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    AAAA 16th Luther G. Jones Army Aviation Depot Forum held in Corpus Christi

    AAAA 16th Luther G. Jones Army Aviation Depot Forum held in Corpus Christi

    Photo By Della Adame | Military leaders, government civilians, industry leaders and academic institutions...... read more read more

    CORPUS CHRISTI, TX, UNITED STATES

    12.06.2021

    Story by Kathleen Pettaway-Clarke 

    Corpus Christi Army Depot

    CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Another indication of Texas resumption to normalcy was the Army Aviation Association of America hosting the 16th Luther G. Jones Army Aviation Depot Forum at the Solomon P. Ortiz International Center Dec.7-8. This year’s theme was "Modernizing Depot Maintenance in Sync with Army Aviation."

    Retired Maj. Gen. Tim Crosby, AAAA executive director, emceed the event. The last forum was held in 2019.

    The forum was named after former Corpus Christi Army Depot commander and Corpus Christi mayor. Col. Luther Griffin Jones Jr. served in the U.S. Army during World War II from 1939 to1945 and the Vietnam War from 1958 to 1973; he then served as the mayor of Corpus Christi from 1979 to 1987.

    During opening remarks, CCAD Commander Col. Joseph H. Parker complimented the dedication of CCAD workforce for their support of the warfighter throughout the pandemic.

    "We have a great workforce, with outstanding members who perform great things daily - they are people from this community,” Parker said. “We can't thank them enough. Every day CCAD has been open for business to keep the Army flying."

    Attendees received updates on CCAD's current and future workforce, modernization efforts and readiness plans. Industry partners, potential partners and military elements were able to gather once again and discuss technological advancements of each organization.

    Industry leaders in attendance were Bell Textron, Sikorsky, General Electric, Elevate Systems, Wichita State University, DigiFlight, Parker Hannifin Corporation and the University of South Carolina.

    OPENING
    “We have a lot of public private partnerships that allow us to work together with industry and our local educational institutions,” Parker said. “By working together, CCAD produces fantastic aircraft. CCAD is an original equipment manufacturer with partnerships that transform the UH-60L to UH-60V."

    In a prerecorded video message, Rep. Michael Cloud, Texas 27th Congressional District, said, “Army aviation is vital to national defense. The work at CCAD – the products and the value of the artisan's work – is being noticed on a national level."

    U.S. Army Materiel Command Soldier of the Year Spec. Christian Kerkado-Colon served as an escort to Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette Guajardo. "As mayor of the city, our support for our base and their tenants will remain strong. As one of the largest employers in our city, the relationship must also be seamless.”

    One out of 100 people in the Corpus Christi area is employed at CCAD. The depot has an economic impact of $1.7 billion to the local community.
    Guajardo said, "I'm very proud to report that over the last five to seven years, the City of Corpus Christi has partnered with the state of Texas for over $11.5 million in infrastructure improvement and encroachment protection projects that help to protect our military installation.”

    Maj. Gen. Todd Royar, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command commanding general, delivered the keynote address.

    "Processes, policies and procedures in place will ensure CCAD's viability moving into the future,” he said. “That includes its organic industrial base possessing the capacity and the capability for large scale combat operations."

    CCAD will take possession of a robotic blade repair machine, known as Joint Autonomous Repair Verification and Inspection System II. Blade repair time will be reduced from 30 days to less than one week.

    Royar expressed the importance of protecting intellectual property and traceability for accountability purposes in modernization technologies.

    "Additive manufacturing components should be cataloged for traceability,” he said. “So if a part is manufactured accurately and cataloged, we'll be able to identify whether CCAD, Rock Island [Arsenal] or elsewhere produced the part. Ideally, the label would read 'produced by Corpus Christi Army Depot."

    "As far as working together, our industry partners help [Army aviation] to increase the product quality.”

    PANEL DISCUSSIONS
    In the future, CCAD will support sustainable strategic depth for the aviation enterprise. A recurring sentiment at the forum was having a unified or standard approach to the industry and Army prognostic predictive maintenance throughout the forum – in other words, have similar products that fit in all aircraft to benefit the maintainer.

    Think tanks assembled to brainstorm how organizations could modernize and partner to benefit the warfighter. Collaborative opportunities with military leaders, government civilians, industry leaders and academic institutions were part of the panel discussions that mutually supported the depot's modernization plans was the key.

    Some modernization topics included augmented virtual reality and digital dashboards/ digital demands; additive manufacturing and blue light technology, thermoplastics, plating and cold spray. Additional modernization topics were rapid prototyping, advanced blade repair and manufacturing innovations.

    During a panel discussion, AMCOM Logistics Center Executive Director Brian Wood expanded on predictive maintenance. "It involves correct data as a key point of communication, changes to onboarding item managers, more in-depth processes for contracts and further supply engagements with partners," he said. Additive manufacturing data collection points can also be an information resource to fix aircraft, ultimately shortening maintenance periods.

    The 'complexity' issue is the need for all depots and partners to communicate to work better collectively, but, ultimately, the end-state is to sustain the readiness of our nation.

    The CCAD commander chaired a panel discussion on the simulation training environment. The idea is to conduct training and actual work implementing virtual reality with artificial intelligence. For instance, donning safety goggles is a safety requirement. Imagine in the future completing maintenance with goggles that could provide step-by-step instructions and project aircraft schematics.

    Another aspect of Army aviation modernization is the expectation of our customers. How they will think and react to the need for technological upgrades of helicopters. Customers expect quality, cost-effectiveness and timely product delivery.

    Dina Halvorsen, at Lockheed Martin Sikorsky program director, said, "[In] the work we do, speed and agility are important. We've talked a lot about the manufacturing side, but from the contract process side, Defense Logistics Agency has provided a lot of speed and agility to the job.”

    “Variation is what challenges us every day. So we have to find innovative ways to solve problems,” said Rod Benson, CCAD chief of operations. "Sometimes variables such as funding and supply chain trade-offs set limitations."

    Other panel discussions were based on CCAD's future workforce efforts towards sustainability. One idea discussed was customizing a training program that artisans can refine skills before entering the work center.

    2020 and 2021 ARTISANS OF THE YEAR
    Two CCAD artisans were awarded the AAAA Donald F. Luce Depot Maintenance Artisan of the Year: Jose Isabela for 2020 and Lara Moya for 2021.

    This national award is presented to people who have made outstanding individual contribution to Army aviation in depot maintenance during the award period commencing July 1 to June 30.

    Isabela authored a new standard implemented by the Occupational Safety Health Administration for hexavalent chromium reduction in Army aviation platforms. The process has changed the base of Army aviation rotary-wing coatings for the UH-60 Blackhawk, AH-64 Apache, CH-47 Chinook and OH-58 Kiowa.

    Moya distinguished himself as a work leader and subject matter expert. He ensured the safety of personnel, protection of the environment and aircraft assets during relocation and release for production. He was directly responsible for the first UH-60L to UH-60V aircraft coated with the Class N primer ahead of schedule which was a milestone for CCAD in the removal of heavy metals from painting operations.

    LOOKING FORWARD
    A possibility for next year's event is to have a Theater Aviation Support Maintenance Group partnership meeting as a pre-forum event.
    Parker broached the possibility of involving all end-users in conversations about modernizations as part of the process of developing the technology needed in combat operations.

    “During the forum we have made connections, established and reestablished contacts,” Parker said. "We are moving forward together.”
    AAAA will host the 17th Luther G. Jones Army Aviation Depot Forum Dec. 6-7, 2022 in Corpus Christi.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 12.06.2021
    Date Posted: 12.27.2021 15:00
    Story ID: 411934
    Location: CORPUS CHRISTI, TX, US 

    Web Views: 328
    Downloads: 0

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