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FRCSW Micro-Miniature Shop Supports NASNI Squadrons

AT3 Georgia Cowan and AT2 Justin Jarvis trouble shoot an automated testing equipment power cord.

When circuit cards of avionic components belonging to the airframes serviced by Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) need repair or troubleshooting, they often end up in the command’s micro-miniature shop in Building 463.

Manned by 11 FRCSW Sailors, the intermediate level work done in the shop plays a supporting role to the repairs made by the command to more than 30,000 components annually.

Many of the circuit cards, or shop replaceable assemblies, are held in weapons replaceable assemblies, the containers that house avionic functions.

“We not only do micro-miniature work on circuit cards, but also cable and wire repairs,” said Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Georgia Cowan. “We also do troubleshooting on the Huntron program which tells us what these components are supposed to be reading, or what their values are.”

The Huntron testing machine is typically used to detect and locate faulty components on circuit boards or cards.

“Sometimes we don’t have a testing program so we take two identical cards, one of which is a known good. We’ll compare it to the faulty card to isolate the component failure of that card,” Cowan said.

“If a component is burned it’s an easy fix because it’s a visual identification, but if it’s internal, we have to use a multi-meter to locate it.”

Other tools used in the shop include microscopes, soldering irons, soldering jets and the PRC 2000 which is a temperature controlling unit used for the removal and installation of surface mount and through-hole components.

“Different cards require different temperatures in the repair process. The highest we go is about 900 F,” said AT2 Justin Jarvis.

“We work on two basic types of circuit cards: The laminate, which is plastic and carbon-fiber based that takes roughly 600 degrees to solder anything to them, and the ceramic cards that range from 750-800 degrees. These are usually old and pretty thick, so we generally have to heat the boards too,” he said.

Circuit cards that cannot be repaired are returned to the customer who may designate them as beyond capability of maintenance (BCM) and order new cards.

To qualify to operate the testers and perform circuit card repairs, Sailors must complete miniature and micro repair schools and must recertify the qualifications every 18 months.

For cable repairs, training is offered at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

“If you don’t have the qualifications, you can’t work on the circuit cards, but with cable repair it’s more of a hands-on training in the shop. They teach you how to use the encyclopedias of the connectors,” Cowan said.

The shop repairs intercommunication systems (ICS) cables belonging to Naval Air Station North Island squadrons, and cross and power cables.

ICS cables are attached to pilots’ helmets and cross cables are used on the bridge for ordnance, Jarvis noted.

The shop analyzes approximately 100 to 150 items weekly, and also operates an engraving machine to manufacture signs, plaques, and name tags for Naval  Air Station North Island commands.



















FRCSW IPT Lead Named NAVAIR 6.0 Logistics/Industrial Operations Employee of the Quarter

FRCSW Commanding Officer Capt. Anthony Jaramillo presents Industrial Plant Services IPT Lead Patrick Runk with the NAVAIR 6.0 Logistics and Industrial Operations Employee of the Quarter, Fourth Quarter 2018 award. (U.S. Navy photo)

Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has selected Patrick Runk as its 6.0 Logistics and Industrial Operations Employee of the Quarter, Fourth Quarter 2018.

Runk, who is the Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) 6.33 industrial plant services Integrated Product Team (IPT) lead, earned the award for improving equipment availability which directly increased components production within the command.

“My role is to ensure that the equipment in the facilities that’s required for production to meet fleet requirement needs is up and running, and that they have every tool they need to do their part,” he said.

Leading a staff of approximately 150 maintenance employees including electricians, mechanics and pipefitters among other trades, Runk oversees the needs of roughly 60 NAVAIR buildings within the FRCSW domain, totally more than 23,000 assets.

“Typically, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) owns the outside of the buildings and we’re responsible for the inside. But more and more we also take care of the roof ventilation systems and the chillers. The only thing we don’t really deal with is the HVAC and the utility type issues,” he said.

Shortly after assuming his IPT lead position in October 2017, Runk developed three initiatives that would increase the availability of equipment throughout the components division.

The first initiative was to reduce the number of down critical equipment.

“We had a `fix-it’ team that originally met with the customer on a daily basis. It was a group of us, not just 6.33, and included the maintenance department, engineering, facilities support, production and the project managers,” he said.

“Every morning we would discuss what was impacting the customer’s ability to get out the most critical components, or the `Fat 15’ as we called them.”

“We identified what assets were impacting that, and it became a daily drumbeat. And our job the rest of the day became to remove those barriers to getting that asset up and running so they could produce those `Fat 15.’”

By the fourth quarter of FY 2018, the number of down critical equipment had been reduced from more than 10 percent to less than four percent, which was under the Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers (COMFRC) goal of five percent.

The second initiative targeted increasing work completion rates.

The team set goals and assessed an array of metrics including the volume of work load, the amount of work being completed, and how responsive they were to the customers.

“We started looking at the workload not only from our department, but from a holistic perspective for each of the customers,” Runk said. “We wanted to identify their issues and how we we’re doing in their area and the division to meet their needs.”

“By looking at those numbers were able to focus on where all of our gaps were, and being able to direct resources to issues at one time, as opposed to a `nickel-and-dime’ approach to get things done. By understanding what the whole workload looked like, we were able to devote more resources to one area and get a more sizeable chunk done.”

The move gained a 26 percent reduction in work turn-around time, and a nine percent reduction of work in progress.

The third initiative addressed the availability of the cleaning and plating tanks in Building 472.

Initially driven by the production of F/A-18 Hornet and E-2C Hawkeye landing gear, Runk said that the fix-it team had contact with existing focus groups that were reporting on the status of the tanks weekly. Eventually, the fix-it team split off and focused on a team strictly dedicated to the tanks.

“First, we had to identify what tanks were down, what was needed to get them back up, and what were the other issues to improve their ability to process components,” he said. “So we started that discussion and anytime an issue arose we could respond much faster because we were already engaged with them.”

As availability of the tanks increased from 76 percent to 96 percent, so did production: During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018, FRCSW reduced fleet backorders from 369 to 167 and Priority Group One products from 207 to 170.

A Navy veteran and a native of San Diego, Runk said he was surprised at his selection for the NAVAIR quarterly award.

“I think this is an extremely challenging position, and often, I don’t feel that we’re being successful. So, being recognized makes me feel like we are going in the right direction with things,” he said.

“Realistically, it helped me understand how valuable my team is. Obviously, these are things that I’m involved in, but this isn’t my doing. It’s my communicating to the team what the requirements are and the direction we want to go. And it’s them taking the action and ownership and buying into the change, culture and direction we need to go to support the customer.”

Runk, the father of three — two boys and a girl — spends his free time with his wife Stephanie and coaching Little League baseball.

FRCSW services more than 130 airframes and 33,000 components annually, through a world-wide maintenance network. Our diverse workforce of more than 4,900 personnel has pioneered countless Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) techniques, providing world-class support to the warfighter.






FRCSW First FRC Depot to Pass CCRI on First Attempt

FRCSW Commanding Officer Capt. Anthony Jaramillo, center, is joined by members of the Command Cyber Readiness Inspection (CCRI) team and FRCSW security personnel in front of the Building 94 quarterdeck following the conclusion of the CCRI February 14. The command passed the security inspection on its first try, and is the first NAVAIR facility to do so. (U.S. Navy photo)

Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) completed an extensive four-day Command Cyber Readiness Inspection (CCRI) February 14. And scoring an 80.5 percent, the command became the first Naval Air Systems Command facility to pass the inspection on its first try.

Overseen by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), the CCRI’s purpose is to evaluate, improve and strengthen a command’s cybersecurity and computer network postures. The CCRI also ensures compliance to various DOD mandated cybersecurity and computer network directives.

The inspection was conducted by nine members of the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), which is the DISA liaison.

Tamika Clay-Jefferson, command information systems security manager (CISSM), said FRCSW was notified of the CCRI schedule in September 2018.

“Because we’d never had an inspection of this magnitude before, changing the command culture with regards to common access cards (CAC) cards and securing our personally identifiable information (PII) was major,” she said.

“To me, getting the command culture on track was the most rewarding because we did fairly well. And that was recognized by the traditional security inspector saying that for a command this size, he expected to find way more incidents and he found virtually none.”

Of the command’s 88 buildings, Clay-Jefferson said that five were identified as potential locations for the CCRI: Buildings 334, 94, 5, and 378 and 317 which house FRCSW’s research, development, test and evaluation (RDT and E) labs.

“We provided a scoping document which tells them that these are the areas that we believe are in scope,” she said. “They can agree, but everything is in play which is why it was so important for everyone in every building to comply with the things we were asking because they had the option to deviate from the five buildings we put on our scoping document.”

“Not only was this important to the command and the commanding officer, but it is important to ensure that we are properly protecting the government’s assets and in doing so, we are making sure that we are keeping our cyber threats down,” she added.

USCYBERCOM uses three checklists to form the baseline of the inspection: Security Technical Implementation Guidelines (STIG); Computer Network Defense directives (CND); and contributing factors such as leadership engagement and STIG application.

Overall, there are more than 200 points of action between the three lists.

“The STIG has 151 actions, and within those there are sub-compartments. Each directive may have an overall header and from there, there are separate actions that must be completed,” Clay-Jefferson said.

Violations during inspections are divided into three levels: Category I, or the most severe, to Category III, or a minor violation. An unattended CAC, for example, would be a Category I violation; while failing to load a patch on a computer would be a Category III violation.

The next CCRI for FRCSW is in approximately 18 months.

In the meantime, Clay-Jefferson said that FRCSW employees should remain diligent of the operating standards and procedures observed during the last CCRI.

“We want to make sure that we continue with proper documentation of actions or deviations from any of the Navy’s guidelines, and make sure that we continue with the command culture. Command culture sets the pace because if the culture is not adhering to the proper standards, then everything else is left wide open,” she said.











FRCSW Prepares First Osprey PMI-2

The first MV-22 Osprey scheduled to undergo Planned Maintenance Interval-2 at FRCSW is positioned in Building 333 by Naval Facilities Engineering Command riggers February 6. Inducted January 31, the aircraft is assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 362 (VMM-362) under the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. (U.S. navy photo)

Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) celebrated a historic occasion at Naval Air Station North Island January 31 with the induction of its first MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft for Planned Maintenance Interval-Two (PMI-2).

The aircraft is assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 362 (VMM-362) under the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.

The command completed its first PMI-1 event on an Osprey in May 2016 at its Miramar site aboard Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar.

PMI-1 and 2 comprise the Navy’s Integrated Maintenance Program (IMP) which targets the structural integrity of the airframe. The IMP model is also applied to other naval aircraft including the F/A-18 Hornet fighter and the H-60 multi-purpose Seahawk helicopter.

PMI specifications were developed by engineers and the IMP lead from FRC East at MCAS Cherry Point.

Aircraft work lead Philip Lockwood and four aircraft mechanics are part of a team establishing FRCSW’s new PMI-2 Osprey work center in Building 333. Work will initially accommodate Ospreys from Marine Corps squadrons assigned to Camp Pendleton.

“We’re not up and running yet, and we don’t have all of the tooling yet,” Lockwood said. “Our whole shop needs to get qualified on the gas turbine systems (engines) and operations on the plane. We’ve been doing the maintenance interval without the operations or checking hydraulic systems, just evaluation and repair. This is a depot event while the work at Miramar and Pendleton is a field event.”

PMI-2 is an in-depth look at the aircraft and replaces or repairs areas and components identified by the PMI specifications. Aircraft are also painted during the event.

Marine Corps squadrons will fly the Ospreys to the FRCSW test line where the aircraft will undergo the induction process, and afterward, be towed to Building 333.

Building 333 may accommodate up to four aircraft.

The squadron will assist in the removal of the engines and other components during this first induction, but FRCSW artisans will likely handle any O-level work during future inductions.

“The processes will be as a normal PMI-1. The only thing being added will be at the test line, removing and preserving the engines and fuel cells during induction, and different panels, but nothing will really change — PMI-1 will just be part of the PMI-2 process that we’ll be doing,” said aircraft mechanic Angelo Anthony.

“We’ll have final assembly here too, and that’s where operations will come into play: We’ll have to check all of the systems,” Lockwood noted.

In the event of out-of-scope repairs, squadrons will need to provide any parts and initiate a Planner and Estimator request to route funding to complete the work.

Kevin Carrasco, FRCSW props deputy IPT lead, said that three more Ospreys are scheduled for induction this fiscal year, and by the second quarter of FY 2020, four should be in work.

Disassembly of the VMM-362 Osprey is tentatively scheduled to begin near the end of this month, and the aircraft is expected to be returned to the squadron in approximately 462 days.

















Support Equipment Rework Shop Revives Shipboard Tools

Sailors from USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) work on components to their ships support equipment in the FRCSW Support Equipment Rework Shop in Building 801. Pictured, from left, are: AO2 Suni Lopez, AOC Kristopher Haskins, AOAN Gilliana Dolce and AOAN Angelica Piol. (U.S. Navy photo)

Exposure to the elements and daily use at sea can take a toll on shipboard aviation equipment.

And like the ship and crew assigned to it, this gear needs rejuvenation upon returning to port. Aboard Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW), the Support Equipment (SE) Rework shop in Buildings 801 and 789 serve as the refurbishment center for these tools.

For over 30 years, the SE shop and its staff of five Sailors and five contractor personnel have handled the technical expertise, tools, and parts that enable Sailors to prepare equipment for its next deployment.

Eight Sailors and contractors work in Building 801, and the remaining two personnel work in Building 789 where the shop’s painting facilities are located.

“The civilian contractors do the maintenance on the support equipment we have like the grinders, our lifts, saws, and blasters. The blasters are used to remove paint from surfaces that can’t be removed in a burn oven, like aluminum which can melt,” said Aviation Support Equipment Technician 1st Class (AS1) Beulah Lashley, who is the shop’s leading petty officer.

“We have one civilian who is a welder, so, if a bolt breaks off of a piece of gear or if something needs fabricated, he can do that work for us. And we have another who will break down and reassemble any work that can’t be completed, like nitrogen carts and maintenance stands.”

Lashley said that the SE shop is funded by Commander, Naval Air Forces.

Homeported and visiting ships offload their support equipment and gear that needs refurbishing, and supply their own manpower to do the work. Those Sailors are usually AS, ordnance, or machinist mates.

“Each ship carries between 30-40 individuals total,” Lashley said, “The most we’ve had working here at one time was 120 individuals.”

“We have also used the shop for training purposes. Last year, we used this (Building 801) as a demo/training area for the new tow tractor tires that can be complicated to work with,” she said.

“Our civilians had fabricated a tire puller to remove the tire from the rim. Otherwise, the tools we have would be two crowbars, a hammer and a V-breaker and it would take hours on end, but with the tool they manufactured it reduced the time considerably.”

The Building 801 facility contains eight work bays, a full-service welding shop, overhead cranes and a tool room to handle scheduled maintenance to major equipment refurbishment. The staff does not work on forklifts or cranes, and is not authorized to rebuild major components like engines and transmissions, but routine maintenance including oil changes are performed.

The rework shop’s primary customers include the aircraft carriers ported at Naval Air Station North Island and amphibious force (Gator) ships.

“Tow bars and tow tractors come through the most, but we also see work on a lot of hydraulic genies, maintenance stands and nitrogen carts,” she said.

“A lot of hard work and effort goes into keeping this gear up and running to support the mission when these ships are out to sea for seven, eight, or 10 months at a time,” Lashley said. “It’s effort from both sides, our Sailors and civilians, who are the basic subject matter experts on a lot of the equipment. It’s pretty amazing the things that we do here.”

Last year, approximately 60,000 pieces of equipment were serviced through the shop, she added.


FRCSW, NAVAIR Celebrate 33rd Annual MLK Commemoration

Guest speaker Cynthia James-Price addresses the audience during the 33rd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration in the Naval Air Forces auditorium on board Naval Air Station North Island.

Military and civilian personnel from Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) and Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) joined together January 16 to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sponsored by FRCSW, the National African-American Pipelines Advisory Team and Naval Air Technical Data and Engineering Service Center, the 33rd annual commemoration was held in the Commander, Naval Air Forces auditorium on board Naval Air Station North Island.

Opening remarks were offered by FRCSW Executive Officer Capt. Steven Leehe who spoke of King’s legacy and enduring impact upon the evolution of American society.

“His profound vision and unyielding dream and bold action changed our nation and the entire world forever and for the better; a man who dared the nation to dream with him,” Capt. Leehe said.

Guest speaker Cynthia James-Price who is an entrepreneur, reserve officer and active in the management of non-profit agencies, referenced the need to partnership with others to affect change and optimism.

“I feel that because I had Martin Luther King before me to pave the way, I’ve tried to make the time to pave the way for others. So I’ve dedicated my time to helping others along the way,” she said.

“It’s not too early or it’s not too late to step into your destiny or to accomplish your dreams.”

Since 1986, the holiday honoring King is observed the third Monday of each January, and serves as a reminder of the struggle achieved through peaceful means to pursue racial equality and civil rights for all Americans.

Born January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Ga., King skipped the ninth and 12th grades and enrolled in Morehouse College in Atlanta at the age of 15. Ordained a minister while still an undergraduate, he served as the assistant pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church at age 18.

The following year he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse. King’s scholastic achievements continued when, at age 21, he received a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Crozer Theology Seminary in Pennsylvania, and a doctorate in theology from Boston University at 25.

As he pursued his studies, black Americans in some cities were forced to sit in the back of buses and forfeit their seats to whites. But in 1955, black seamstress Rosa Parks took a front seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus. When told to vacate the seat for a white passenger, she refused. Parks, who died at age 92 on October 24, 2005, was arrested for violating the transportation segregation laws of Montgomery.

Saying the lives of black Americans were “sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and discrimination…,” King used the incident to inspire others to peacefully boycott the bus company.

Parks’ arrest and the resulting boycott gained national attention and in less than six months, the federal courts had declared transportation segregation laws unconstitutional.

King’s methods in this historic protest were used as a model by other civil rights activists throughout the country, and the Civil Rights Movement had begun.

In the ensuing years, as he made equal rights his life’s work, King would use his own assets and nonviolent philosophy to organize hundreds of rallies and marches across the nation.

Though abused and imprisoned, he continued teaching and practicing nonviolence. Overall, King was arrested 30 times for his participation in civil rights activities.

On August 28, 1963, more than 250,000 people of all races, religions, and political affiliations gathered in Washington, D.C., for the “March for Jobs and Freedom.” Speaking from the Lincoln Memorial, King delivered what was to become his most famous speech — “I Have a Dream.”

The march far exceeded the expectations of its organizers, bridging the gap between competing groups of Americans and addressing the conscience of a nation.

According to its planners, the march succeeded because it embraced the essence of equality and justice — the most enduring and basic of American values.

The following year, at the age of 35, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He was the youngest man in history, and the third black man, to receive the award.

On April 4, 1968, James Earl Ray assassinated King who was standing on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tenn. He was to lead sanitation workers in a protest for better working conditions and wages.



COMFRC, FRCSW Name LS1 Sindy Johnson as 2018 Sailor of the Year

COMFRC and FRCSW 2018 Sailor of the Year Logistics Specialist 1st Class Sindy Johnson.

Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers (COMFRC) and Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) have selected Logistics Specialist 1st Class Sindy Johnson as their 2018 Sailor of the Year (SOY).

FRCSW named Johnson as its SOY in October, and COMFRC followed one month later.

“I was humbled by the selections,” she said. “I wanted to get that far and keep going. It almost seemed like a dream, like `I’m shooting for this, but I don’t know if I’m ever going to get there.’

“The leadership here has trusted me in letting me take over the assignments I wanted and volunteered for. I’m thankful for their trust and helping me achieve my goals. I didn’t achieve this alone though. It was a combination of the leadership, the people that work with me and the Sailors here at FRCSW,” she said.

But being recognized for her efforts and contributions are not really new to the 32-year-old petty officer.

While at her first command in 2005 aboard the submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS-39), Johnson was selected as the Bluejacket of the Year. Two years later Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, chose her as its Junior Sailor of the Year.

In 2016, she reported to FRCSW where she serves as the acting chief petty officer of the command’s administration department. She is also the fleet training scheduler.

“We have two military and FRCSW Pt. Mugu administration personnel who I supervise, and I’m also in charge of all of the Sailors and Marines who come through the school house. So, at any given point, I can have 30 Sailors or Marines going through fleet training,” she said.

Prior to arriving here, Johnson worked at Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 73 as the material control leading petty officer.

Born in Bluff, Nicaragua, Johnson moved with her father to Bronx, N.Y., in December 2001 at the age of 15. Three years later she joined the Navy.

“Ever since I was little and living in Nicaragua, I wanted to join the Navy because I wanted to be part of the `big super power of the world,’” she said.  “And once in the States, in addition to joining the Navy, I wanted to be independent and find a better life for myself. That was the motivation to push me to join.”

In 2005, a year after joining the Navy, she became a naturalized citizen in Italy while assigned to USS Emory S. Land.

Johnson continues to pursue her naval career and said she is ultimately working toward advancement to master chief.

Her advice to younger Sailors who are interested in succeeding in the Navy focuses on continuity and perseverance.

“Don’t give up not matter how many times you fall personally or professionally,” she said. “Keep getting back up. And show up and do your best.”

Johnson is currently awaiting orders to her next command, and in the meantime, enjoys running and spending time with her family and ten-year-old daughter.







Waterjet Enhances FRCSW Manufacturing

The OMAX waterjet cutting tool is typically used by FRCSW in manufacturing skins, angles and ribs for the F/A-18, E-2/C-2 and H-60 airframes.

Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) artisans use a variety of tools and unique machinery in their daily work to provide the fleet with mission-ready aircraft.

One such machine, the “waterjet,” which is assigned under the industrial manufacturing program in Building 472, has the ability to cut aircraft wings in half.

With a 30-horsepower water pump and able to accommodate parts and materials up to 6 feet by 12 feet in its water tank, there’s not too much the manufacturing cutting tool can’t cut, curve, or shape.

An “abrasive” waterjet, the unit uses a combination of high pressure water and an 80-grit garnet abrasive that travels through a water line to cut material. Water enters a filtration system to a pump which boosts it up to 50,000 psi, and then sends it to a nozzle which has a mixing chamber where the abrasive is introduced.

The abrasive grit collects at the bottom of the water tank where it is captured and disposed of as hazardous material.

The 80-grit abrasive is about the size of beach sand and is typically used for making rough cuts. Finer grits of abrasive are used for making more precision cuts to create intricate parts.

An abrasive waterjet can cut through a variety of materials including stone, wood, titanium, and Teflon.

Unlike lasers, which FRCSW uses for cuts and patterns from minimally thick pieces of steel and aluminum, the waterjet does not use heat, sparing metals and other substances from the potential damage or intrinsic property changes associated with heat-cutting devices.

Operation of the machine begins with an AutoCAD (Computer Aided Design) that interprets the blueprints of the part to be manufactured or cut.

AutoCAD results are transferred to the waterjet’s computer terminal which estimates the time to complete the job, an estimate of the cost, and the amount of abrasive required based upon the material used and its thickness.

The FRCSW waterjet can handle thicknesses of up to 18 inches.

Manufactured by the OMAX Corp., FRCSW purchased the machine in mid-2009 to replace its aging unit.

The waterjet is routinely used to cut out F/A-18, E2/C2, and H-60 Seahawk helicopter parts including skins and ribs for the airframes.







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.