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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.

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).