FRCSW Hydraulics Shop Working to Meet CNAF, Fleet Requirements

Pneudralics systems mechanic Brett Lee disassembles a hydraulic servo system actuator assembly used on a Super Hornet aileron.

Throughout the Fleet Readiness Center domain, many programs form the team required to meet Commander, Navy Air Forces (CNAF) initiative to achieve 341 mission-ready F/A-18 Super Hornets by 2020.

At Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) the hydraulics shop in Building 472 contributes to the CNAF goal by focusing much of its efforts on the flight control systems of the Super Hornet.

“Hornet E and F rudders, trailing edge flaps, horizontal stabilizers and ailerons are the most common components that we work on,” said pneudraulics work leader Logan Black.

Manned by 55 artisans and approximately 12 contractor personnel operating in two shifts, the shop also refurbishes flight control components to legacy A-D Hornets, the E-2/C-2 airframe, CH-53 and H-60 helicopters. Components to the LM2500 turbine engine are renovated, as well.

Black said that the shop focuses on Issue Priority Group 1 (IPG1) aircraft — aircraft that are down — for a component. The shop maintains a priority chart that is based on the top 10 IPG1s.

Inducted components undergo an electrical check prior to a diagnostic check to locate any failures within the unit. Parts are replaced as required.

“If something like an attachment is broken and we can’t get it through the supply system, then we send it through our evaluator and estimator to the material engineering disposition program who would deem it as scrap,” Black noted.

Many flight control components, like rudders and nose wheel landing gear, are equipped with electro hydraulic service valves (EHSV) which the shop also repairs. The EHVS sends the hydraulic signal to the flight control actuator which determines aircraft movement.

To check and test components, the shop uses the Servo-Cylinder Test Station (STS). Black said that three of the test stations are exclusively used on the Super Hornets for testing the aircrafts main components including stabilizers and nose wheel. Other STSs are used on components belonging to IPG1 aircraft.

“Once we final test the component and after our last quality assurance (QA) check, the unit is sent back to the squadron or whoever the customer may be,” Black said.

Thanks to its artisans and members from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the shop recently improved the turn-around time (TAT) to its customers by approximately 40 percent.

The BCG, a 55-year-old management consulting firm, arrived at FRCSW in early October with the intent to analyze the Navy Sustainment System and devise improved procedures to increase production efficiency.

Black said the reduction in TAT was primarily achieved through a focus on procuring and preparing parts, and the development of a color-coded system to alert artisans and supervisors to areas in need of immediate attention.

“They made our work much more visual than it just being from a spreadsheet,” he said. “When they colored the issues red to bring attention to them, people started seeing the problem rather than just knowing about the problem.”

“We’ve been able to address issues with getting parts. And making it a visual indication allowed us to see what the problems were and what the hold-ups were. We had meetings with people from other departments to get the components to move. This got everyone on the same page with us receiving the parts and getting them into the shop to be worked.”

A board for artisans to voice their ideas and concerns was setup in the shop by BCG. One suggestion resulted in an improved approach to kitting parts for the components.

“There was a lot of confusion as to identifying the parts for the kitting,” said pneudraulics systems mechanic Brett Lee. “Typically, there’s more than 50 parts per component kit, and these include the kits for rudders, ailerons, leading edge stabilizers and trailing edge flaps.”

“The artisans were willing to work with production control to cross kit the components so we could work them. With BCG highlighting the material problems, the artisans were willing to work with them and fix a lot of the problems we were having,” Black noted.

“I know BCG is still working on a lot of process improvements,” he said. “I don’t think they are leaving anytime soon, and at least one person will stay and shadow to make sure things are running smoothly.”

The hydraulics shop services more than 100 different components and processes about 500 per components quarterly.




FRCSW Employee Receives 2018 Lasswell Award for Fleet Support

FRCSW information technology specialist Tamika Clay-Jefferson is presented the 2018 A. Bryan Lasswell Award for fleet support by Rear Adm. Dan Dwyer, commmader, Carrier Strike Group Nine, October 23 at the Town and Country Hotel. The award recognizes individuals who have provided exceptional support through in-service engineering procedures or technical innovation to the armed services based in San Diego.

Tamika Clay-Jefferson, an information technology specialist for Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW), is the recipient of the 2018 A. Bryan Lasswell Award for Fleet Support.

Sponsored by the National Defense Industrial Association and named for Marine Corps Maj. A. Bryan Lasswell, the award recognizes individuals who provide exceptional support to the Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard forces based in San Diego.

In 1942, Lasswell, who was a translator and cryptologist, deciphered communications of the Japanese Navy, which proved vital to the American victory at the Battle of Midway Island.

In 2015, Clay-Jefferson joined the FRCSW Information Technology and Management Department and works as the command’s information systems security manager (ISSM).

A year earlier she wrapped up a 14-year naval career where she initially served (not unlike Lasswell) as a cryptologic intelligence technician, until the rate merged with information systems technician in 2006.

Earning a bachelor’s degree in information technology management along the way, Clay-Jefferson found herself challenged to apply her experience and education to improve FRCSW’s cybersecurity program.

“When I started working here I wasn’t in the position that I am in now. I was watching and learning to see how we did business. I noticed that we were deficient in a number of areas, and I’m now in a position to affect change,” she said.

FRCSW’s cybersecurity guidelines are governed by a myriad of authorities including the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIS) Risk Management Framework (RMF), the Department of Defense and the Department of the Navy.

“We have to be in line not only with the DOD and DON standards, but also follow whatever the SECNAV puts out,” Clay-Jefferson noted.

“All of these things have a position in the cybersecurity workforce. So our job is to make sure we understand all of those requirements, and that we create command policy, instructions and guidelines to make sure that we’re in line.”

In addition to creating a mandated cyber-awareness brief for new employees and improving computer security awareness, Clay-Jefferson targeted command systems in need of current Authority to Operate (ATO) status.

“We have so much gear that doesn’t have ATO, that right now we are in the discovery phase of identifying all of our equipment and systems that will need ATO. If they need updated, we’ll provide that to ensure that we are keeping up with Navy policy,” she said.

Systems that are tested and verified to meet the requirements of their Information Assurance (IA) programs are forwarded to the DOD’s automated Enterprise Mission Assurance Support Service where they are assessed and granted ATO validation.

FRCSW’s research, test, development and evaluation (RTD&E) labs are examples of areas with systems in need of ATO authorization to operate.

“We have adapted the Risk Management Framework (RMF) process that has a list of all their equipment and structure and it’s basically giving the ability to `go live’ and do the job because all of the DOD, DON and NIS standards are met,” Clay-Jefferson said.

“By definition the cyber office is supposed to have oversight of all the command’s systems and that wasn’t really happening; so we established relationships to let them know that we are here to support them and whatever they need.”

As part of her ISSM duties, Clay-Jefferson works with the FRCSW Security Department to establish physical security procedures in the labs such as access control and gear to mask computer servers which should not be visually exposed.

Command-wide, security procedures developed last year targeting the use of government computers resulted in a 95 percent reduction in violations since March 2017.

“These decreased incidents refer to unauthorized plug-ins of personal cell phones and flash drives in government equipment, which also resulted in a reduction of viruses,” she said.

In the meantime, Clay-Jefferson and the cybersecurity team are preparing for a cyber-readiness inspection scheduled for February 2019. The week-long inspection is conducted by the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command by direction of the Defense Information Systems Agency.

The inspection will target technical and traditional security issues and the security culture of the command.