14 November 2008

Mea Culpa

So on top of trying to help plan a wedding, I was also trying to check out of my current command and plan for a series of inspections that are annual requirements. As I was on a drive around today I realized that I have failed in making the place that I am leaving a better place. So here are my Mea Cuplas for failing.

Since about March of this year I have had in my hot little hands, written orders detailing me from the Happy Zappies and over to another EA-6B outfit up here at the Rock. This outfit is a Western Pacific deploying outfit and they just returned from a deployment this past June. One of the processes to check out is to start handing over programs to another person. One of my programs is a Secret Squirrel program. That is all I can describe and some of you who have been in Naval Aviation or military Aviation know what sort of Secret Squirrel program I am talking about. Anyhow, it isn't anywhere near where I am happy with it being, but I have a little less then three days left at my current command to try and fix it. The guy I am passing this on to
has a decent grip on this program and with only a little less elbow grease then what I have put in can make this work and at least getting it working to the condition that the Big Navy out there while only smack their hands for these little gray areas.
I should of had it a whole lot closer then what it is and will probably spend the rest of this weekend working on massaging my guilt on this part to make this happen. So I failed here
As I mentioned early in this piece we have a series of required annual inspections coming at us. Ones from the Naval Safety Center, then from our type commander, and the final one (which I will be gone for ) is from the Big Navy (CNAF themselves). All of these inspections deal with maintenance related programs. Such things as tool control, Foreign Object Damage Control, Support Equipment Licensing, Training, Technical Directives, and a whole slew of other ones. The overall guidance is from an instruction referred to as the CNAFINST 4790.2A NAMP. In the king's English this is Commander Naval Air Forces Instruction series 4790.2A, titled Naval Aviation Maintenance Program. It is a large binder of about 16 chapters on the basics of how to fix airplanes and what everyone's roles are.
We were inspected by our type commander and found to be so seriously snafu'd that we are going to quit flying just to get the squadron back online and on track. I had always heard of other squadrons and even ships that this has happened to, but never one that I was in. This is the biggest place that I have failed at. Being at that leadership position I should of never let my own work center get to that place. This is the toughest Mea Culpa to swallow and accept. Right now the command that I am at moral is at an all time low. There are a series of folks who are tired of the Navy life and are leaving. Which is their complete right, however they are also bad mouthing the Navy and the command in general. In turn feeding ideas to some of the more impressionable juniors and basically started a death spiral. This is something that I should of put a stop to months, maybe even years ago. Yet, I didn't. Why? I am not completely sure. Part of me feels that what they are speaking is the truth, part of me didn't want to get involved because I was leaving the command myself, and I think the final reason was that I just didn't want to feed their fire of self-consuming hate with leadership.
On top of that some of these people only seem to put in the minimum effort on their own aircraft related maintenance programs. This effort just seem to be enough to keep ahead of the Khaki Mafia and their hit squads. Again I should of stepped up and said something, done something, instead I contributed to it. So out of forty different programs we only had eight of them running according to the book. Nineteen of them were in serious need of review, and the other thirteen were off track. This again is unacceptable. The command is probably going to begin to sacrifice weekends and long hours to pull themselves up. The other thing is that those of us in the first class mess are going to have to start knocking heads with those who can't seem to say anything nice at all about the Navy or the command. Again I have failed and should of helped to push to those who don't want to be part of the solution out.

I have failed as a leader and as a supervisor. The most that I can do is grab a hot shower and collect my thoughts. Attempt to wash these damn spots off my hands and go back in swinging to improve things.

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