News: DCMA director begins 2013 in Philly
PHILADELPHIA - 2013 started on a high note for Defense Contract Management Agency Boeing Philadelphia with a visit by agency Director Charlie E. Williams, Jr.
This was Williams’ first visit to the contract management office, which is responsible for more than 3,500 contracts valued at more than $45 billion. Accompanied by key members of his staff, the director toured the in-plant CMO and met with many of the office’s 120 civilians and 11 military personnel here.
The first stop on the director’s visit was the contractor’s helicopter factory, which produces variants of the twin-rotor H-47 Chinook. Al Doreste, DCMA Boeing Philadelphia CH-47F program integrator, facilitated the stop for Williams and his team of Scott Blank, executive director of Strategic Effects; Army Lt. Col. Joel Greer, executive officer; and Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Paul Smith, senior enlisted advisor.
“This state-of-the-art facility recently underwent a $130 million renovation, all while maintaining the same production schedule,” explained Doreste, while showing the factory’s layout, production lines and other areas.
Williams was given a hands-on look at the foreign object debris trainer, a unique Boeing training tool developed from a scrapped helicopter fuselage. The trainer is used to improve attention to and detection of items that do not belong in or near aircraft and can cause damage or injury.
During the tour, Williams also talked with Boeing’s H-47 program manager, Pat Donnelly; DCMA Boeing Philadelphia’s chief of flight operations, Army Maj. Jeremy Brunet; and Army flight personnel. The DCMA Boeing Philadelphia Flight Test team provides an integral check on the procedures and processes of the Boeing Manufacturing team.
Brunet explained, “The Flight Test team meticulously inspects every aircraft prior to first flight. The team then flies the Acceptance Test Procedure, checking flight and mission critical components on every aircraft, ensuring that the Army receives the highest quality product.”
The factory tour ended with a group photo on the flight line overlooking the Delaware River.
The “people heavy” day continued with meetings at several agency offices, including a review of aircraft production flows at the newly created Dynamic Bird Farm.
“The Bird Farm offers a cross-functional, operational look at both the V-22 and CH-47 production programs,” said Dan Evans, DCMA Boeing Philadelphia Quality Assurance group leader. “It's almost like the CMO chess board as the aircraft cutouts are moved and updated each day on the board.”
The Dynamic Bird Farm provides new CMO employees a firm understanding of the direct impact they have on the end product and keys them to focus on how they can affect issues up the line. Finally, it is a great way to give customers and visitors the value DCMA provides at the site.
Jim Kadow, DCMA Boeing Philadelphia V-22 program integrator, provided additional information on the V-22 Osprey, program. The contractor produces the aircraft’s fuselages on site, which are then transported to Bell Helicopter in Amarillo, Texas, for final assembly.
Williams and his team finished the morning talking with a group of Philadelphia-area Keystones and journeymen hired using funds set aside under Section 852 of the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act. The meeting provided the up-and-coming talent a chance to discuss their hiring and developmental experiences, and to offer the director suggestions that could enhance their transition to becoming valuable DCMA employees. In return, Williams discussed the agency’s standing within the Department of Defense, and gave insight on training and advancement opportunities on which new employees should focus.
A working lunch of famous Philly sandwiches followed, where the DCMA Boeing Philadelphia management team discussed with Williams CMO operations, accomplishments and plans for ongoing improvements.
The day ended with an All Hands meeting. Williams presented a variety of awards and recognitions, including acknowledging the CMO’s H-47/V-22 multi-year review teams for outstanding accomplishments.
The director also presented DCMA Philadelphia industrial specialist Eddie Thorne with the 2011 DCMA Mentoring Award, and Army Sgt. First Class Ronald Fox with the agency’s 2011 Best in Service (Army) Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year Award.