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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.

 

FRCSW Hydraulics Shop Captures NAVAIR Commander’s Award

Pneudraulics mechanic Tyler Moore disassembles the actuator of a trailing edge flap to a legacy F/A-18 Hornet.

Fleet Readiness Center Southwest’s (FRCSW) component IPT hydraulics shop in Building 472 was honored as the “Best FRC Shop” at the 19th annual Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Commander’s Award ceremony April 17 in Patuxent River, N.J.

The Commander’s Award recognizes teams and individuals in eight categories across NAVAIR who exemplify the standards and dedication to improving readiness and mission focus. This year’s winners were selected from a field of 64 nominees.

Manned by 55 artisans and approximately 12 contractor personnel operating in two shifts, the hydraulics shop refurbishes flight control components to F/A-18 legacy and Super Hornets, the E-2/C-2 airframe, and CH-53 and H-60 helicopters. Components to the LM2500 turbine engine are renovated, as well.

DIPT Jakob Grant attributes the shop’s success to its artisans’ work with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and a focus on Commander, Navy Air Forces (CNAF) initiative to achieve 341 mission-ready F/A-18 Super Hornets by 2020.

He said the number of Super Hornet Issue Priority Group 1 (IPG1) aircraft — aircraft that are down for a component — dropped from 107 to 34 in only seven months.

And the shop’s production numbers for Super Hornet fighter components increased more than 100 percent this fiscal year (FY).

“The artisans came up with outside-of-the box ideas to increase the quality of the components we were working on and reduce defects and costs caused by mishandling of components traveling through the shop,” Grant said.

For example, to alleviate magnetic damage to electro hydraulic service valves (the EHSV valve sends a hydraulic signal to a flight control actuator which determines aircraft movement controlled by rudders and nose landing gear), protection during transportation was developed and wooden storage racks were built to replace metallic ones.

A board for artisans to voice their ideas and concerns was established to promote their participation in driving the shop’s production procedures.

“This helped in the overall process of changing the shop,” supervisor Shannon Covington said. “We were able to field all of the information in with ideas flowing from day shift, second shift, day in and day out.”

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.”

Working with production control, components were cross-kitted creating an easier and more efficient working environment for the artisans.

“Some of what we’re doing here is new ground in how we’re changing the workflow. And that is making its way into standard operating procedures and filtering out into some of the technical aspects,” Covington noted.

A complete reorganization of the shop was equally crucial to increasing production: work areas were decluttered in five days, and the shop restructured in only five more.

“The mindset we were given was to think in hours and minutes, not weeks and months,” Grant said. “And the relocation of personnel throughout the shop to improve the workflow was also a contributing factor to increasing production.”

“But there is no way we could’ve done what we did in the timetable that we did it if not for the support of facilities, the industrial engineering technicians, riggers, the maintenance crews and engineers,” he said.

“Every support group that had a stake in the shop answered the questions that the shop as a whole had on what was stopping the production. That buy-in from the outside support groups was key.”

To help resolve production issues, support groups participate in the shop’s daily meetings. Participants include Defense Logistics Agency, quality assurance, production control, engineering and production managers.

“These people represent about 90 percent of any issues we may have. They are the drivers of the process,” Grant said.

“We all bought into something that fosters and drives transparency. And that’s evident throughout the transformation of the shop,” Covington said.

“You can see where issues are, and it spurs leadership. And in our meetings, it allows the responsible parties to take that action and answer for it. Every person here is aware that that is what we are driving for: What did you get done yesterday? What did you get done today?”

The same formula that earned the hydraulics shop the NAVAIR Commander’s Award is being applied to other FRCSW production lines including the LM2500 engine program, avionics, generators and canopy shops.

Though they are no longer actively involved in operations, BCG continues to check in with the hydraulics shop weekly and has expanded its services to other FRCs.

 

 

 

 

E-2D Hawkeye Maintenance Service Underway at FRCSW

Artisans and support staff of the FRCSW E-2 program are pictured at the testline August 21, 2018, as they welcome the command’s first E-2D inducted for PMI-2. The aircraft is one of two E-2Ds assigned to VAW-120 currently undergoing the 220-day PMI-2 maintenance cycle. (U.S. Navy photo)

As Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) celebrates its 100th anniversary as the birthplace of naval aviation maintenance this year, it will also note the command’s onset of service to a new variant of the venerable E-2 Hawkeye: The E-2D.

Developed to replace the Navy’s existing E-2C airborne early warning system aircraft, the E-2D is the fourth variant and manufactured by Northrop Grumman. The aircraft completed its maiden flight in 2007, and three years later, the first E-2D was delivered to the Navy.

In 2015, the aircraft concluded its first operational tour aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).

Technologically superior to its predecessors, the E-2D is equipped with a radar featuring electronic and mechanical scanning capability, an integrated glass tactical cockpit, and advanced tactical workstations and mission computer.

FRCSW inducted its first E-2D in August 2018, and a second aircraft in November 2018. Both belong to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 120 (VAW-120) and will be returned to them when service is complete.

FRCSW performs two levels of scheduled maintenance on the airframe: a light periodic maintenance interval one (PMI-1) which is done at FRCSW Site Pt Mugu and FRC Mid-Atlantic, and PMI-2, or a heavy maintenance, at Naval Air Station North Island.

FRCSW is the Navy’s sole provider of PMI-2 events on the E-2 airframe, and the 80 artisans assigned to the E-2 program will add the maintenance of the E-2D alongside the existing E-2C workload in Building 460.

PMI is based upon a 96-month cycle: PMI-1 completed every 48 months, followed by PMI-2 48 months later.

“PMI-1 is a much smaller event with about a 45-day turn-around time (TAT),” said E-2 deputy program manager Chris Crawford. “We look at only specific areas of the aircraft, mainly the tail, so we don’t disassemble that much of the plane. We look for corrosion, cracks, mechanical and electrical issues.”

Though not a complete overhaul, PMI-2 is a major disassembly of the aircraft to the fuselage. Artisans remove the aircraft’s wings, engines, landing gear and tail. The aircraft’s corrosion preventive paint is removed and an in-depth metal assessment is performed targeting cracks, corrosion, exfoliation and other surface anomalies.

“We’ll take care of any repairs we find within the scope of the specification and anything outside of that we ask the customers if they want us to fix and do an in-service repair (ISR),” Crawford said.

ISRs are funded separately, but normally completed during the PMI.

Crawford said that the estimated PMI-2 TAT is 220 days, and like the E-2C, the event is conducted under the Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) program.

CCPM is a project management method that designates resources, like people and equipment, needed to complete a task in a specific amount of time. Concerto™ is a software program used to manage multiple CPPM projects.

The E-2 CCPM is divided into four procedures (induction, repair, assembly, and testline) each with a specific completion time.

Crawford said that the command anticipates six to eight E-2Ds inducted annually for PMI-2 once the program is in full swing.

“Our flow and induction schedule should still be the same, we’ll just see the E-2Cs replaced by the 2-Ds. We’re in the middle of a `sundown’ plan for the E-2C now,” he said.

 

 

 

 

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.