An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

News | Oct. 16, 2019

NSS Helps FRCSW GCU Shop Meet Fleet Needs

By Jim Markle

VIRIN: 191016-N-XZ252-0056

As the impact of the Naval Sustainment System (NSS) continues to bolster production throughout the command and increase fleet readiness, milestones often arise for those who work with the crucial components that directly affect the mission status of an aircraft.

"Last week, we actually hit zero issue-priority-group-ones (IPG1) on generator control units (GCU). I don't know when the last time it was zero IPG1s," said Rick Pfeiffer, deputy IPT lead of the GCU shop at Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW).

In addition to the GCU, which provides power to all of an aircrafts electrical systems, the shop repairs and overhauls two types of generators: Air-cooled generators that use fan blades to cool them and typically found on helicopters, P-3 Orion and AV-8B Harrier aircraft, and oil-cooled generators used in aircraft like the F/A-18 Hornet.

A staff of 42 artisans working in two shifts service about 36 GCUs per quarter belonging to the legacy F/A-18 Hornets, and 32 of the Hornets generators, or G-1s.

"There was previously two versions of the GCU, the G-2 and the G-3. About two years ago, we became qualified for the G-4 modified version. It receives 13 new parts. So now, we receive a G-3 carcass and a kit that we use to upgrade and ready-for-issue (RFI) as a G-4 version," Pfeiffer said.

The workload standard for the G-4 conversion is 80 man-hours, while a G-2 is 118 man-hours.

G-3 chassis are stripped, and with their wiring harnesses, sent for analysis on the Intermittent Fault Detection and Isolation System (FIDIS) in Building 463. The IFDIS not only checks the connection points in the GCU harness for intermittent shorts or opens, but also has the capability to simulate the flight stresses and conditions which Hornet aircraft are exposed.

The IFDIS process takes about 26 hours.

"We also repair the G-2 versions, and we get a schedule of the generators, in itself, so right now were doing about 19 per month. The goal is to get to 28 a month. Previously, the goal was around 15 per month. So, were looking to keep up with fleet demands," Pfeiffer said.

The shops GCU workload operates under a Private Public Partnership (PPP) with the General Electric Co. PPP are partnerships between commercial vendors and FRCSW.

FRCSW artisans provide the labor in disassembly, evaluation and ordering parts from GE. When parts arrive, units are reassembled and tested on the Aircraft Engine Components Test Stand (AECTS). After QA and packaging, they are returned to GE and disbursed back to the fleet through the Naval Supply Systems Command.

Through NSS initiatives, and to reduce turn-around time, the shop moved its work centers closer to its testing area. It also gained the personnel needed to reduce down time caused by machinery failures.

"We had buy-in from the get go. The NSS team of Cindy Champaign and Justin Benford worked closely with the shop artisans to get the production control center (PCC) built. Our facilities department did a great job getting floors done and everything moved quickly," Pfeiffer said.

"The shop moved phone lines and benches and set the area up the way they wanted it: GCUs on one side, generators on the other, split between legacy and Super Hornet, and in the middle, is our circuit card assembly area. So, we laid out the plan and they did a great job executing it."

The depth of repairs to circuit cards also improved through a combined effort from the artisans, engineering and GE that brought capability to the component level using micro-soldering techniques.

"The key is that the depth of repair has reduced material delay time and reduced back orders on the shop replaceable assemblies (SRA)," Pfeiffer noted.

SRAs are circuit card modules, held in weapons replaceable assemblies, or the containers that house avionic functions.

"There wasn't a lot of change to repair procedures with the NSS, it was more about gaining efficiency and also getting the priority established. The bigger issue was `how do we reach our goal.' The schedule for us is 21 GCUs a month, or 63 a quarter. We've never done anything like those numbers, but we are hitting 21 or very close to it. On the generator side, the quarterly schedule was 45. And that's increased as well," he said.

Daily meetings to address constraints within the shop are attended by all teammates who have an influence in overcoming barriers to production.

"We have our goals identified, we see workload move. We see what our work-in-progress is, and if things get stuck, we identify who is responsible for overcoming it," Pfeiffer said. "We have an issue resolution board that has a date assigned to a task. If anything goes over five days, we raise that issue up to further leadership to address."

FRCSW and GEs Vandalia, Ohio, site are the only locations conducting depot-level repairs to the GCU.

The command is currently expanding its workload to include generators of the V-22 Osprey, and in fiscal year 2021, generators of E2-D aircraft.


Nov. 21, 2023

FRCSW at Fleet Week San Diego

On November 8 2023, Fleet Week in San Diego unfolded as a grand spectacle of innovation and technology, transforming the Port Pavilion Building into a vibrant hub of the future.

Nov. 10, 2023

Honor Flight San Diego’s Tribute to American Veterans

Veterans Day not only offers a moment to reflect upon the sacrifices of service members, but also serves as a poignant reminder of the price of liberty and the importance of acknowledging those who have borne its cost. This day reinforces the timeless truth: freedom is never free, and gratitude towards its guardians is eternally owed. Building on this spirit of reverence, organizations like Honor Flight San Diego (HFSD) work tirelessly to show tangible appreciation to these heroes.

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).