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News | April 6, 2023

FRCSW Ally Support Strengthens Royal Australian Air Force

By Janina Lamoglia

Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) successfully completed a first of its kind reconfiguration of a U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The aircraft was flown to FRCSW in March of 2020 for long term storage and the command took on this effort, demonstrating its ability to excel at collaborating across international lines with foreign entities. Ehren Terbeek, F/A-18 Legacy & E/F Program Manager, was part of the command leadership that received the workload at the time of induction in August of 2022 and he oversaw the team taking on this challenge. The RAAF looked to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada to procure the aircraft for reconfiguration. However, after an internal issue delayed the Air Force’s timeline for delivery, the RAAF looked elsewhere for an aircraft. FRCSW took the stage in providing a replacement Growler from one of the command’s detachments.

Myra Balina, FRCSW Production Support Logistics Lead, knew the extensive research required to adapt the aircraft to fit the Australian configuration. “Managing this kind of special rework was not the norm.” Balina says. This was the first time the command took on the challenge of reconfiguring an aircraft to fit the needs of a foreign military ally.

Balina and her team conducted extensive research on the maintenance evolution, differences in modification kits, and aircraft avionics in order to correctly configure software requirements. Balina was also a pivotal player in the logistics of this operation, filling in the gaps between the planner and supply department, including managing the procurement of tooling, support material, and equipment from start to finish. There were many crossovers between her routine workload and this assigned mission. However, she and her team researched what was missing in their knowledge base to successfully bridge the gap between the U.S. Navy’s configurations to the RAAF. One of the challenges they were given was receiving failed parts to work with and another challenge took the form of material shortages. Despite the challenges, Balina said, “the successful collaboration efforts and communication from the artisans on the floor are what allowed us to fill in the gaps and kept us on schedule. We also identified any issues up front and communicated that to the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and Program Management Activity (PMA) teams.” Neil Belmont, FRCSW Planner and Estimator, was another key player that specialized in rework of aircraft. While his main roles include tracking time schedules, cost performance and timeline reports, as well as providing technical directives, his past experience with crash and burn damaged aircraft as well as reconfiguration of aircraft contributed to the success of this accomplishment.

The completion of the reconfiguration in less time than anticipated and doing so while staying within budget was a “big part of the success.” Belmont said. As previously mentioned, this was not a typical workload the command, artisans, and the logistics team received. Belmont described the extensive research and “leveling up” that was collectively necessary in order to meet the goals of this mission.

In January of 2023, FRCSW successfully completed and sold the aircraft to Australia on its first flight. Aside from being the first reconstitution sold, this mission was beneficial to FRCSW by expanding the command’s knowledge in the business of working with entities outside of the U.S. Navy. Furthermore this mission boosts the capability of our warfighter, as well as the capability of the ally’s military. FRCSW’s mission is a testament to the strength of the existing partnership. Not only does it further strengthen the longstanding ties, but it also bolsters America’s reputation overseas and increases confidence in our military as an ally. Missions like these are what is fundamental to maintain alliances and boost strategic readiness in the face of major conflict.

Sept. 5, 2023

FRCSW STEM in Action

When Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) STEM ambassadors visit local communities, their goal is to utilize the STEM outreach program to inspire and create valuable opportunities to learn for both students and educators. The program also tries to empower both the students and FRCSW employees by fostering meaningful connections between Naval STEM efforts and the upcoming generation.

July 20, 2023

FRCSW Engineer Receives Assistant Secretary of Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition) Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists & Engineers of the Year Award

FRCSW Engineer Receives Assistant Secretary of Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition) Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists & Engineers of the Year Award

May 15, 2023

FRCSW Comptroller Receives Department of the Navy and Secretary of Defense Financial Management Awards

FRCSW Comptroller Receives Department of the Navy and Secretary of Defense Financial Management Awards

April 27, 2023

FRCSW E-2D Team Wins NAVAIR Commander’s Award

FRCSW E-2D Team Wins NAVAIR Commander’s Award

April 18, 2023

FRCSW Sailors Named 2023 Sailor of the Year

FRCSW Sailors Named 2023 Sailor of the Year

April 6, 2023

FRCSW Ally Support Strengthens Royal Australian Air Force

Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) successfully completed a first of its kind reconfiguration of a U.S. Navy EA-6B Growler for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

March 31, 2023

Fleet Readiness Center Southwest - Eliminating Waste and Improving Efficiency

For over 100 years, Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) has provided the men and women of the Navy and Marine Corps with the highest quality products and services in the most efficient manner possible. One of the state of the art management systems that makes this possible is the “Lean” process which focuses its attention on eliminating waste and error. FRCSW began the command’s most recent “Lean” process by integrating pre-expendable bins (PEB). Lieutenant Commander Jeffrey Legg, Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Industrial Supply Officer, in collaboration with the other PEB managers, played a pivotal role in the improvement of PEB inventory.

Sept. 26, 2022

FRCSW Navy’s Sole Maintainer of Rotodome Radar

A primary tool of the Hawkeye’s defensive posture is the rotodome radar system, maintained by Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW).

Sept. 19, 2022

FRCSW Paraloft Shop Oversees Flight Line Gear

The shop is manned by four Aircrew Survival Equipmentman (PR) sailors who track, update, inspect and test a variety of the aircrew’s equipment including life preservers, water bottles, radios, and medical kits.

Sept. 12, 2022

FRCSW Comptroller Department’s Plan Improves Fiscal Health

To better achieve NWCF goals and overcome ongoing financial issues stemming from various external factors, FRCSW created this “Get-Well Plan” in 2019.