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HistoryCMO HistoryHistory

Circa 2008

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...The Consolidated Maintenance Organization..." WebSite: Naval PostGraduate School [03NOV2008]

One recent change in concept to the way the Navy P-3 community has done business is Consolidated Maintenance Organization (CMO). As in the cost analysis contained in this thesis, it can be ascertained that the CMO is the wave of the future of the patrol and reconnaissance community. Although, there have been a few growing pains with the CMO concept, the direction the Navy will go in manning this particular maintenance concept with the replacement P-8A remains unclear.

Some distinct and varied conditions need to be studied before inception is mandated. As evidenced by the interviews conducted by the researchers, there are some benefits of using contractors for maintenance. Some have already been discussed in this thesis, but the researchers will now take a deeper look at a few subjects not covered.

After many interviews with P-3 squadron commanders (CO/XO, VP units, MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 22, 2008) and the Patrol squadron wing leadership (Chief of Staff, CDR, PATWING CPRW-2, MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 22, 2008) some interesting areas came up that need further research. All of the commanders interviewed had a vast experience level with both regular Navy and civilian contract personnel. The number one thing that kept coming up was "make sure the contract is well written and covers every aspect that could be needed." This statement warranted more questions and an interesting wide array of issues came out. The first question asked was "What problems do you see with using civilian contractors?" The number one thing that came up was compatibility issues with the normal Navy way of doing things and the loss of accountability with a contractor.

The Officer in Charge (OIC) of the Hawaii CMO was concerned with contracts not having requirements for what if scenarios or what if a mishap happens or a crisis (OIC CDR Hunt & LCDR Watkins, CMO-2 MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 22, 2008). All of the people that were interviewed by the researchers were worried about the deployment capability of the contractors, specifically getting the people there in a hurry. They all knew this could be done, but at what cost to the Navy.

During the interviews, certain questions continued to arise. Who is going to pay for all this? Are we really going to save by streamlining our commands utilizing civilian contractors? Here is a list of problems associated with contract costs that should be carefully researched and built into the initial contract:

  • Costs associated with:
  • Per Diem
  • Rental cars
  • Overtime salary
  • Visas
  • Deployment premiums
  • Hazardous premiums
  • Insurance
  • Passports
  • Immunizations
    • NJP capability
    • Direct control by Commanders
    • Oversight of civilians
    • Training
  • Chemical, Biological and Radiological(CBR)
  • Weapons
  • Combat
The Navy commanders all stated that the benefits of using contract personnel were continuity and experience. The OIC and Maintenance Chief said that this was their first experience with contractor maintenance and they "have never seen things run so smooth" (POIC LCDR, MMCPO, Executive Transport Detachment, US Navy, Hawaii, January 23, 2008). They have had absolutely no problems and have been very pleased with the amount of enthusiasm and ability of their maintenance department. In their interviews, the QARs also stated the same thing about reliability and end product (QAR supervisors, 65th airlift squadron, 15th Airwing, Hickam AFB, Hawaii, January 23, 2008)

The aircraft were always in top shape and they very rarely saw a repeat discrepancy. They felt the end product was as safe as possible. They stated that the contractors really had a sense of duty and loyalty to their country and squadron. They are proud of the work they performed and the accomplishments within the unit.

The Consolidated Maintenance Organization

Before the operational impacts of a CLS maintenance component to a squadron are analyzed, recent changes to the P-3C community must be addressed. Recently all maintenance personnel have been removed from the squadrons and consolidated into one command, the Consolidated Maintenance Organization (CMO). At Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, for example, one CMO supports three deployable squadrons. When an operational squadron deploys, personnel from the CMO augment the squadron for maintenance and logistic support. This is an attempt to reduce the number of personnel required to support the maintenance and logistics needs of the fleet and thus reduce costs.

The P-8A logistics plan will be based on the existing CMO model. Also, all assumptions and research, including the manning cost analysis of this thesis, are based on the CMO model. However, this is a new concept and the first operational deployments of the P-3C from Hawaii under this concept are not yet complete. Measuring the maintenance impact on operational success is even more difficult since there is no historical reference.

How has the removal of squadron maintenance personnel to the CMO impacted operations? The expert opinions vary. The first squadron deploying from Hawaii to a combat zone with a CMO maintenance augment reported so far a 100 percent mission completion rate (Officer in Charge, CMO-2 MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 22, 2008). They also deployed with 40 personnel less than the normal squadron contingent (Maintenance Officer, CMO-2 MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 22, 2008). On the surface, the CMO concept does provide equal or better performance than before while utilizing fewer resources and, therefore, at a lower cost.

While the maritime community is meeting operational requirements using the CMO concept, the fact of its superiority over traditional maintenance is in dispute.

Personnel chosen for the first deployment, in the opinion of one squadron commanding officer, were the top tier people available across three squadrons. "The lame, sick and lazy remained at home" (Commanding Officer of Patrol Squadron, MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 23, 2008)

First of all, when the three squadron maintenance departments joined into one command, no reduction in total personnel occurred. In essence, the CMO is currently overmanned with enlisted personnel, a fact confirmed by the CMO maintenance officer (Maintenance Officer, CMO-2 MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 22, 2008). Second, training and preparations for the first deployment were conducted under the old squadron design.

Because of the plethora of already qualified personnel, the CMO leadership did not have to choose below average performing personnel to deploy. Whether or not the CMO concept is successful cannot be determined with certainty until the oscillations from the organizational change reach equilibrium. Deployed mission completion rates will most probably not remain at 100 percent after manning levels are normalized.

Of further concern by several of the commanding officers interviewed was the efficiency of the CMO organization at home. There are currently fewer aircraft on the ramp to be shared by the two remaining squadrons at home and the CMO has 40 extra people (those who did not deploy) to maintain them. However, every commanding officer interviewed agreed that they have not seen an improvement in the quality of the material readiness of the aircraft (Commanding Officers of Patrol Squadrons, MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 22 & 23, 2008). "Pride in ownership" was the intangible reason given for the declining condition of the fleet. One commanding officer defended the CMO command, stating the amount of aircraft transferreds over the last several years has led to the deterioration, not the CMO. A patrol squadron from Hawaii recently deployed with one aircraft that was its own from the inter-deployment training cycle (IDTC). The remaining aircraft were all transferredred to them as they deployed. The commanding officer believes the level of pride in workmanship has not changed over the past several years (Commanding Officer of Patrol Squadron, MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 23, 2008). Not surprisingly, the CMO leadership contends that the pride in their organization is greater than before. Now the maintenance team owns every aircraft on the ramp and the pride in ownership is wider than before (Officer in Charge, CMO-2 MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 22, 2008).

Pride in ownership is not a trivial subject when talking about operational capability. Every commanding officer interviewed stressed its importance and the leadership challenges associated with a CMO augment. One commanding officer commented that there are no longer squadron aircraft painted with squadron colors on the tail. One officer said that aircraft washes are performed, but questioned how to increase the enthusiasm for such a mundane task (Commanding Officer of Patrol Squadron, MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 22, 2008).. The intangibles of squadron morale and esprit de corps can not be quantitatively measured, yet they impact the individual maintainer's contribution of just a little extra effort or just a few more minutes to remove some extra corrosion. The consensus from those interviewed was this does impact those quantifiable metrics like mission completion rates (Commanding Officers of Patrol Squadrons, MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 22 & 23, 2008).

Another commanding officer relayed more direct concerns of diametrically opposed missions and incentives of the CMO command and the operationally focused squadron. The CMO measures success in the amount of work completed or the amount of maintenance still to be performed (i.e. the number of outstanding maintenance actions on an aircraft where less is better). The squadron looks at readiness and missions completed as measures of success. By taking the maintenance department out of the squadron, the commanding officer no longer has the ability to make prioritization decisions between maintenance and operations. Each organization now has different agendas and. although they are supposed to be symbiotic, friction and compromise will occur to the detriment of efficiency (Commanding Officer of Patrol Squadron, MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 22, 2008).

While the two organizations do have different missions and agendas, this does present a large, but again intangible, benefit of the CMO organization. The operational squadron can now concentrate and focus efforts on its primary mission: the tactical employment of the maritime weapon system in an operational environment. Similarly, the CMO can focus on its mission: the scheduled and unscheduled maintenance of maritime patrol aircraft. Every commanding officer interviewed echoed the advantage of each independent organization improving in their respective expertise. However, two commanding officers did comment on the complimentary drawback. Now, the young junior officer in a squadron does not gain the maintenance knowledge to apply to the remainder of his career (Commanding Officers of Patrol Squadrons, MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 22 & 23, 2008). Similarly, the maintenance experts in the CMO will become further detached from the operational theories and applications in a squadron.

Another fallout from the new CMO command structure is the separation of the maintenance professionals and the aircrew that fly the aircraft. Several commanding officers stated safety concerns with the new concept. While the CMO does have some aircrew on board, they do not fly the aircraft on a daily basis. The interaction of the squadron aircrew to report mechanical failures, to explain the malfunctions, and to work with the maintenance technicians in their repair is critical to safety, readiness and, therefore, operational capability (Commanding Officers of Patrol Squadrons, MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 22 & 23, 2008).

The most serious question brought up by another commanding officer was concerning the ability of a CMO augmented squadron with a smaller number of personnel deployed to meet all of the detachment requirements in a complex environment. The commanding officer cited his most recent deployment without a CMO augment where his squadron was divided into five different locations. Three locations operated at two 12-hour shifts. The other two detachment sites operated one aircraft each and worked on an as needed basis. The commanding officer contends that the CMO concept would not have been able to support the operational requirement (Commanding Officer of Patrol Squadron, MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 22, 2008). In actuality, the limited number of personnel only limits the flexibility and response time of the deployed squadron. The CMO concept would have been able to support the requirement by sending more personnel on deployment. However, this negates some of the cost savings touted by CMO proponents and it would take some period of time to gather, train and deploy the necessary extra personnel.

From all of the interviews performed, there are obviously cultural roadblocks to such a large organizational change. It will take years before the cultural baggage of "that is how we used to do it" is removed. The experts interviewed spanned the spectrum from full support to complete disdain for the new concept (Commanding Officers of Patrol Squadrons, MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 22 & 23, 2008). This is the real leadership challenge to the success or failure of the CMO initiative.

The Consolidated Maintenance Organization might very well be more efficient and more capable than the traditional maintenance structure. There has not been enough time to reach a steady state with regards to command manning levels and the training and deploying of personnel. With the drawdown of the P-3C fleet, all of the issues described above will be addressed over time as leaders in the maritime community continue to meet operational requirements with fewer and fewer resources. In the meantime, there is not enough objective certainty to recommend whether or not this structure should be adopted by the P-8A acquisition team

Operational Impacts of CLS Personnel in a P-8A Squadron

The change to the Consolidated Maintenance Organization by the patrol and reconnaissance community has been met with varied responses and uncertain success.

The Integrated Product Team (IPT) for the P-8A could choose an even more radical model for the life cycle logistic and maintenance support: civilian contractors. An operational squadron has never deployed in combat with civilian maintenance. Of the three potential models, contract CLS, organic personnel, or a hybrid CLS/organic combination, which is the best for the P-8A Poseidon from an operational perspective?

Ironically, the same group of interviewed experts that could not reach a consensus regarding the success or failure of the CMO concept was unanimous in their support of civilian contractors. Each had interacted at some point in their careers with civilians across a wide range of fields in the Department of Defense and several had flown aircraft maintained by CLS personnel. Everyone interviewed had an overall positive experience and believed an operational CLS squadron was feasible. Implementation would be the challenge (Experts MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, and Hickam Air Force Bay, Honolulu, January 22 & 23, 2008).

The experts cited many potential operational risks to a CLS squadron, most of which were identical to the complaints listed about the CMO structure. Specific questions arose. Would there be enough personnel to support multiple operational deployment sites and requirements? Would there be enough flexibility to support expansion of contract requirements for combat situations? Would the commanding officer have authority over the civilian personnel while deployed? One commanding officer brought up a recent requirement to move a detachment from one site to another with only a few days notice, operate for about a week and finally return to the original operating base, all under combat situations. Would a commanding officer be restricted under a CLS contract in his ability to meet these operational requirements (Commanding Officers of Patrol Squadrons, MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 22 & 23, 2008)?

The experts were unanimous about the solution to these questions. Write the contract with enough specificity to ensure compliance to the worst case scenarios of combat operations. "Make sure it is in the contract" was echoed during every interview (Commanding Officers of Patrol Squadrons, MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 22 & 23, 2008). The Chief Staff Officer, who previously commanded a squadron with CLS maintenance, further added to include the proper incentives in the contract. Utilizing a PBL while rewarding the OEM-CLS will facilitate the required operational flexibility (Chief Staff Officer of Patrol Wing, MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 23, 2008). Both of the recommendations are commonsensical, but will come at a great cost.

The most serious concern revolved around the possibility of extreme hazardous situations, such as combat. What if mortars were to become an everyday occurrence at a forward operating base? Would civilians be allowed to remain in such conditions? Would they be accountable to remain and perform their duties? The common solution was to ensure such contingencies, incentives and penalties were in the contract (Commanding Officers of Patrol Squadrons, MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 22 & 23, 2008).

Pride in ownership was a concern of the CMO concept brought up in repeated interviews. One former commanding officer was quick to point out past experiences with CLS maintenance in a test and evaluation squadron in Fallon, Nevada. "The aircraft were immaculate" (Former Commanding Officer of Patrol Squadron, MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, February 5, 2008). Everyone interviewed had positive experiences with civilian support and echoed this former commanding officer's sentiments. Pride in ownership would not be a concern under a CLS contract. In fact, most lauded the potential benefits of civilians over organic personnel in this area (Commanding Officers of Patrol Squadrons, MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 22 & 23, 2008).

Another pro for CLS support was similar to one under the CMO concept. One commanding officer observed that a CLS maintenance team would allow P-8 officers to concentrate and focus on the combat operations and leave the maintenance concerns to the civilians (Commanding Officer of Patrol Squadron, MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 22, 2008). This is probably an oversimplification, but a well run contract would alleviate some pressures from the commanding officer and the other command leadership.

While a performance based complete CLS option was believed to be feasible from an operational perspective by all interviewed, the cost to implement the contract with enough operational reliability would be exorbitant and quite possibly cost prohibitive.

Again, the experts were unanimous and supported a blended organic/CLS approach (Commanding Officers of Patrol Squadrons, MCBH Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, January 22 & 23, 2008). Organic Navy personnel could make up the brunt of the workload while OEM-CLS personnel could provide technical expertise to the squadron. This would maximize the advantages of both groups while potentially minimizing costs. The organic personnel would give flexibility to the commanding officer for hazardous detachments. Even the experts at Hickam Air Force Base managing the CLS program for the executive transport Boeing 737s agreed the hybrid approach was optimal, stating that the advantages of existing logistic lines from the OEM-CLS could still be harnessed (QAR supervisors, 65th Airlift Squadron, 15th Airwing, Hickam Air Force Base, Honolulu, Hawaii, January 23, 2008)

Circa 2007

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Series of "firsts" Dominate Boots-on-the-Ground Tour at NAS Jacksonville, Florida - Prototype maintenance organization, training facility and FRC-SE reflect continuous process improvement efforts in the Navy - By Jacquelyn Millham, Current Readiness/Enterprise AIRSpeed PAO and CDR Junhow Chang, Naval Aviation Enterprise Training Program Manager..." WebSite: Commander-Naval-Air-Forces http://www.cnaf.navy.mil/ [19JUN2008]

Consolidated Maintenance Organization (CMO), a prototype construct designed to optimize maintenance activities and billets, was showcased by Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing -11 (CPRW-11) during NAS Jacksonville, Florida's third "Boots-on-the-Ground" tour December 5 and 6.

The event was attended by: Vice Adm. Walter Massenburg, commander of Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR); Rear Adm. William Shannon, assistant commander of Industrial Operations (NAVAIR 6.0) and Maintenance and Supply Chain Management cross-functional team director; Rear Adm. Brian Prindle, Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group; representatives from Naval Inventory Control Point and other enablers.


CMO combines three active duty VP squadrons VP-5, VP-16 and VP-45 and one reserve squadron (VP-62) into one higher-level organization. All maintainers are assigned to the CMO, instead of being attached to each squadron. (Each active duty squadron typically has around 200 maintainers; Reserve squadrons have approximately 100 maintainers. The CMO is slated to have approximately 550 maintainers assigned to the unit after the plan is fully realized.) It is expected that CMOs will standardize maintenance practices, quality assurance and administration.

With the difference in architecture comes a difference in who is assigned to the unit. To increase maintainers' contact with customers and to facilitate feedback from a user's point of view, a pilot is assigned to the unit as a consultant. The new structure also eliminates an organic maintenance billet.

CMOs will allow forward deploying units to leave tools and individual material readiness list equipment at the deployment site, to be used by their replacements.

"The CMO construct is putting the VP community ahead of its peer groups as the P-8A Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) is incorporated," said Massenburg. "They will serve as an example as they take CMO to carriers. It can be replicated and reduce the number of people assigned to units, increase our productivity, and get us to our future," he said.


For the first time during a "Boots-on-the-Ground" tour, the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit, Jacksonville, (CNATTU Jax) was spotlighted. CNATTU Jax provides initial rate and career instruction on the SH-60, Sea Hawk, P-3 Orion, S-3 Viking and aviation support equipment for aviation electronics technicians, aviation electrician's mates, aviation machinist's mates and aviation structural mechanics.

CNATTU Jax personnel also took Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE) University's Basic Overview course, which is typically held in advance of Boots-on-the-Ground (ashore) and Boots-on-the Deck (afloat) tours. (NAEU, which is driven by Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF) is an initiative that delivers fundamental and continuing education and training on NAE processes.)

Unlike traditional Navy training which teaches tangible skills for specific enlisted ratings, Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC), officer designator or Naval Officer Billet Classification (NOBC), NAE training provides a toolset of intangible skills for change management and critical thinking. These intangible skills impart a process approach to problem solving, rather than a resource approach (i.e., adding more resources/tools). NAE topics, such readiness standards and entitlements, ready-for-tasking and ready-basic-aircraft definitions, are introduced to generate awareness and familiarization among squadron and ship personnel.


The group was also briefed on black belt projects and toured Fleet Readiness Center (FRC) Southeast another "Boots-on-the-Ground" first. FRCs, which integrate depot- and intermediate-level aircraft maintenance organizations into one seamless activity, stood up in October.

Massenburg said, during the Executive-level brief, that processes that improve cost-wise readiness, such as the prototyped CMO, must be expanded throughout the Naval Aviation Enterprise and the Navy.

"We start small and find out what is good. Then we need to replicate it," he said.

"I believe we are going to lead all other services," he added.

Circa 2004

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Consolidated Maintenance Organization Pilot Demonstration - FBO DAILY ISSUE OF APRIL 09, 2004 FBO #0865 - SOLICITATION NOTICE..." WebSite: FBO Daily http://www.fbodaily.com/ [20JUN2008]

R -- Consolidated Maintenance Organization Pilot Demonstration

Notice Date
Notice Type
    Solicitation Notice
    541613  Marketing Consulting Services
Contracting Office
    Department of the Navy, Naval Air Systems Command, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Pax River, 
    Building 441 21983 Bundy Road Unit 7, Patuxent River, MD, 20670
ZIP Code
Solicitation Number
Response Due
Archive Date
Point of Contact
    Jessica Tebbenkamp, Contract Specialist, Phone (301) 757-2528, Fax 301-757-2526, - Diana Goostree, Contract Specialist/Team Lead, 
    Phone (301) 757-2520, Fax 301-2628,
E-Mail Address
    Jessica.Tebbenkamp@navy.mil, goostreedl@navair.navy.mil
    The Naval Air Systems Command Aircraft Division (NAVAIR AD) at Patuxent River, MD has a SOLE SOURCE requirement for an assessment 
    of feasibility of the F/A-18 Consolidated Maintenance Organization pilot demonstration and briefing sessions on the results of the 
    assessment to be performed. The government intends to contract on a sole source basis under Request for Quotation N00421-04-T-0168 
    with Logistics Management Institute (LMI), 2000 Corporate Ridge, McLean, VA, 22102. LMI is the owner of the data from the previously 
    conducted aviation maintenance wing concept study and assessment of applicability that are necessary to complete the assessment of 
    feasibility. This procurement is being processed in accordance with Simplified Acquisition Procedures, Part 13 of the Federal 
    Acquisition Regulations (FAR). Procurement will be made via a DPAS DO rated government purchase order, which will incorporate 
    provisions and clauses in effect through Federal Acquisition Circular (FAR) 21 dated 26 March 2004 and Defense Federal Acquisition 
    Regulations (DFARS) DCN 20040323. The applicable NAICS code is 541613 and the applicable FSC code is R799. Responses to this notice 
    of intent to negotiate with LMI should be submitted no later than 21 April 2004 via email to Ms. Jessica Tebbenkamp at 
    Jessica.Tebbenkamp@navy.mil. Electronic inquiries and responses shall include company name, single point of contact, telephone number, 
    complete address, and company business size. This requirement will be procured in accordance with FAR 6.302-1, only one responsible 
    source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements. See Numbered Note 22 and 26.
Place of Performance
    Address: 2000 Corporate Ridge, McLean, VA 
    Zip Code: 22102 
    Country: USA
    SN00561911-W 20040409/040407212644 (fbodaily.com) 

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