Thomas McClay, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Total Asset Visibility (NAWCAD 6.8.3) competency manager, received the 2016 Daniel L. Nega Excellence in Logistics Leadership Award at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, Dec. 19.
Established in 2014, the award recognizes a Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Logistics and Industrial Operations (AIR-6.0) national civilian or military employee annually for excellence in commitment and dedication to the people, mission and professionalism of AIR-6.0.
During the award’s eligibility period, McClay and his team implemented process changes critical to improving NAVAIR’s enterprise asset visibility, reutilization and audit readiness. The work included deploying an Item Unique Identification Data (IUID) marking capability at Fleet Readiness Centers (FRCs) to resolve obsolescence and information technology challenges associated with the legacy system. Mandated by the Defense Department, IUID is a system of marking items with a globally unique item identifier, or UII, to distinguish them from all others.
McClay also led the team in the transitioning of NAVAIR’s Central Kitting Activity (CKA) located in Orange Park, Florida, from a legacy stovepipe computer system into the Navy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, supporting NAVAIR Commander Vice Adm. Paul Grosklag’s guidance for asset accountability. In less than a month, the team conducted a wall-to-wall inventory at the CKA Assembly Plant—an endeavor involving more than 23,000 unique items/parts with a total inventory count of 14 million pieces—and entered 19,661 parts valued at over $473 million into Navy ERP.
“This action addressed the risks associated with incomplete or inaccurate inventory records,” McClay said. “This activity ensured parts are readily available when needed to build kits that directly support readiness, affordability and speed to the fleet by ensuring inventory accuracy, increased asset visibility and reduced costs.”
Todd Balazs, deputy assistant commander for Logistics and Industrial Operations (AIR-6.0), acknowledged McClay for his leadership that drove solutions forward, stating “The time and effort you are dedicating to improving our established processes and developing your workforce is impressive and reflected in your division’s support to the warfighter.”
McClay’s focus on advancing the careers of the AIR 6.8 workforce and his drive to personally recruit and mentor five wounded warriors caught the attention of the award board as well. To better facilitate these efforts, he updated the Talent Management Dashboard and Career Guidebook portions associated with the Total Asset Visibility (TAV) division—work critical to ensure tools are available to employees seeking to advance their careers.
McClay said he values the approaches that people from different backgrounds, races, ages, military experiences and education levels bring to a team and especially wanted to harness the skills and abilities of veterans. He credits that outlook to his Navy career, from which he retired in 1999 as a data processing chief petty officer. “I believe in leadership by example, especially in areas of ethics, diversity and personnel development,” he explained. “Each and every person is unique and contributes their perspectives and experiences. Wounded warriors especially bring viewpoints and insights that are not ordinarily found.”
The award’s namesake, Daniel Nega, director of the NAVAIR Cost Estimating and Analysis Department, said McClay’s “commitment and leadership stood out amongst all nominees. He clearly came out on top and exemplifies the leadership the award was created to commend.”
McClay said the successes recognized by the award reflect the empowerment of the team members and credited their initiative. “I believe that responsibility should be delegated when appropriate and not to micromanage the work,” he said. “Not every decision or communication is required to come through me. My employees choose solutions and courses of action while I observe. Although my name is on the award, the spotlight is theirs.”