Fleet Readiness Center East Logistician Named Best in Navy United States Navy News Stories

In his role as Logistics Manager for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) at Fleet Readiness Center East (FRCE), Stephen Barrow leads a team tackling some of the most complex current and future problems within the US Navy Enterprise. Its pursuit of innovative, non-traditional solutions to a variety of challenges helps FRCE support current fleet readiness while preparing the depot for the demands of fifth-generation weapon systems and the needs of future warfighters.

Most recently, Barrow’s vision and foresight earned him the honor of being the Navy’s top civilian logistician when Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics, Vice Admiral Ricky Williamson, presented him with the 2021 Admiral Stan Arthur Award for Civilian Logistician of the Year.

The award recognizes both military and civilian logisticians who exemplify excellence in logistics planning and execution, Williamson noted in a statement announcing the winners and runners-up. The award recognizes individuals and teams who demonstrate enhanced combat capability of the operational force. advanced technology, product, service or process; major logistical problems solved; produced logistics innovations that deserve adoption for standard use; delivered positive results for joint operations; or advanced logistics capabilities that ensure warfighter dominance in a competitive logistics environment.

“These award winners exemplify the importance of logistics in fulfilling the Navy’s mission and innovation across the…spectrum to increase our competitive advantage over our adversaries,” Williamson noted in the statement. “My warmest congratulations to all our award winners and nominees! I also want to express my gratitude for the superlative innovative solutions that have resulted in quantifiable benefits for the United States Navy.”

FRCE’s commanding officer, Capt. James M. Belmont, said he was pleased that Barrow’s innovative problem solving was being recognized at such a prestigious level.

“Stephen has worked tirelessly over the past year to advance and guide the MRO logistics division to find and deploy non-traditional solutions to current and future problems,” said Belmont. “Driven, ready and armed with a complete understanding of how every effort impacts future actions, he has been a leading force within the Depot in providing real-time answers to our most complex problems.

“Stephen firmly believes in the ‘art of the possible,’ and serves as a consistent role model when it comes to challenging the status quo,” continued Belmont. “His consistent leadership and innovative mindset have ensured Command exceeds financial and production targets at the depot level. I couldn’t ask for a more focused, motivated colleague and I couldn’t be prouder to work alongside Stephen and his team.”

During the nomination period for the award, Barrow led the MRO logistics department in developing an innovative inventory tool that can quickly and accurately record approximately 8,000 aerospace components as they actively move around the depot. Development and construction of the Naval X Eastern North Carolina Tech Bridge; Development of a diverse and collaborative budget with the FRCE Comptroller Department; and worked with the North Carolina Global TransPark at Kinston to facilitate the relocation and expansion of the depot’s Air Force H-1 helicopter line. Barrow also led the initiative to create FRCE’s Data Analytics Branch to improve the accuracy of data reporting across the depot and provided strategic guidance for the Beyond Economical Repair program, which has demonstrated significant savings for FRCE.

Barrow said he was flattered by the recognition but felt the real credit for these achievements went to the MRO logistics department as a whole.

“While I’m humbled and honored to receive this award, it’s important to recognize that the real winners and ‘makers’ are my MRO Logistics teammates,” he said. “As leaders, we can help by sharing a vision, providing direction and removing barriers to progress, but our people are the ones who make it happen – without them, success would not be possible. The MRO Logistics team that we have at FRC East is one of the best, if not the best team I have worked with during my career at Naval Air Systems Command.”

The breakthrough solutions developed through the success of this team effort have enabled FRCE leadership to make real-time business decisions with a full understanding of future implications, enabling the depot’s workforce to innovate and generate new ideas implement that will provide improved maintenance, repair and overhaul to the fleet for years to come.

“The products and services that FRC East provides to the Naval Aviation Enterprise are fundamental to the warfighter’s ability to accomplish its mission,” said Barrow. “Nevertheless, in our rapidly changing times and the re-emergence of competitors who are almost equal, the company as a collective is falling behind.

“Our current focus on affordability, rapid delivery of capabilities, speed and effectiveness requires a different way of thinking and doing business,” he continued. “The MRO Logistics team that made this award possible is a great example of a team committed to thinking and doing business differently.”

FRCE is North Carolina’s largest provider of maintenance, repair, overhaul and engineering services with more than 4,000 civilian, military and contract workers. Annual sales exceed $1 billion. The depot provides service to the fleet while functioning as an integral part of the larger US Navy. Naval Air Systems Command; and Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers.

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