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Stennis And Shogun Triad Produces Impressive Results During OEF

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070522-18
Release Date: 5/22/2007 4:29:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class C. Gethings, USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs

USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea (NNS) -- While providing air power support for multinational ground forces in Afghanistan, three entities on board USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) ensure carrier-based aircraft are able to meet their missions.

With nearly 70 aircraft embarked on Stennis, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 "Shogun Warriors" maintenance personnel work hand-in-hand with the ship’s Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD) and Supply Department.

These three key entities diagnose problems, conduct maintenance, fix broken parts and provide replacement parts for aircraft. The three organizations form what’s known as the triad of aircraft maintenance; and they meet daily to converse, report on and provide progress to operational commanders and senior headquarters officials that track aircraft performance and maintenance.

“The triad is a relationship-based organization,” said Cmdr. Timothy Pfannenstein, AIMD’s department head. “It’s a collective effort between the three of us to deliver service to the warfighters, and I think we do that very well.”

The triad gets put to work when squadron maintenance personnel encounter a problem with an aircraft.

The air wing is essentially the customer, while Supply and AIMD provide the necessary services to get the aircraft operational again, and able to support ground forces.

“It’s a customer-service relationship,” said Pfannenstein. “Our jobs are to support the customer and deliver them the best product we can.”

The efficiency of the Stennis and Shogun maintenance triad can be seen in the efficiency of the air wing and the missions it flies. Every aircraft requires routine maintenance and replacement parts, so the triad plays a part in every successful mission flown from the ship.

Aircraft maintenance originates with the air wing’s technicians, who diagnose a faulty component in an aircraft. That part, when determined as the cause of the aircraft’s problem, is brought to Supply, where it is swapped out with a replacement part. The bad part is then sent to AIMD to be further diagnosed and, if possible, fixed.

“Ideally, if a part on an airplane breaks, we’ll have the replacement part on our shelves for the squadron,” said Cmdr. Andy Mueck, Stennis’ supply officer.

If a part is commonly needed, Supply aims to keep it in stock at all times. In the case where Supply doesn’t have the required part, the broken part is passed to AIMD with an expedited repair request. Supply keeps roughly 70,000 aircraft parts in stock and has a track record of meeting their customer’s demand for aviation equipment approximately 96 percent of the time.

AIMD is also performing well during this deployment by keeping their backlog, or parts waiting to be fixed, much lower than the fleet standard. Their hard work and accomplishment is especially pertinent to the air wing, as coalition ground forces depend upon the sorties they’re flying.

“Supply has the parts I need, and AIMD fixes the parts I break,” said Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Kayser, CVW-9’s maintenance officer. “I’m an unrelenting and very demanding customer.”

Kayser, who is responsible for keeping all of the air wing’s aircraft operational, said the ship is meeting all the needs of the air wing with precision.

Stennis’ maintenance triad and all the Sailors who work underneath them have proven their capability with impressive results. Their aircraft readiness and sortie completion rate are above the fleet standard, as well as the fleet average for the last five carrier deployments.

“As we approach our fourth month supporting Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), I remain very impressed with the phenomenal job our squadron and ship’s maintenance personnel are doing,” said Commander CVW-9 Capt. Sterling Gilliam. “We have generated more than 1,200 sorties in support of OEF with an eye-watering 99 percent sortie completion rate. Few carrier and air wing teams could equal our level of combat support.”

The three top members in the maintenance triad all agree: The key to their success comes from their ability to get along, communicate and work together.

“We all get along great and have really good people working for all of us,” added Mueck.

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