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By Gary Younger

Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers Public Affairs

Tackling high flight-hour costs and spare parts availability impacts to the Navy’s H-53, a local logistician saved millions of taxpayer dollars and delivered vital efficiencies to warfighters in theater.

Recognizing him for his feat, the Department of the Navy selected Marine Corps Lt. Col David Phillips, lead NAVAIR logistician for the H-53 In-Service Program (PMA-261) at NAS Patuxent River, as the military recipient of its top logistics award, the Adm. Stan Arthur Award for Logistics Excellence.

Rear Adm. Paul Sohl, commander, Fleet Readiness Centers and NAVAIR assistant commander for Logistics and Industrial Operations (AIR 6.0), presented the award to Phillips during a video teleconference ceremony July 2.

“This recognition speaks of leaders like [Phillips] to drive [efficiencies] throughout the program,” Sohl said. “We need more [efficiencies].”

By working with warfighters in Afghanistan, Phillips was able to reduce component lead time by 30 percent for the H-53 Main Gearbox Housing and reduce lead time of main rotor shafts by 40 percent.

“This was a team effort,” Phillips said, deflecting credit. “Everything we do should help the warfighter and that is my main focus of effort.

“I didn’t even know I was nominated for the award,” he said. “I didn’t find out until the [award announcement] message went out and I started getting phone calls. It is truly an honor to receive such a prestigious award.”

Phillips worked with the Marine Aviation Logistics Support Program Pilot in Afghanistan to compare the availability of materials against trending failures. His focus was to ensure materials were available when required.

In the meantime, his team also saved the Navy millions of dollars by spending money in the right places.

Phillips also identified shortfalls in critical components. Procuring these components at the right time eliminated more than $3 million of flight hour costs.

The recipient of the Civilian Logistician of the Year is Mark D. Dexter at U.S. Pacific Fleet, while the Naval Aviation Excess Inventory Team at the Naval Supply Systems Command and U.S. Pacific Fleet picked up Acquisition Logistics Team of the Year honors.

The award was established in 1997 and is named for retired Adm. Stan Arthur, the former Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Logistics and later, Vice Chief of Naval Operations. The award recognizes both individuals and teams who exemplify logistics professionalism and excellence.