Fleet Readiness Center West (FRCW) hosted several distinguished visitors on January 26th and 30th that included the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research Development and Acquisition (ASN RDA), the honorable Mr. Geurts; VCNO, ADM Moran; Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT), ADM Aquilino; Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR SYSCOM), VADM Peters; Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD), RDML Lemmon; NAWCAD, RDML Gahagan and Commander Fleet Readiness Centers (COMFRC), RDML Zarkowski, to brief leadership on process improvements made at FRCW and the long-term strategy.
Both visits included briefs from the Depot on Planned Maintenance Intervals (PMI). Included in the brief was the current plan to reduce turn-around time and have PMIs completed in 60 days. One of the contributing factors to reduce turn-around time is a plan to perform PMI and MODS simultaneously versus separately as it was previously.
Another focus area is developing a sense of ownership and accountability for individual aircraft with one lead in charge of a dedicated crew. The new strategy also includes only accepting mission capable aircraft that are electrically, pneumatically, and hydraulically sound at induction. Coordinating with the squadrons, the depot field team hosts pre-induction planning meetings to coordinate all maintenance tasks that must be completed during the PMI, to include necessary special and calendar inspections that will be completed in order to sell the aircraft back as a mission capable aircraft.
In doing so, this effort will rapidly return the aircraft back to the flight schedule. Embracing the tenants of 5S and other AIRSpeed principles necessary tooling and materials were moved out on the line closer to place of need. This plan has ensured the reduction of the necessary turn-around-time to 60 days.
During the January 26th visit, ASN RDA, Mr. Geurts, and several other guests visited the I-level at FRCW where Sailors briefed him on the improved maintenance effort in the after-burner shop and process improvement efforts in Power Plants. Included in the discussion was the strategy to separate the Contractor Field Team (CFT) from the Sailor teams which optimized space and allowed for the stand-up of four additional rail stations, bringing the total to ten stations. This action has increased rail capacity by 44 percent.
Also discussed the reduction of liner inspection wait times to 30-40 minutes due to adding three new work stations. Using AIRSpeed and 5S principles, a complete re-organization by afterburner serial number and full inventory of storeroom parts has reduced the time to locate parts from one shift to only two minutes.
By limiting the number of afterburner modules inducted for repair at any given time to only 15, FRCW has controlled and optimized the cannibalization of modules and increased part accountability. These efforts have helped to reduce the backlog in the work center by 50% since October. Future improvements include: adding three computers to increase Sailor wrench time by 100 minutes per week, improve logbook time by merging PC and AZ Sailors into a single work space, and adding two workstations with additional computers. Before he left, Mr. Geurts awarded the FRCW Sailor of the Year, Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class, Loren Brady his Sailor of the Year award.