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News | Sept. 24, 2019

DRMO Project Cleaning Up FRCSW

By Jim Markle

Thanks to an initiative that began earlier this year, Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) teammates have probably noticed less clutter around the plant.

The command's Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO) project is removing recyclable scrap aircraft parts found throughout FRCSWs buildings and grounds.

Manned by a team of six production control (PC) personnel, the project has processed and disposed of approximately $120 million in recyclables to date.

"The CO and XO noticed that there was so much forgotten equipment laying around the command, that they requested we establish a program to clean up the grounds. Our first project started with Building 463. We moved about three truckloads of aircraft parts and electronics to Building 36 where we made arrangements to use part of the space," said Henry Kaminski, Production Activity Control Division branch manager.

To handle the task, the team contacted DRMO, (operated by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA)), to help develop the best possible methods to move the volume of discarded material in accordance with regulations.

Kaminski noted that aircraft-related parts and equipment must be processed through DRMO for de-militarization, as DLA is the only authority to make that determination.

"Everything has to be sorted, and paperwork filled out," he said. "There was a lot of training and we were kind of slow the first several months because we were investigating and learning the procedures from DLA to establish the processes. Most of the items lying around are aircraft parts that have been removed from service, and are not classified to be used again."

Before disposal, the team contacts the command's airframe departments to ensure that what is considered waste is not something of use to the production lines. If unclaimed, the DRMO process begins.

"DRMO material is valued by piece, with DLA providing a dollar amount to what is received. DLA currently earns 30 cents on the dollar, but FRCSW is working to recover some of that profit," Kaminski said.

Large parts, like airplane wings, are usually processed in pieces. And on occasion, unusual items are marked for DRMO.

"One week we were called to help recycle 10 unused security safes, and we also sent the test blades that were used for calibration at the spin tower. They were about 35 to 40-feet long each, and we disposed of them several months ago. They took a semi-truck to move," Kaminski said.

FRCSW uses DRMO facilities located at Camp Pendleton, Naval Base San Diego (NBSD), and locally, Naval Base Coronado where daily deliveries of wood and used pallets are recycled.

"We send truckloads twice a week to DRMO, mostly aircraft and support equipment," Kaminski noted. "Some of the stuff we have processed has been sitting around for five to eight years."

Earlier this year FRCSW transported four 5-ton trucks to the NAVSTA DRMO scrap yard, and under the solid waste program, two 5-ton flatbeds to NBSD and six 2 and 1/2-ton flatbed trucks to Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest. Furthermore, NBSD has picked up three semi-truck and four 5-ton truck loads of material.

The DRMO project will expand its efforts by creating a SharePoint website that will accommodate FRCSW teammates throughout the command.

"The web page should be live by mid-October and covers the procedures for almost everything that needs to be disposed of or recycled including wood, paper shredding, scrap and precious metals, and even general trash," Kaminski said. "It also covers things that people have in their work spaces that they don't need any more like furniture, appliances, and hazardous waste (which is managed by the commands environmental office.)"

Meanwhile, PC personnel assigned to airframe programs are being trained to access DLA webpages for shipping and document processing, researching parts numbers and demilitarization requirements.

Working six days per week and processing well over 100 parts daily, the DRMO project intends to decommission the recycle yard adjacent to Building 250 during the first quarter of fiscal year 2020.

"Our team is made of excellent hard-working employees who are dedicated to this program. Our program's success was presented to the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) office, and so NAVAIR and the CNO are directing other naval facilities to follow our example. The whole program is spreading and the cleanup of our naval facilities is starting to take shape," Kaminski said.


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