News | July 25, 2022

FRCSW Supports Marine Corps CH-53E Helos

By Jim Markle

For more than 40 years, the CH-53E Super Stallion heavy-lift helicopter has been a workhorse in the logistical support of naval and Marine Corps missions throughout the world.
The Sikorsky-built aircraft is one of the largest helicopters ever produced by the Defense Department, capable of transporting up to 30 personnel or 30,000 pounds of cargo.
About 140 of the helicopters remain in service. They are found in naval squadrons on the East and West Coast, and those assigned to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (MCAS) are maintained and repaired by Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW).
Of the more than 100 personnel who comprise the FRCSW CH-53 program, about 80 are artisans who are sheet metal mechanics (the largest group), electricians and mechanics. Other contributing teammates include production control and planners.
The command’s CH-53 program operates in Building 333 where fiberglass and component work is completed, and Building 378 where the remaining airframe work is done.
Maintenance of the Super Stallion is based upon a 54-month cycle called the Integrated Maintenance Program (IMP).

Requiring approximately 21,000 manhours per aircraft, the IMP targets structural repairs to the fuselage and includes replacing the skin, transition bulkhead, cockpit floorboard, any KAPTON electrical wiring upgrades and corrosion repairs throughout the aircraft.
After induction, FRCSW artisans disassemble the helicopter and start the IMP inspection specifications. Disassembly typically includes electronic and mechanical components so the artisans can access areas of the airframe for metalwork.
The IMP combines organizational level (O-level), or work normally assigned to Marine Corps squadrons, with depot-level work.

Artisan O-level work, which is funded through the Depot Readiness Initiative (DRI) and 1A1A, or Mission and Other Flight Operations, totals approximately 750 hours annually.

Looking forward, the CH-53E program is applying Naval Sustainment System (NSS) concepts to its operations including the establishment of a production control center to better manage maintenance phases of the airframe.

The NSS was introduced to the command two years ago to improve fleet readiness by combining best commercial practices with creative solutions throughout the production lines.

FRCSW returns about 10 Super Stallions to the fleet annually.

Aug. 12, 2022

FRCSW Generators Shop Serves Multiple Naval Airframes

Among the generators serviced are those of the F/A-18, P-3 Orion, V-22 Osprey, H-53 helicopter and the AV-8B Harrier.

Aug. 8, 2022

FRCSW Fleet Support Team: Naval Aviation’s Problem Solvers

Comprised of approximately 500 engineers, logisticians, chemists and scientists, the FST has served as the Navy’s in-service support provider for engineering and logistical solutions for more than 20 years.

Aug. 1, 2022

FRCSW First Depot to Tackle Super Hornet Service Life Modification

Once again the command is at the maintenance forefront of the F/A-18 airframe, this time taking the lead as the only FRC currently assigned to perform the Service Life Modification (SLM) to the Super Hornet E and F variants.

July 25, 2022

FRCSW Supports Marine Corps CH-53E Helos

The command’s CH-53 program operates in Building 333 where fiberglass and component work is completed, and Building 378 where the remaining airframe work is done.

July 6, 2022

FRCSW Repairs Damaged CMV-22 Osprey

The right-hand inner composite skin of the $75 million aircraft sustained a six-foot by three-foot crack with other, but minor, composite damage.

May 31, 2022

FRCSW Goes to the Movies: “Top Gun: Maverick”

FRCSW painted one of the film’s two F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter aircraft and led the installation design of the audio/visual (A/V) equipment fixed in the cockpit of an F-model Super Hornet used in the movie’s production.

May 16, 2022

FRCSW Provides Engine Power to Naval Ships

Production of the LM2500 began in 1969 by the General Electric Co. The engines were first used by the Navy to power Spruance and Kidd-class destroyers in the 1970s. A decade later, installation of the reliable engines expanded to include Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates, Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.

April 11, 2022

FRCSW Names FY 2021 Civilian of the Quarter

Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) selected James Trowsdell as its Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Civilian of the Quarter, fourth quarter.

March 28, 2022

FRCSW Celebrates Women’s History Month

In recognition, Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) is highlighting the life and work of aerospace engineer Janene Valenzuela.

March 15, 2022

Finch Family Supports FRCSW, Navy

The Finch’s tradition is one of service. Service to the nation, to the Navy and Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW). Service that totals 70 years to date and counting