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NEWS | April 2, 2019

A 25-year History of Teaming: Carrier Team One Works on Improving Availabilities Throughout the Enterprise

By April Brown

When you hear the words Carrier Team One (CT1), you might automatically think of someone who works on or is stationed on a carrier, or part of a strike group. That is partially true. Carrier Team One has been around for 25 years, and has pulled together all of the entities that make a carrier availability a success.
Its members constantly communicate with naval and civilian shipyards, and various military and civilian agencies across the country that have anything to do a with a carrier. As a team, they are continually working on an improvement of ways naval and civilian entities communicate, learn, and innovate improvements.
“When you think of CT1, we want you to think and remember us by our slogan: ‘Ask, Improve, Share.’ It is a way of helping people understand what knowledge management is and why it is important,” said Kelly Souders, Carrier Team One Program Director. “It starts with someone on a project carrier team, asking another group, ‘how can I do this process better or repair better?’ We help get the information they need so they can improve their maintenance or repair. That information gets shared with the community through CT1.”
When it comes to carrier availabilities and most importantly, what the main elements are to make a successful maintenance evolution happen, people, knowledge, and skills are still at the top of the list, just like they were when CT1 began in the 1990s.
“We learned a long time ago it is the people and the processes that repair aircraft carriers,” said Jon Morris, Carrier Team One Propulsion Plant Matters Assistant Process Master. “That is why we started building the relationships with all of the yards, both military and civilian. It is important that we were all on the same page and doing the jobs on the carriers to the best of our ability. There is a lot of knowledge out there and without being able to share it, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
The CT1 Project-centric Knowledge Sharing Strategy (PCKS) involves several tools and processes designed to position CVN project teams for success in availability planning and execution. In order to improve the availability process, CT1 members built a virtual campus, Knowledge Sharing Networks (KSN), Knowledge Market, and various other tools that offer information, lessons learned, and best practices that help carrier teams succeed.
“One of our main tools is the Knowledge Market where carrier teams can instantly put their issues or questions. We have a dedicated team of Knowledge Exchange Managers who work to respond quickly with answers to a team’s concerns,” said Souders. “It is important for people to understand the Knowledge Market is in real time.”
Another valuable resource the team uses is working closely with subject matter experts (SME). They help answer questions and add additional information into the Knowledge Market.
“The SME could be a person who is working on the deckplates in a naval yard or at Newport News Shipbuilding. It doesn’t really matter where they work because their experience and knowledge is valuable,” said Ben Kustesky, Carrier Team One Knowledge Management Systems Owner. “We ask if they have done something on their carrier project and if it really worked for them to share it back to the community. That information could help everyone with better practices which leads into a more successful availability and rewarding outcomes for all of us wherever we are geographically.” Another type of tool CT1 uses is their KSNs. These KSNs continually provide carrier project teams the best information at the right time to help carrier availabilities across the globe.
“Our KSN’s were developed to focus on the improvement of cross-organizational key business processes and work hard to improve, align and standardize these processes to help our Carrier availabilities,” said Souders.
“One of newest tools is our Proven Practice Replication (PPR V2.0),” said Ben Kustesky, Carrier Team One Knowledge Management Systems Owner. “PPR V2.0 is out and is truly designed to impact the deckplate level work. It allows the supervisor or zone manager to go right into the system and find a practice that has been shown to work. One of our team members from here at NNSY, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS), or another shipyard can easily find, share and use these practices.”
Some of the professional rewards that those who are actively involved with CT1 at NNSY have experienced stretch from being a vital part of improving the program with carrier wins to, on a more PRIORITIESpersonal level, learning and experiencing the processes, having their voice heard when they have an idea or solution, sharing project experiences that benefits another team’s availability demonstrating the C.O.R.E. power of building strong long lasting relationships with government and civilian shipyard counterparts, and personally seeing a process that was created on the deckplate become a standard for carrier maintenance and successful availabilities.
On a continual journey of learning and innovating, CT1 has big goals for 2019 starting with bringing more people onboard the CT1 team.
“We are always looking for people to actively participate in CT1,” said Souders. “We have marketing events and road shows where we share carrier project team knowledge, success story videos, strategies. If someone is interested in being a more active player, being better able to Ask, Improve, Share, the easiest way is to reach out to us by phone or email and we will get them started.”
For more information on the Carrier Team One or how to join the team, contact Kelly Souders at 757-374-6698 or via email at Kelly.souders@navy.mil, Ben Kustesky at 757-636-5746 or via email at Benjamin.kustesky@navy.mil, or visit the CT1 portal at https://usff.navy.deps.mil/sites/cnal/CT1 or visit the CT1 website at https://usff.navy.deps.mil/sites/cnal/CT1/SitePages/Home.aspx.