WR-ALC helps Navy meet helicopter mission requirement

  • Published
  • By Joseph Mather
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The 571st Commodities Maintenance Squadron Production Flight, Advanced Metal Finishing Facility with the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex has helped the United States Navy Fleet Readiness Center East meet their helicopter mission requirements this year.

The AMFF applies coating for corrosion prevention, wear protection, etching, cleaning, and chemical milling in preparation for paint and other follow-on manufacturing processes.

The 571st CMXS directly supports to all of the 402nd Commodities Maintenance Group, performing Planned/Scheduled Depot Level Maintenance processes in support of the F-15, C-5, C-17, C-130 weapon systems and other aircraft. 

Danny Walters, 571st CMXS director said, during the local manufacture of multiple aluminum skins for the H-53 rotary-wing aircraft platform at Fleet Readiness Center East, it was discovered that the proposed workaround for its insufficiently sized chemical milling tank was not possible.

“The FRC East requested the WR-ALC perform a one-time only chemical milling and anodizing processes required to manufacture the skins,” he said. “This effort was coordinated via Memorandum of Agreement with the Commanding Officer of Fleet Readiness Center East.”

Walters said the AMFF is a one-of-a-kind facility and their tank’s capacity is not readily available in the DOD or commercial sector.

“The AMFF team was tasked to chemically mill and anodize 15 Navy helicopter skins,” he said. “The metalizing team adhered to the defined technical execution requirements provided by FRC East and complied with technical and contractual requirements.”

A significant challenge was equipment downtime and skins which, required multiple cuts. 

“The AMFF team worked hand-in-hand with 402nd CMXG engineering and the 402nd Mission Support Group to aggressively attack infrastructure failures, reducing downtime from months to weeks,” he said. “The AMFF team coordinated with FRC East engineers quickly and effectively to obtain clear guidance when multiple cuts were required to ensure precise requirements were met.”

Walters said the sister service had a requirement that only the AMFF team could meet.

“They executed their mission with technical excellence while maintaining a commitment to conformity, quality and product safety,” he said. “Our ability to enable the Navy to meet their helicopter mission provides an avenue for future workload while meeting the nation’s defense needs.”