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Photo Information

Lt. Gen. Jon M. Davis observes a brief on some of the mechanics of a CH-53E Super Stallion during a “Boots on the Ground” event at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., Sept. 17, 2015. The deputy commandant of Marine Corps Aviation visited the air station to discuss the future of naval aviation. Maintainers were given the opportunity to share suggestions for improvement on their training and aircraft. (U.S.M.C. photo by Cpl. N.W. Huertas/ Released)

Photo by Cpl. N.W. Huertas

Leaders gather at air station, discuss future of naval aviation

21 Sep 2015 | Cpl. N. W. Huertas 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing

The deputy commandant of Marine Corps Aviation visited Marine Corps Air Station New River Sept. 17 to discuss the future of naval aviation with aircraft maintenance professionals and senior aviation leaders.

Lt. Gen. Jon M. Davis was joined by naval aviation community leaders to discuss suggestions the aviation community has come across that affect the readiness and capabilities of naval aviators. Davis’ visit to Marine Aircraft Group 29 was part of the Naval Aviation Enterprise’s Boots on the Ground, an event that provides senior leadership and flight line Marines with a venue to discuss readiness challenges and process improvement efforts face to face.

During the visit, Marines were given the opportunity to speak to senior leaders in charge of naval aviation operations and give detailed briefs on the equipment they use, along with any issues maintenance personnel may have with their training or aircraft platform.

“I think it is really important to come see the Marines personally, face-to-face, see where they are working, and look them in the eye to find out what’s going on from their perspective,” Davis said. “I learn a lot by talking to the lance corporals, corporals and sergeants of the units I visit.”

According to Davis, the Marines are working to enhance their maintenance training and achieve higher technical proficiency. Marines’ skills with new maintenance technology and procedures directly impact the readiness of both maintainers with their respective aircraft.

After visiting Marines at each of the wings, Davis said he has a better understanding of what the Marines at the air station want and need and will look for ways to follow through on their requests.

The Marines on the ground see the real issues better than personnel who don’t work hands-on with the aircraft, Davis explained.

“The Naval Aviation Enterprise brings people together,” Davis said. “What we do with what we learn here involves coming up with a plan of action and implementing it. The things we have to do will not only improve readiness, but maintain the readiness that the U.S. Marine Corps needs to continue operating successfully.”

Davis said, leaders use the data gathered while visiting the Marines during the “Boots on the Ground” events to propose solutions for the issues that are impeding the Marines’ readiness.

“There is a word called ‘alignment.’ We want our organizations aligned for a common goal and a common target,” Davis said. “While we are out here, we make sure that the Marines know what our target is, which is readiness.”

Davis said, two of the biggest concerns affecting the readiness of naval aviation today are depleting mission-capable supplies and aviation maintenance personnel who lack follow-on training.

With the amount of mission useful supplies continuously decreasing and Marines earning less credentials in their job fields, mission readiness and expertize are affected, Davis said.  

“We hope to all come out of here on the same sheet of music,” Davis said. “Everybody sees the problem the same way, we make solutions collectively and we move out and make it happen.”

We need to have a better training stratification for our aircraft maintainers so they can deliver what the naval aviation community needs for aviation readiness in both the Navy and the Marine Corps, said Davis said.

“I am really proud of the Marines down here with 2nd MAW and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 29,” Davis said. “They are engaged and bright. They are the best the nation has to offer and my job and my motivation is to give them the tools they need so they can be better.”

2nd Marine Aircraft Wing