September 30, 2014 (by Richard W. Essary) - Department of Defense officials announced Sept. 26, 2014, that the Ogden Air Logistics Complex's 574th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron F-22 Raptor Depot Maintenance Team is the winner of the 2014 Robert T. Mason Award, which recognizes excellence in depot maintenance.
Skilled artisans from the F-22 Raptor Depot Maintenance Team install the night air-to-air refueling, or NAAR, modification on an F-22 in this 2007 file photo. F-22 work at Hill AFB began on April 3, 2006, and involved modifying the aircraft to add lights that improve NAAR capability. Eighteen jets were modified as part of the workload, with the first one completed on May 12, 2006. [Courtesy photo]
"This award reflects the outstanding accomplishments of every member of the 574th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and the tremendous support from the 309th Aircraft Maintenance Group," said Tom Hales, 574 AMXS director. "It's a huge accomplishment for our team to be recognized as the best maintenance depot in all of the Department of Defense."
The award is presented annually and is named for Robert T. Mason, a former assistant deputy undersecretary of defense for maintenance policy, programs, and resources. Mason served as the champion of organic depot maintenance for three decades and was instrumental in transforming the department's organic depot-level operations.
Hales said by creating a leadership construct where teamwork, accountability, respect, transparency, credibility and engagement were paramount, the 574 AMXS created an environment where it could achieve the "Art of the Possible."
This resulted in an execution of $34.8 million in depot maintenance and a production increase of 12 percent from fiscal year 2012 during the award period.
Other significant achievements included:
· During fiscal year 2013, the team directly and significantly increased F-22 aircraft availability through the return of 11 aircraft to operating units, achieving 100 percent on time delivery by the end of the fiscal year with zero defects reported by its customers.
· With a dedicated workforce and game-changing leadership, the team paved the way for $41 million in savings per year and more than $747 million in savings throughout the F-22's planned life cycle in program costs by reducing the need for a duplicated facility.
· Despite a challenging 32-hour work week during the mandatory government furlough, the team's dedication to velocity and forward progress enabled a 109-day average per aircraft, setting a program milestone for the first six aircraft of the fiscal year and beating the contracted average by five days.
"Every member of the Raptor team has adapted well to the new Air Force Sustainment Center production methodology," Hales said. "The willingness to change, work toward a common goal and demonstrate leadership at all levels within the squadron resulted in this well-deserved recognition bestowed upon Team Raptor."
"I couldn't be more proud to be a member of this team," Hales added.
The award will be presented on Nov. 18 in the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, Birmingham, Ala., during the awards ceremony that's part of the 2014 DOD
The 574 AMXS F-22 Raptor Depot Maintenance Team provides scheduled and unscheduled depot-level maintenance for the Air Force's fleet of 187 F-22 Raptor aircraft. The F-22 is the world's most technologically advanced, low observable air superiority fighter in active service today.