ARNOLD AFB, Tenn. – In December, National Aerospace Solutions, LLC (NAS), the AEDC Test Operations and Sustainment (TOS) Contractor, invested in members of its workforce with a three-day class on project management.
The course was modeled after Bechtel’s Project Management Tier 1 Training and tailored to meet the specific needs of NAS. It was taught by Mark Seely, a project management training facilitator and former Bechtel employee.
“We have been leading up to the course as our processes at NAS have matured and become more established,” said Tim Hammond, Project Management Branch Manager in the Integrated Resources Directorate. “This was a culmination of progress within the Integrated Resources Directorate.”
Participants received instruction in the principles of NAS Capital Project Management and overviews of each functional branch within NAS. Organizers also aimed to provide a common understanding of the expectations of NAS project managers.
“I applaud Mr. Hammond’s leadership in enhancing standardization in a process where projects are very diverse in both scope and technical complexity,” said DOD employee Michael Dent, Chief of the AEDC Capital Improvements Branch. “The Air Force is on a parallel path for a disciplined Systems Engineering approach while still allowing for a tailored approach.
“I’d say the time is right for NAS and the Air Force to use this momentum being generated in both organizations to develop a complementary standard for large capital acquisitions,” he said.
Jeff Henderson, NAS Mission Execution Director, echoed that the training is an important effort in meeting the needs of AEDC.
“‘Test before flight’ (a statement of AEDC’s work) is a mission more effectively met at AEDC when our sustainment and capital improvement project managers are properly trained,” said Henderson.
He explained the NAS Mission Execution Directorate is responsible ensuring the proper planning and execution of the TOS portion of test projects, sustainment projects, and capital improvement projects in coordination with AEDC test, plant, and Instrumentation, Data and Controls assets. He added that the NAS Base Operations and Support Directorate handles the planning and execution of sustainment and capital improvement projects for the AEDC infrastructure, such as utility systems and buildings.
“The project management training recently provided by the Integrated Resources Directorate is an excellent way to equip our NAS project managers with the tools and guidance they need to successfully manage these types of projects,” Henderson said.
A desire for increased training opportunities was also expressed during Brown Bag Lunches, an initiative by the NAS leadership team. During these meetings, the General Manager and Deputy General Manager listened to suggestions and concerns from employees at various points in their careers.
Participants, drawn from a cross-section of the organization to provide a diversity of experience and knowledge, agreed the training provided them beneficial information.
“This training provided critical insight into the inner workings of the AEDC and NAS systems that will allow us to do the critical work we do,” said James Klem, Capital Project Manager for NAS for the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex at Moffett Field in Mountain View, California. “This training will increase efficiency of day-to-day activities, allowing us to streamline cost and schedule performance while also providing increased opportunity to focus on quality.”
Rick Crouch, a NAS Capital Project Manager for Base Operations at Arnold Air Force Base, echoed the expectation of improved efficiency.
“Project Management Tier1 training is a comprehensive workshop on managing projects from the planning phase through the closeout phase,” he said. “Training provided guidance to better be able to manage projects here at AEDC with a more consistent approach, which will allow for a more efficient overall process.”
NAS Project Controls Cost Supervisor Lisa Yatsko added, “The project management training has provided me with the information and tools that will help me better manage cost and schedules for my projects as well as communicate status and performance to my customers.”
The goal is to make sure NAS team members are equipped to do their best to help AEDC meet its mission.
“When our project managers successfully deliver sustainment and capital improvement projects, meeting the technical requirements to the agreed upon cost and schedule, it enables AEDC to meet immediate and future test mission needs,” Henderson said. “It helps AEDC make the most of its funding, ensuring our test facilities and base infrastructure are ready when called upon by the Warfighter.”
NAS team members interested in pursuing training opportunities should speak with their management.