NAS LEMOORE – Fleet Readiness Center West Lemoore welcomed a new commanding officer during a change of command ceremony.
Capt. Bret A. Washburn, from Peoria, Illinois, relieved Capt. Steven W. Leehe, from northern Wisconsin, during a ceremony held in the Large Rhino Readiness Tent Temporary Field Support Facility. Captain Washburn assumed command of Fleet Readiness Center West (FRCW) on 19 July 2018.
FRCW has amassed an impressive list of accomplishments during Capt. Leehe’s tenure in command. Superior Aviation Maintenance Inspection results, mastery of the Buffer Management Tool and Critical Chain Project Management, a steep rise in Ready for Issue components, an increase in Planned Maintenance Interval throughput, a reduction in supply lead times through the use of local manufacturing, and an improved Engineering capability are just a few of these notable achievements. Capt. Leehe’s next assignment is Fleet Readiness Center Southwest where he will serve as the Executive Officer.
As he addressed the command, Capt. Leehe thanked the men and women of FRCW for giving everything they had over the last two years. He remarked that “what truly makes us the premiere FRC in the COMFRC organization is Our people: the Officers, the Chiefs, the Sailors and the civilians of this amazing command, their dedication to our Nation, our Navy, and to each other. It is not just a great place to work, it is a great place to be. We not only produce a superior product for the flight line, we also develop exceptional leaders and human beings capable of guiding our country’s next generation.”
Capt. Washburn is the 20th aviation maintenance officer to lead the Intermediate repair facility here in Lemoore and is only the 6th Commanding Officer of FRCW since its inception in November 2008. Capt. Washburn assumes command at a crucial point in the support of the initial phases of the Rhino Readiness Recovery efforts here on the flight line at NAS Lemoore. Prior to assuming command, Capt. Washburn was the N42 Military Director at Commander Fleet Readiness Centers in Patuxent River, MD, where he oversaw aircraft and aircraft component production at all of our Navy’s Fleet Readiness Centers.
Commenting on FRCW being established as a new Major Command with a Navy Captain serving as Commanding Officer, Capt. Washburn stated, “it will be a privilege to serve as the First Commanding Officer of the Premiere Fleet Readiness Center within the FRC Family.”
FRCW is comprised of approximately 1,500 Sailors and civilian artisans, filling intermediate and depot level positions here in Lemoore and across three Intermediate level maintenance Detachments located in Fallon, Nevada, China Lake and Dallas/Fort Worth. The command’s mission is to strengthen operational readiness and combat capabilities of Naval Aviation weapons systems through expeditious repair of aircraft, engines and components. Its vision is to provide rapid, efficient and effective maintenance, overhaul and repair services in support of the Navy’s mission to man, train and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas.
The flight line relies upon FRCW to take Non-Ready for Issue components and make all the necessary repairs to return a safe and reliable component ready for squadron use. As a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Organization, FRCW delivers value, quality, and the rapid return to service of critical war fighting assets by leveraging the full potential of the diverse and impressive workforce.