Reno, Nevada - Navy aviation leaders spoke with active-duty commanding officers, executive officers and members of industry Sept. 8, delivering a "Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE) Update" during the first night of the 2016 Tailhook Convention in Reno, Nevada.
Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, commander, Naval Air Forces/commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet; Vice Adm. Paul Grosklags, commander, Naval Air Systems Command; and Rear Adm. DeWolfe Miller, director, Air Warfare provided the update.
"Across the NAE, we are working hard to deliver current readiness and future readiness while we also work to recover readiness," Shoemaker said, referring to the Naval Aviation Enterprise -- a partnership of naval aviation stakeholders focused on sustaining required current readiness and advancing future warfighting capabilities at best possible cost.
Shoemaker, a co-lead of the NAE, explained some of the readiness challenges currently facing naval aviation.
"The last 15 years of being in constant combat have taken a toll; right now, we are taking some risks in the maintenance phase so that those in work-ups and deployments have the resources -- the airplanes and the parts -- that they need," Shoemaker said. "We're working very hard across the enterprise to fix that from a readiness perspective."
Grosklags addressed the crowd of active-duty officers and industry members, reminding them that resolving readiness challenges is a team effort.
"Our critical focus right now is on readiness," Grosklags said. "What we've discovered is that readiness issues are across the spectrum. There is no single organization that owns all the aspects; they're across the Naval Aviation Enterprise. Naval Aviation Enterprise includes everybody in this room. We need everybody's support."
Miller, who recently assumed his role as director, Air Warfare, shared his enthusiasm for where naval aviation is headed.
"We are working on exciting stuff -- delivering new capabilities to the fleet," Miller said. "That's all due to the teaming and the collective effort of those that are in this room right now."
Shoemaker shared a similar positive outlook for naval aviation.
"The future is very bright because of the great work that Rear Adm. Michael Manazir (former director, Air Warfare and current deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Systems) and now Rear Adm. DeWolfe Miller are doing to ensure that each of our type, model, series has a new platform that they'll be moving into or are in already," Shoemaker said. "Now we've got to work that across the weapons we deliver, the sensors that go with them and the networks that tie it all together, as we talk about kill chains or kill webs -- that's the key."
The update concluded with the leaders fielding questions, and audience members asked a few questions about today's junior officers (JOs) and preparedness for future fights.
"Today's JOs aren't like we were ... they're better," Grosklags said. "We should feel very good about the future."
The Tailhook Convention is an annual event run by the Tailhook Association -- an independent, fraternal, nonprofit organization supporting the aircraft carrier and other sea-based aviation.