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FRCSW NDI Shop Searches for Unseen Damage

NDI technician Estevan Juarez views the dye penetrant applied to the fuel cell cover assembly of an E-2/C-2 airframe. (U.S. Navy photo)

Damage to an aircraft is not always obvious to the naked eye: Miniscule cracks, warping, and separation within laminates and parts are all potential safety hazards.

To hunt down unseen damage and prevent part failure, artisans of the non-destructive inspection (NDI) program aboard Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) employ an eclectic array of tooling and technology designed to pinpoint defects without harming the aircraft or its parts.

The NDI program operates in facilities throughout the command and is used to investigate the cause of defects found during routine maintenance or visual inspections, or on components that have failed during use or because of age.

NDI inspections are applicable to all airframes serviced by FRCSW. In the 5,000 square-foot NDI shop in Building 472, about 10 NDI technicians support the E2/C2, V-22 Osprey and F/A-18 airframes, and the LM2500 engine program.  

“Other than the V-22, we’re very minimal on the vertical lift because they have their own NDI technicians there,” noted NDI supervisor Ray Arellano.

Inspection methods and repairs are determined by the composition of the material being examined.

NDI technicians in Building 472 use five primary methods to evaluate aircraft components: magnetic particle inspections, fluorescent dye penetrant, eddy current, ultrasonic testing, and temper edge/metal testing.

Magnetic particle inspections are used to detect damage near the surface or subsurface of components made of ferromagnetic material, like iron, and non-ferromagnetic material, like aluminum.

Ferromagnetic parts are magnetized and bathed with small ferromagnetic particles coated in fluorescent dye. When exposed to a black light, any damage appears dark green.

Non-ferromagnetic parts are coated in dyed florescent oil. When the oil is removed and a blotting agent applied, damages appear when exposed under a black light.

Applicable to both ferro and non-ferromagnetic materials is the eddy current inspection. The procedure uses a probe that induces electrical eddy (swirling) currents into the part. A magnetic field is produced by a coil in the probe. When the probe is connected to a conductor of electricity, like aluminum, the magnetic field creates the eddy currents that decrease in intensity as depth in the material increases. Any distorting to the currents indicates a defect and is displayed on a monitor.

Eddy current inspections are used to look for cracks on surfaces and other areas where the probe can make contact. It is also typically used in drilling areas, like the inside and circumference of rivet and fastener holes.

To detect internal damage to larger areas of aircraft like wings, doors and helicopter blades, ultrasonic and x-ray inspections are used. Ultrasonic inspections are used on components where access is limited to one side and the suspect area is inaccessible. Sound is transmitted into the component at varying degrees.

“The temper edge testing is used on varying degrees of tempered steel,” he said. “It’s not really an NDI process, we’re looking for burns. Temper edge etches the part by removing a minimal portion of the parts surface. Whenever a machine grinds on steel you want to look for burns because now it’s been hardened in that area. Depending on how bad it is that material can be removed.”

Temper metals testing is done by dipping the part in hot water, causing the metal to expand, then dipping in acid and a neutralizer. The process detects any burns that may have been caused by grinding or machining. 

After defects are identified and repairs made, parts are often returned to the NDI shop for verification testing.

“It depends on the part, but typically they come back to be re-evaluated once the repair is done. If we find corrosion, for example, it is addressed and repaired and we want to make sure that all of the corrosion is gone, so it will come back to us for verification,” Arellano said.

Components that have cleared final NDI testing are either placed in a ready-for issue (RFI) status or returned to the original source.

The Building 472 NDI shop inspects approximately 200 components weekly.

NSS Helps FRCSW GCU Shop Meet Fleet Needs

Aircraft electrician Roderick Canlas assembles the upgrades to an F/A-18 Super Hornet GCU. (U.S. Navy photo)

As the impact of the Naval Sustainment System (NSS) continues to bolster production throughout the command and increase fleet readiness, milestones often arise for those who work with the crucial components that directly affect the mission status of an aircraft.

“Last week, we actually hit zero issue-priority-group-ones (IPG1) on generator control units (GCU). I don’t know when the last time it was zero IPG1s,” said Rick Pfeiffer, deputy IPT lead of the GCU shop at Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW).

In addition to the GCU, which provides power to all of an aircraft’s electrical systems, the shop repairs and overhauls two types of generators: Air-cooled generators that use fan blades to cool them and typically found on helicopters, P-3 Orion and AV-8B Harrier aircraft, and oil-cooled generators used in aircraft like the F/A-18 Hornet.

A staff of 42 artisans working in two shifts service about 36 GCUs per quarter belonging to the legacy F/A-18 Hornets, and 32 of the Hornet’s generators, or G-1s.

“There was previously two versions of the GCU, the G-2 and the G-3. About two years ago, we became qualified for the G-4 modified version. It receives 13 new parts. So now, we receive a G-3 carcass and a kit which we use to upgrade and ready-for-issue (RFI) as a G-4 version,” Pfeiffer said.

The workload standard for the G-4 conversion is 80 man-hours, while a G-2 is 118 man-hours.

G-3 chassis’ are stripped, and with their wiring harnesses, sent for analysis on the Intermittent Fault Detection and Isolation System (FIDIS) in Building 463. The IFDIS not only checks the connection points in the GCU harness for intermittent shorts or opens, but also has the capability to simulate the flight stresses and conditions which Hornet aircraft are exposed.

The IFDIS process takes about 26 hours.

“We also repair the G-2 versions, and we get a schedule of the generators, in itself, so right now we’re doing about 19 per month. The goal is to get to 28 a month. Previously, the goal was around 15 per month. So, we’re looking to keep up with fleet demands,” Pfeiffer said.

The shop’s GCU workload operates under a Private Public Partnership (PPP) with the General Electric Co. PPP are partnerships between commercial vendors and FRCSW.

FRCSW artisans provide the labor in disassembly, evaluation and ordering parts from GE. When parts arrive, units are reassembled and tested on the Aircraft Engine Components Test Stand (AECTS). After QA and packaging, they are returned to GE and disbursed back to the fleet through the Naval Supply Systems Command.

Through NSS initiatives, and to reduce turn-around time, the shop moved its work centers closer to its testing area. It also gained the personnel needed to reduce down time caused by machinery failures.

“We had buy-in from the get go. The NSS team of Cindy Champaign and Justin Benford, worked closely with the shop artisans to get the production control center (PCC) built. Our facilities department did a great job getting floors done and everything moved quickly,” Pfeiffer said.

“The shop moved phone lines and benches and set the area up the way they wanted it: GCUs on one side, generators on the other, split between legacy and Super Hornet, and in the middle, is our circuit card assembly area. So, we laid out the plan and they did a great job executing it.”

The depth of repairs to circuit cards also improved through a combined effort from the artisans, engineering and GE that brought capability to the component level using micro-soldering techniques.

“The key is that the depth of repair has reduced material delay time and reduced back orders on the shop replaceable assemblies (SRA),” Pfeiffer noted.

SRAs are circuit card modules, held in weapons replaceable assemblies, or the containers that house avionic functions.

“There wasn’t a lot of change to repair procedures with the NSS, it was more about gaining efficiency and also getting the priority established. The bigger issue was `how do we reach our goal?’ The schedule for us is 21 GCUs a month, or 63 a quarter. We’ve never done anything like those numbers, but we are hitting 21 or very close to it. On the generator side, the quarterly schedule was 45. And that’s increased as well.”

Daily meetings to address constraints within the shop are attended by all teammates who have an influence in overcoming barriers to production.

“We have our goals identified, we see workload move. We see what our work-in-progress is, and if things get stuck, we identify who is responsible for overcoming it,” Pfeiffer said.

“We have an issue resolution board that has a date assigned to a task. If anything goes over five days, we raise that issue up to further leadership to address.”

FRCSW and GE’s Vandalia, Ohio, site are the only locations conducting depot-level repairs to the GCU.

The command is currently expanding its workload to include generators of the V-22 Osprey, and in fiscal year 2021, generators of E2-D aircraft.

NAVAIR Engineer Wins 2019 Lasswell Award for Fleet Support

Materials engineer Alyssa Zamora holds the repair patch used on the F/A-18 Super Hornet engine bay door (Door 68). The cutting template used in the repair is pictured in the foreground, and the 3-D printed layup tool lies behind it. (U.S. Navy photo)

Alyssa Zamora, a Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) materials engineer assigned to Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW), is the recipient of the 2019 A. Bryan Lasswell Award for Fleet Support.

Sponsored by the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), the award recognizes individuals who provide exceptional support to the Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard forces based in San Diego.

Zamora joined FRCSW in 2015 following graduation from the University of San Diego, and earned the Lasswell Award for her work in the FRCSW Materials Engineering Laboratory supporting composite repair development. She previously worked with low-observable coatings and specialty paint coatings.

Earlier this year, the F/A-18 Fleet Support Team (FST) and the F/A-18 program office requested an updated repair developed to resolve a recurring problem found last fall during inspections of F/A-18 Super Hornet engine bay doors.

A corner section of the bay doors was being damaged — causing delamination — during removal to perform repairs or as part of the aircraft’s maintenance program.

A double-sided repair was developed that required special equipment and specialized composite certification, limiting the repair procedure to approximately 20 depot-level artisans within the Navy. Repair capability was not possible through fleet personnel.

Furthermore, the repair suffered an inspection failure rate exceeding 50 percent, resulting in rework times from a few weeks to six months depending upon material and artisan availability.

The problem intensified to the extent that in March, three Super Hornets assigned to Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) were grounded for lack of consistent repair capability.

Zamora was assigned to an engineering team to assess and update the repair. In what is typically a six-month to yearlong process, she led the development of a three-part solution in less than three months that resolved both short and long-term issues, as well as potential solutions for fleet repairs.

“These doors (Super Hornet) are composite, the legacy are aluminum. The original repair was very complex and required us to custom make two patches for the inner and outer mold line,” Zamora said.

“We found issues with the patch fabrication process, and those issues were causing the non-destructive inspection (NDI) and quality assurance (QA) failures. The interim solution was to improve the double-sided patch repair process to mitigate the issues of porosity that we were seeing and improve the NDI and QA success rate.”

Testing for the short-term modified repair was validated during March and April at the materials engineering lab, and was performed at NAS Lemoore and on USS Stennis. Repair times were reduced by approximately 30 percent, and the failure rates to less than 10 percent.

“Our long-term solution is to make a tool that would include a cutting template that can remove the damaged area. Then a single-sided, pre-made patch by the depot that’s already gone through QA and passed NDI would be bonded on with an adhesive,” Zamora said.

Testing for the long-term repair procedures are ongoing, but expected to be completed and released for use in the next six months.

“The repair method may be used on other airframes. This repair is called a step repair, where you shave off a part in a step, the method of cutting out steps in a laminate. As it is now, there’s F/A-18 level one and two and V-22 level one and two. So, we’re trying to consolidate the level to be multi-platform, or universal.”

To handle repairs to the engine bay door and other composites in the fleet, Zamora led the formation of a six-month pilot program that certified an intermediate-level Sailor for the work.

The program began in November 2018 in conjunction with FRCSW training, the NAS Lemoore maintenance officer and the Materials Engineering program.

“Composite repair for the depot requires a level one and level two certification, and NAS Lemoore needed more level-two hands. They looked into someone from the fleet and that helped us initiate our effort,” Zamora said.

“Level-two certification qualifies for complex repairs. They don’t have this certification process in the fleet. Instead, they go through A and C School for introductory information on composite repair, but nothing is in place to go beyond that.”

“Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Michael Hammer was our `Guinea pig’ to see if the fleet could have level one or level two maintainers; if there was enough time for them to go through the training process, and if they’re able to practice those skills regularly.”

This past May Hammer had completed all training requirements including on-the-job training, and having passed all tests and exams, became the first Sailor to earn level-two composite certification on the Super Hornet airframe. In two months afterward, he amassed approximately 80 hours of level-two component repair work saving $4 million.  

“Our efforts are to see how we can update A and C School to get them up to a depot-level one certification.  In the future, we would incorporate level-two training into the fleet training certification program,” Zamora said.

To date, the new repair procedures have saved approximately $7 million in replacement costs of Super Hornet engine bay doors.

Zamora received the Lasswell award October 8 at the Town and Country hotel in San Diego.

Marine Corps Maj. A. Bryan Lasswell was a translator and cryptologist, who in 1942, worked relentlessly to decipher the communications of the Japanese navy. His efforts were instrumental in the American victory at the Battle of Midway Island.

DRMO Project Cleaning Up FRCSW

Thanks to an initiative that began earlier this year, Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) teammates have probably noticed less clutter around the plant.

The command’s Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO) project is removing recyclable scrap aircraft parts found throughout FRCSW’s buildings and grounds.

Manned by a team of six production control (PC) personnel, the project has processed and disposed of approximately $120 million in recyclables to date.

“The CO and XO noticed that there was so much forgotten equipment laying around the command, that they requested we establish a program to clean up the grounds. Our first project started with Building 463. We moved about three truckloads of aircraft parts and electronics to Building 36 where we made arrangements to use part of the space,” said Henry Kaminski, Production Activity Control Division branch manager.

To handle the task, the team contacted DRMO, (operated by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA)), to help develop the best possible methods to move the volume of discarded material in accordance with regulations.

Kaminski noted that aircraft-related parts and equipment must be processed through DRMO for de-militarization, as DLA is the only authority to make that determination.

“Everything has to be sorted, and paperwork filled out,” he said. “There was a lot of training and we were kind of slow the first several months because we were investigating and learning the procedures from DLA to establish the processes. Most of the items lying around are aircraft parts that have been removed from service, and are not classified to be used again.”

Before disposal, the team contacts the command’s airframe departments to ensure that what is considered waste is not something of use to the production lines. If unclaimed, the DRMO process begins.

DRMO material is valued by piece, with DLA providing a dollar amount to what is received. DLA currently earns 30 cents on the dollar, but FRCSW is working “…to recover some of that profit,” Kaminski said.

Large parts, like airplane wings, are usually processed in pieces. And on occasion, unusual items are marked for DRMO.
“One week we were called to help recycle 10 unused security safes, and we also sent the test blades that were used for calibration at the spin tower. They were about 35 to 40-feet long each, and we disposed of them several months ago. They took a semi-truck to move,” Kaminski said.

FRCSW uses DRMO facilities located at Camp Pendleton, Naval Base San Diego (NBSD), and locally, Naval Base Coronado where daily deliveries of wood and used pallets are recycled.

“We send truckloads twice a week to DRMO, mostly aircraft and support equipment,” Kaminski noted. “Some of the stuff we have processed has been sitting around for five to eight years.”

Earlier this year FRCSW transported four 5-ton trucks to the NAVSTA DRMO scrap yard, and under the solid waste program, two 5-ton flatbeds to NBSD and six 2 and 1/2-ton flatbed trucks to Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest. Furthermore, NBSD has picked up three semi-truck and four 5-ton truck loads of material.

The DRMO project will expand its efforts by creating a SharePoint website that will accommodate FRCSW teammates throughout the command.

“The web page should be live by mid-October and covers the procedures for almost everything that needs to be disposed of or recycled including wood, paper shredding, scrap and precious metals, and even general trash,” Kaminski said. “It also covers things that people have in their work spaces that they don’t need any more like furniture, appliances, and hazardous waste (which is managed by the command’s environmental office.)”

Meanwhile, PC personnel assigned to airframe programs are being trained to access DLA webpages for shipping and document processing, researching parts numbers and demilitarization requirements.

Working six days per week and processing well over 100 parts daily, the DRMO project intends to decommission the recycle yard adjacent to Building 250 during the first quarter of fiscal year 2020.

“Our team is made of excellent hard-working employees who are dedicated to this program. Our program’s success was presented to the Chief of Naval Operations’ (CNO) office, and so NAVAIR and the CNO are directing other naval facilities to follow our example. The whole program is spreading and the cleanup of our naval facilities is starting to take shape,” Kaminski said.

FRCSW Marks 100 Years of Naval Aviation MRO Excellence

Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers Rear Adm. Mike Zarkowski addresses FRCSW teammates during the command’s 100th anniversary celebration July 26. (U.S. Navy photo)

The “Birthplace of Naval Aviation Maintenance” just got a little older.

Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) celebrated 100 years of service to the fleet on board Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI) July 26.

From its initial founding in 1919 with the designation as an Overhaul and Repair Department, the first of its kind in DOD, to the engineering milestone of the 1991 initial Center Barrel procedure on F/A-18 A-D aircraft, FRCSW holds a tradition steep in innovation and history.

In commemoration, hundreds of FRCSW teammates gathered to enjoy live music, a car and art show, and an array of food offered by the command’s diversity teams during the two-hour event.

Following the Color Guard and National Anthem guest speaker Rear Adm. Mike Zarkowski, Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers, kicked off the festivities by noting that FRCSW was the first FRC to undergo the Naval Sustainment System (NSS) model.

The NSS is a series of initiatives designed to create a higher-performing organization to increase aircraft readiness.

“The positive manner with which you all have embraced the (NSS) changes has set the stage and provided the frame of reference for the other depots, as they have and will kick off NSS,” Rear Adm. Zarkowski said.

Addressing the future, Zarkowski said that adaptability was one of the key requirements to ensure success.

“Our FRCs must continue to transform,” he said. “We must seize initiative again and again. We must learn from our failures and advance on our successes. Do not be afraid to fail; from failures, we will build the skills and confidence to succeed later. FRCSW has proven that time and time again over the last 100 years.”

FRCSW Commanding Officer Capt. Tony Jaramillo followed and spoke of the diversity within the command, and the advantages it brings.

“FRCSW is one of the most diverse groups of individuals you will ever find,” Capt. Jaramillo said. “It’s what makes us unique. There is a wide range of different skills, talents and backgrounds at this command and diversity is about leveraging these differences to give us added strength.  It allows us to better utilize our individual talents, skills and knowledge collectively to achieve our mission.”

He said that the command’s successes, innovations and resiliency is attributable to those, past and present, who have worked here.

“The legacy of FRCSW is its people – it is your hard work, your dedication and tenacity. Your desire to keep looking forward and embracing change will ensure this depot endures for another 100 years.”

“We are not trying to be the next of anything,” Jaramillo said. “We are first; the first aviation MRO, the first to establish aircraft repair stations, engine overhauls and the first training school for aviation maintenance. We will continue to be the first in many more endeavors. Our history is the Navy’s future and your legacy.”

Proclamations followed by Congressional Districts 49, 50, 52 and 53; the cities of San Diego, Coronado and Chula Vista; as well as the San Diego Port Commission and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

The event concluded with a ceremonial cake cutting.




FRCSW Ordnance Egress/Ejection Seat Shop Ensures Aircrew Safety

Aircraft egress mechanic Kyle Quist replaces the O-rings to the right-side ballistic manifold of the main beam to an SUJ17 ejector seat. (U.S. Navy photo)

An aircraft’s crew depends on a variety of tools to ensure their survival in the event of an emergency: fire extinguishers, ejection seats and Halon-filled fire bottles, to name a few.

As aircraft are inducted into Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW), much of this life-saving equipment is turned over to the Ordnance Egress/Ejection Seat shop in Building 399 for overhaul or maintenance.

The shop works on the equipment of F/A-18 legacy and Super Hornets, Growlers, CH-53 and H-60 helicopters, the E2/C2 airframe, and the V-22 Osprey as that workload expands at the command.

Several types of ejection seats are serviced including the SJU-5 and SJU-6 that are used in the legacy F/A-18 Hornets, and the newer SJU 17 Naval Aircrew Ejection Seat (NACES), created in the late 1980s, that is found in the Super Hornets.

“We also overall and repair the components to ejection seats, which total about 20 components,” said Ordnance/Ejection Seat shop supervisor Quenton Robins.

Introduced in World War II by SAAB, a Swedish military manufacturing company, early ejection seats were originally powered by compressed air. Today’s seats are powered by any combination of rocket motors, explosive cartridges, or high-pressure gas.

The ejection process from a NACES is quick: less than one second.

When the ejection control handle is pulled, the inertia retractor positions the pilot in the seat. The retractor is designed to keep the pilot’s spine in alignment, so that during the ejection phase, the back is not injured.

The catapult is the next mechanism to fire and moves the seat up a guide rail, activating emergency oxygen for the pilot. Afterward, a rocket pack fires forcing the seat from the aircraft.

The fate of the pilot lies with the Time Release Mechanism (TRM) and the drogue gun that controls operations from this point.

The TRM releases the pilot from the seat, as the smaller parachutes, or drogues, vertically stabilize the seat while slowing it down. These are activated by “drogue guns” which fire a cartridge.

The main chute is deployed between 11,500 and 14,500 feet by the g-limiter of the TRM.

The NACES is computer-controlled with electronic sequences. A probe measures wind speed, pressure and altitude that tells the computer, which acts as a sequencer, when to activate the seat.

The SJU-5, on the other hand, is manually activated by trip rods.

“We disarm the seats in the shop, and it averages about one to two weeks for an overhaul, depending on what components are involved,” Robins noted.

“We push out approximately 25 to 40 single and two-seaters annually. But that’s not including what we may bring in on the disassembly side, so we could push 50 to 100 annually.”

He added that about 80 ejection seats and their components are currently preserved in-house awaiting parts.

Common to all ejection seats are the seat pans that contain survival kits.

Seat pans hold a variety of survival gear including life rafts, distilled water, batteries and radios. A fully loaded unit weighs about 20 pounds.

“Overhaul of the seat pans and parachutes is performed at Naval Air Station Lemoore, MCAS Miramar, and NAS Joint Reserve Base Ft. Worth. But we’re in the process of standing up the capability to do that at the depot level,” Robins said.

The shop also removes the Hornet’s guns and missile launchers and re-installs them during the aircraft’s assembly phase. Maintenance or repairs to these are handled by the fleet and made ready-for-issue (RFI).

In addition to servicing liquid oxygen bottles, fire extinguishers and their related regulators and valves, the shop also maintains an inventory of the expiration dates of the service and shelf lives of the explosives and cartridges that activate ejection of seats, an aircraft’s “black box,” and initialize fire extinguishers.

As its workload increases, Robins said the shop is looking forward to expanding its staff of 25 ordnance systems mechanics.

“Many of the artisans here have a military background and are former aviation structural mechanics,” he said. “We’ll have about five more on the way as we go to multiple shifts to spread out our work.”









FRCSW Names 2019 Silver Eagle Award Recipient

FRCSW 2019 Silver Eagle Award recipient production controller Jose Quinene is pictured in front of Building 379 aboard FRCSW North Island. (U.S. Navy photo)

Production controller Jose Quinene is the recipient of the Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) 2019 Silver Eagle Award.

The award is presented to the FRCSW employee who holds the longest term of continuous service in a combination of military and civilian capacity at FRCSW and its predecessor organizations.

Quinene, 73, began his combined service in the Navy where he spent two years in Vietnam. Afterward, he began work as a quality assurance specialist in the supply department at Naval Base Guam.

In 1977, Quinene began work at the then-Naval Air Rework Facility in the comptroller department aboard Naval Air Station North Island. In 1982, he changed his career path to production control and has been at it ever since.

He currently works at FRCSW Site Camp Pendleton supporting AH-1Z Super Cobra and UH-1Y Super Huey helicopter squadrons assigned there.

“My drive to come to work every day is a sense of accomplishment and supporting the mission, and there’s never a dull moment,” Quinene said.

He said he regularly makes visits to FRCSW North Island to expedite components because “….often waiting for delivery can take too long, and the meters running for completion of the aircraft.”

The father of four children, Quinene likes to exercise and visit the local casinos in Oceanside where he lives with his wife Bea.















FRCSW Names Its 2019 Sea Blue Jacket of Year

FRCSW FY 2019 Sea Blue Jacket of the Year AT3 Laura Monroy disassembles night vision goggles in the intermediate-level AT shop in Building 463. (U.S. Navy photo)

Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) selected Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Laura Monroy as its fiscal year (FY) 2019 Sea Blue Jacket of the Year.

After completing Naval Training Center (NTC) in 2017, Monroy spent approximately one year on temporary additional duty assignments aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), assisting in the ship’s workups. She returned to FRCSW in May.

“I found out I was selected for the award while on deployment on the Stennis. I was very excited and a bit anxious to get back so I could receive it,” she said. “And I’m also thankful for my mentor AT2 (Zachary) Purdie who really helped me. He taught me everything I know, and even when I wasn’t with him face-to-face, he really pushed me to learn.”

Monroy currently works in the intermediate-level AT shop in Building 463 where she maintains and repairs communication devices, radar systems and night vision goggles.

“She’s a quick learner and the most motivated person in our shop,” said work center supervisor AT2 Purdie. “She’s earned all of the qualifications she’s eligible for here and all of those while she was on the Stennis.”

A native San Diegan, Monroy chose to enlist in the Navy in her hometown in 2016; continuing a family tradition of military service as her father and grandfather served in the Army and her brother in the Marine Corps.

“I joined the Navy because it was a good opportunity for me, my family, and I wanted to see the world and hopefully be assigned in San Diego, which I’ve been lucky enough to do,” she said.

Prior to joining the Navy, the 24-year-old Sailor attended Southwestern College for about three years and intends to complete an associate degree, then a bachelor degree while pursuing her naval career.

Monroy’s advice to younger Sailors graduating NTC is to be “hands-on” in their rate and constantly be aware of the resources available to them.

“I’d tell them to ask a lot of questions. Anybody can teach you anything, whether it’s somebody the same rank as you, or a first class who’s been in for 17 years, you can learn little things from everybody, and you’ve got to take all of that for granted and pay attention and absorb that knowledge.”

In her free time, Monroy enjoys cooking, exercising and spending time with her parents who also live in San Diego.














FRCSW H-60 Program to Represent Navy in SECDEF Mason Award

Sheet metal mechanic Kris Dipraseuth repairs a structural crack near the gunner’s side window of an H-60 Sea Hawk. (U.S. Navy photo)

Fleet Readiness Center Southwest’s (FRCSW) H-60 Sea Hawk helicopter program earned the Chief of Naval Operations nomination to represent the Navy in the 2019 Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Robert T. Mason Award for Depot Maintenance Excellence.

The announcement was made via naval message on May 29.

The FRCSW H-60 program in Building 325 applies the Integrated Maintenance Program (IMP) to assess and ensure the structural integrity of the MH-R and MH-S models of the H-60 airframe.

Under the IMP, aircraft undergo a Planned Maintenance Interval-One (PMI-1) or 2 cycle.

During fiscal year (FY) 2018, the 147 members of the H-60 program completed 56 PMIs at a rate exceeding $4,200 below the workload standard total unit cost per aircraft. Further, the program marked an on-time delivery rate of 83 percent.

Artisans completed PMI-1 and 2 actions while simultaneously completing more than 23,000 hours of in-service repairs (repairs outside of the IMP), and over 21,000 hours of modifications to nine aircraft for FY 18.

Program success may be attributed to the cell-based structure of the PMI and repair process. Each cell is dedicated to a specific function within the process that includes induction, disassembly, evaluation, repair, modification, assembly, test and final sell.

Using Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) methods, the teammates factored the time spent in each PMI cell and buffer to mitigate delays, and created a “Hospital Spot” for aircraft awaiting components or engineering analysis in FY18. The move resulted in a zero backlog of aircraft transitioning to the next cell, and improved on-time delivery by 10 percent in one year.

In addition to the depot-level Mason Award, the annual SECDEF Maintenance Awards also recognize six winners to the “best of the best” DOD field-level maintenance units within three DOD categories: large, medium and small.

A SECDEF selection board will select the winners who will be honored in December during a ceremony scheduled in Spokane, Wash.

NAVAIR Recognizes FRCSW NSS Project Manager

FRCSW NSS project manager for the command’s 6.0 competencies Cynthia Champagne is pictured at her desk in Building 379. Champagne was selected by NAVAIR as its 6.0 Logistics and Industrial Operations Employee of the Quarter, First Quarter 2019.

Cynthia Champagne has been selected by Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) as its 6.0 Logistics and Industrial Operations Employee of the Quarter, First Quarter 2019.

Champagne is the Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) Navy Sustainment System (NSS) project manager for the command’s 6.0 competencies.

Since October, her work proved instrumental in reducing the number of Naval Supply Systems Command F/A-18 Super Hornet material Issue Priority Group One (IPG-1) aircraft by 38 percent. IPG-1 aircraft are aircraft that are downed, often for components.

“The NSS was an initiative brought on by SECNAV who hired the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to look at the way we do business today, and what we need to do to transform into a higher-performing organization to meet Commander, Navy Air Forces’ objective of 341 mission-ready Super Hornets by October,” Champagne said.

The NSS is built on six pillars designed to increase production and speed.

The FRC pillar targets best commercial practices to enhance production quality and cost efficiencies while improving turn-around times.

Other pillars are designed to eliminate constraints on short-term downed aircraft; improve organizational-level maintenance and safety near the flight line; renovate the supply chain; improve how systems are sustained; and streamline infrastructure sustainment to support fundamental changes.

As the command contact to BCG, Champagne acts as the facilitator to arrange resources and work requests.

“I’m the contact person to get rigger support, prints, or whatever they need to transform the particular production workshop we’re working in,” she said.

The Super Hornet components production was the first targeted by BCG, with an emphasis on single and double canopies and generator control units (GCU).

“Initially we started with those components but the shop may work on other airframes as well,” she said.

“Over time, as we pull away and go other shops, under the program, they will continue to fold in the rest of the workload and use the same process and procedures to manage the non-E and F workload. That way, all of our customers are happy instead of just one.”

Eventually, all FRCSW shops and off-site locations will undergo the NSS transformation. To date, all of the shops in Building 250 have been completed, most of those in Building 472 and the three main avionics shops, as well.

Programs that are heavily aligned to AIRSpeed, like the E-2 production line, don’t need a complete revamping of their procedures, Champagne noted.

“They were pretty Lean and had a lot of visual cues throughout. We really didn’t have to do a lot. They just needed to start the process of meetings and holding people accountable, using the actual NSS system to run their program,” she said.

Champagne and BCG are currently assessing the LM2500 engine program and plant maintenance.

“It’s been a great experience,” she said. “To see the appreciation from the shop personnel, and the supervision and leadership in the programs getting the attention they need — they’re very appreciative of that. And I got to see people who are now DPMs who went through the apprentice program when I was the apprentice programmer. It’s impressive to see how well they’re doing and how they’re dedicated to the success of this program.”

Champagne will complete 32 years of service to the command this year.