken the delivery of capability to the warfighter.