Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific wins NAVAIR Commander’s Award

commander matthew edwards

Cmdr. Matthew Edwards, Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific commanding officer, holds the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Commander's Award for Logistics and Industrial Operations June 8, following the NAVAIR Commander’s Award ceremony at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. The 16th annual NAVAIR Commander’s Awards ceremony celebrates technical, business and leadership excellence in support of increasing speed to the fleet, delivering integrated and interoperable warfighting capabilities, and improving affordability. (U.S. Navy photo/released)

NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, MD – Covering an area larger than that of the Continental United States, it’s a challenge to provide readiness to Naval aviation when and where needed. Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific (FRCWP), however, consistently does that and was recognized with a Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Commander’s Award for Logistics and Industrial Operations during a ceremony held here June 8.

“This award represents FRC West Pac’s commitment to sustaining forward deployed squadrons,” said Cmdr. Matthew Edwards, FRCWP commanding officer, accepting the bright silver Commander’s Award during a ceremony at the Rear Adm. William A. Moffett Building at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. The ceremony was also broadcast via video teleconference to NAVAIR sites around the country.

One of seven categories, the Logistics and Industrial Operations award gauges logistics support of fleet operations and maintenance throughout the full life cycle of aviation weapon systems and related equipment as well as technical support to aviation acquisition, life cycle logistics and maintenance planning processes, procurement and supply.

Headquartered at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, FRCWP has detachments in Iwakuni and Okinawa, Japan, Guam, Korea, and Malaysia staffed by a diverse team of dedicated military, U.S. government civilians, and Japanese nationals and commercial contract personnel providing responsive, affordable readiness for Navy and Marine Corps forces deployed worldwide, ashore and afloat.  FRCWP supports the fleet outside of the continental United States, including U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Central Command and U.S. Pacific Command.

“Being aligned for fast response, FRCWP improves NAVAIR’s affordability and rapid response to urgent warfighter depot maintenance needs by maintaining in-theatre scheduled aircraft and support equipment maintenance, Carrier Strike Group In-Service Repair (ISR) teams onboard deployed carriers, and field repair teams available worldwide in 48 hours or less,” wrote Lt. Cmdr. Timothy Tuschinski, FRCWP production officer, in the award nomination packet.

In 2015, FRCWP completed 29 aircraft planned depot events for 13 different squadrons; completed 573 urgent unscheduled aircraft repairs worldwide supporting 77 squadrons, including 180 repairs on board deployed ships; expeditiously performed nearly 700 engineering dispositions; and overhauled or repaired 134 pieces of support equipment.

“We rely on our contractors in Japan, Korea and Malaysia for scheduled depot maintenance,” said Edwards. “We leverage their vast experience and technical expertise in manufacturing and aircraft maintenance  to complete planned maintenance.”

Sometimes serving the fleet means going to where the fleet is, and FRC WESTPAC completed more than 1,700 aircraft ISRs onboard 35 deployed ships and at 20 shore-based locations.

“We have a dedicated team of technicians who can deploy on a moment’s notice to meet a customer’s need,” said Edwards. “We have guys who come in at eight in the morning, get told they have to deploy, and are on a plane that afternoon.”

The Support Equipment Rework Facility, or SERF for short, overhauled and repaired more than 350 pieces of Support Equipment. SERF’s Japanese employees contributed 28,000 man-hours without a single Quality Deficiency Report.  SERF also provided field team support and returned six different support equipment items that were unavailable for use for three to six months to a ready-for-issue status in eight days. The on-site repairs saved more than 60 days shipping time and $30,000 in shipping costs.

FRCWP also awarded five aircraft depot maintenance contracts in the Western Pacific totaling $62.3 million in the sustainment of forward deployed naval forces in support of F/A-18A-D Hornet, F/A-18 E-F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, AH-1 Cobra, UH-1 Iroquois, H-53E Super Stallion and KC-130 Hercules. FRCWP also awarded a contract for the first overseas V-22 Osprey depot capability.

Other NAVAIR Commander’s Award categories include Business Operations; Program Management; Quality of Service/Customer Service; Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E); Science and Technology; and Energy.

COMFRC shares in Commander’s Award for Energy

Industrial operations are typically energy intensive and can use or produce by-products that are hazardous to the environment. Danny Miller, COMFRC Environmental and Energy Lead, said the FRCs have worked hard to reduce their energy footprint and environmental impact over the past few years.

For its efforts, COMFRC - a part of the NAVAIR Energy team, Facilities and Infrastructure Pillar (FAIP) - shared in the Commander's Award in the Energy category. In the past year, FRCs East, Southeast and Southwest - as well as the Naval Air Warfare Centers - have invested in more than 100 system upgrades to improve infrastructure energy efficiency.

In 2015, FRC East upgraded lighting throughout its production area without impacting delivery of aircraft to the fleet. FRC Southwest earned the 2015 Chief of Naval Operations' Environmental Award (Sustainability-Industrial Activity) for its efforts to prevent or eliminate pollution at the source, including practices that increase efficiency and sustainability in the use of raw materials, energy, water or other resources. FRC Southeast picked up the SECNAV Environmental Award (Sustainability-Industrial Activity) for reducing energy by implementing steam reduction and adding high-efficiency lighting, diverting 250 tons of waste from landfills and recycled more than 160 tons of used oil for energy recovery and reduction.

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