ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
The role of the 402nd Electronic Maintenance Group Reverse Engineering Avionics Redesign and Manufacturing team with the Warner Robins Air Logistic Complex at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, is unique.
The team creates parts and supplies for weapons systems that are older than most Airmen and keeps those systems operating into the future.
“My team’s mission is to create the technical data required to perform the mission,” said Damon Brown, 402nd EMXG REARM chief. “Some systems are so old we need to completely redesign them.”
The REARM team is split into three groups depending on their function: reverse engineering, avionics redesign and manufacturing.
“We have a synergy among the three groups where we can share resources, information and knowledge across the separate groups to accomplish the Air Force mission,” said Brown.
When parts become hard to find, the REARM office has the answer.
“The first part of reverse engineering is to do an obsolescence study,” said Brown. “If we cannot get or find the parts to fix a piece of equipment or replace it, then we go back to the customer or the supply chain with this item and ask them what they want us to do.”
If the customer or supply chain needs the part, Brown's team goes to work.
“The engineers generate the data and provide the information to the technical writers we have on staff,” said Brown. “The technical writers will write the policies and the processes describing how the items work, and how to repair and fix each item the team reverse engineers.”
This information will be placed into a guide.
“The technical writing team takes all that engineering data and turns it into a technical order manual, which will be used to sustain that item for the life of that system,” said Brown.
REARM will then manufacture the items to either go to the customer or to the supply chain.
“They will have their own part number and designation for customers to order, and that will sustain crucial items for years to come,” said Brown.
The Air Force Sustainment Center has REARM teams at its three complexes-- Oklahoma City ALC at Tinker, Ogden ALC at Hill and the WR-ALC, but only one focuses on avionics.
“Hill and Tinker primarily do mechanical, but Robins is the center of excellence for avionics, so we focus on avionics,” said Brown. “We focus on the electronics aspect and we do printed circuit boards, avionics boxes, wiring harnesses, cables, front panels, face plates, displays and things of that nature.”
The Art of the Possible helped Brown’s team refine their processes. Art of the Possible is a constraints based management system designed to create an environment for success by creating a culture of problem-solvers.
“AoP has increased our efficiency,” he said. “We are constantly improving and getting better at our core mission and allocating resources to better accomplish our mission.”
By providing crucial data through engineering, the team fulfills the organization’s vision of filling the gap between industry capability and Air Force requirements.
“The big thing is to keep the overall mission of the Air Force going and keep those aircraft flying,” said Brown.