Aviation Industrial Readiness Program

This executive development program provides business management skills to effectively lead our nation’s complex depot, arsenal, and ammunition facilities and the public-private partnerships that support them. Serving the commanders and senior civilian leaders of defense industrial base organizations and the private sector managers who work with them, the program incorporates leadership development and management concepts focusing on the financial, operational, and interpersonal aspects of effectively managing these large organizations.

The AIR-P curriculum leverages multiple delivery methods — traditional in-residence classroom teaching, online learning, business study tours, and corporate residencies — to provide a well-rounded learning experience.

Key topics:

  • Lean Six Sigma Executive Champion Certification
  • Strategic business management
  • Operations, manufacturing, and performance improvement
  • Change management
  • Technological transformation


  • Shape the vision for your organization guided by input from leading experts and colleagues
  • Benchmark and share ideas to increase organizational performance by evaluating similar organizations across private industry and the military
  • Learn to lead a large organization effectively by developing cross-functional management skills


AIR-P is taught using multiple delivery methods including traditional classroom teaching in-residence, online learning, business study tours, and corporate residencies. Residencies include:

Base Curriculum

Two-hour teleconference outlining course objectives, schedule, and orientation of the Defense Organic Industrial Base followed by an opportunity for questions.

Residency 1
Five-day residency in Raleigh, NC, focused on business strategy, operations, and logistics and supply chain management.

L6S Distance Instruction
Four 1.5-hour online sessions describing Lean, Six Sigma, Theory of Constraints, and Continuous Process Improvement tools and methods.

Residency 2
Five-day benchmarking tour with a Lean, Six Sigma value stream praxis of DoD industrial facilities and private sector organizations with an emphasis on manufacturing, repair, and overhaul operations, and logistics and supply chain distribution centers.

Residency 3
Two to four-weeks of residencies at leading private or public sector organizations.

Residency 4
Five-day residency in Chapel Hill, NC, focused on industry best practices, Residency 3 outcomes discussion, and concludes with graduation.


AIR-P was established in 2018 with the U.S. Navy Fleet Readiness Center East (FRC-E). AIR-P welcomes the following participants:

  • O 5-6 grade military officers
  • CW5 warrant officers
  • GS 13-15 DoD civilians
  • Private sector senior leaders

Military: Serving and selected Depot, Arsenal, and Ammunition Plant Commanders from all branches.

Government Civilians: Serving Deputy Commanders, Chiefs of Staff, Directors, and Deputy Directors within the government industrial base, Defense Logistics Agency.

Private Sector: Senior managers and directors who work within the government and defense industrial base with involvement in manufacture, repair, and overhaul operations.

Contact us to learn more about the application and selection process.


Janet Chihocky

JANSON Communications

Don Linsenmann, MBA

Executive Transformation Mentoring, LLC

Steve Haynes, MSc

NCSU Poole College of Management

Jim Brunke, MBA

IDB Senior Faculty

John Gumbel, MS

The Boeing Company

Wendell Gilland, PhD

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Kevin Grayson, MBA, MS

North Carolina State University

Wendy Laing, CSP, MIE

NCSU Industry Expansion Solutions

Deb Manzo, PhD

NCSU Industry Expansion Solutions

Hugh O’Neill, PhD

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Paul Stanfield, MBA, PhD

North Carolina A&T State University

Chris Wedding, PhD

Entrepreneurs for Impact

Shane Yount

Competitive Solutions, Inc.

Program Staff:

LtCol Arthur T. Sturgeon, Jr., USMC (Ret)

Vice President, Programs & Senior Program Director



3M Defense Joe Gibbs Racing
AAR John Deere
Abbott Laboratories Kennecott Utah Copper
Agility Logistics Kia
Alcoa/Arconic Defense Kitco Defense
Alliant Techsystems Landstar
AM General Lockheed Martin-Aero
ATI Metalss Lockheed Martin-M&FC
BAE Systems LMI
Battelle Mack Trucks
Memorial Institute Maersk Lines
Bell Helicopter/Textron Microsoft
Boeing Defense, Space, & Security Navistar Defense
Booz Allen Hamilton Norfolk Southern
Cisco Systems Northrop Grumman
Combined Systems Inc. Orbital-ATK
Daimler Oshkosh Defense
DuPont Overnite Corporation
Espey Mfg & Electronic Corp Pfizer
FedEx Port of Corpus Christi Authority
Fiat Powertrain Technologies Pratt & Whitney
Flint Hills Resources PTC Federal and Defense
Flour Quad City Manufacturing Laboratory
FNH Manufacturing Raytheon
Force Protection Industries Rick Hendrick Motorsports
General Dynamics-ATP Robbins-Gioia, LLC
General Dynamics-LS Rockwell Collins
General Dynamics-OTS Rolls-Royce
General Electric-Aviation Roush-Fenway Racing
General Electric-Defense SAS Institute Federal
General Motors Schneider National
Global Concepts, Inc. Sikorsky
Harley Davidson Simpler Consulting
Harris Corporation Sonoco
Home Depot Southwest Airlines MRO
Honeywell Stewart & Stevenson
Horizon Lines The Supreme Group
Hyster-Yale Textron Systems (AAI)
IBM Toyota
Infinia UNC Athletics
ITT United Airlines
JCIT International UPS



Anniston Army Depot Army Working Capital Fund
CECOM CGALC, Elizabeth City
City of Huntsville Crane Army Ammunition Activity
Corpus Christi Army Depot Fleet Readiness Center East
Fleet Readiness Center Southeast Letterkenny Army Depot
MDMC Albany MDMC Barstow
Red River Army Depot Redstone Arsenal
Rock Island Arsenal Sierra Army Depot
US Chamber of Commerce



Army Association of America South Texas Military Facilities Task Force
Federal Managers Association


$25,000 – Includes tuition, materials, meals, and lodging


Professionals and organizations interested in this program should contact IDB Senior Account Manager, Mike Bogdahn at or (760) 577-8324 for enrollment information.

What to Expect:


AIR-P residencies typically begin Sunday evening and conclude by 3:00 p.m. Friday afternoon. Classes during the week typically begin at 8 a.m. and conclude by 5 p.m. with some evening events.


The Rizzo Center provides an outstanding and comfortable learning environment plus the resources to allow participants to learn, build relationships, and relax in one self-contained residential executive education facility.

All guest rooms offer a desk and lounge chair, high-speed Internet and WiFi access, communication port for laptops, hairdryer, iron and ironing board, and cable television. Washer and dryer facilities, dry cleaning valet services, and many other amenities are also available.

Recreational facilities include a fitness center with aerobic and weight-training equipment, two bars, and a large patio with fire pits.


To maximize the benefits of the collaborative environment of the program, we strongly discourage participants from bringing spouses or other guests. However, for the graduation reception and dinner during the final residency in Chapel Hill family are welcome.