WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 26 SEAPOWER / MAY 2016
officer and an H- 60 pilot. “So being more efficient will
give them more flexibility.”
The building is designed with energy efficiency in
mind, with up to 30 percent energy savings expected,
said Matt Schreck, FRC Southwest’s energy program
manager. There is LED lighting inside and out, high-
efficiency boilers, variable-drive motors on chillers,
large windows that let in sunlight and expansive, fold-
up outer walls with stanchions that ease the movement
of helicopters. The hangar has a white “cool” roof that
reflects sunlight and absorbs less heat.
“It’s an amazing difference,” Cooper said.
Until recently, IPT members worked from trailers
and old buildings about a quarter-mile away, Cooper
said. Now, their offices are housed in the modern,
two-story section of Building 325 with about 120 government employees and two dozen or so contractors.
That is about 15 to 20 more government workers and
contractors, and by year’s end that may grow by another 20, based on workload, he said.
The new building has quality-of-life improvements,
too, for the two shifts of workers. Gone are leaking
ceilings and too-cold or too-hot, stifling and noisy
offices crowded with desks and partitions.
“There’s more space. It’s safer. It’s more environ-
mentally friendly,” Gomez said. “We’ll see an uptick in
And morale, too. Workers can take breaks on an
outside patio next to the “cafe” break room, equipped
with several refrigerators, microwaves and vending
machines, or on second-floor decks.
“It’s a long time coming,” Angelo said. “Everybody
obviously is enjoying working in a better environment.”
The IPT includes operations, production control,
examiners, planners, artisans, industrial engineers, and
budget and finance activities.
“Now we are all co-located, and that has been a big
plus for us,” Gomez said. FRC East engineers also are
housed in the new building. “They can make the engineering dispositions a lot quicker,” she added.
The transition to the new building went smoothly
“Our whole goal was to make it seamless to the
customer,” Gomez said. “We didn’t want it to impact
The new building takes better advantage of the
depot’s location, close to many H- 60 squadrons they
“It really allows for really good communication
before the induction, during and after,” Gomez said. “It
also gives them the opportunity to come over and do
their special inspections.”
During large-phased inspections, when many parts
are removed from the aircraft, it is easier for Sailors to
check and inspect areas they could not easily access.
Two weeks before a helicopter arrives, Cooper meets
with the squadron.
“We’ll go over the aircraft state, what they have
on order, what they plan on doing while it’s in PMI,
because they can forecast whether those inspections
are going to come up or not,” he said. “Right there
we’ll set the precedent of what needs to be done during
which time period, so we can schedule and allow when
is the best time for them to come over and remove
parts and put them back on.”
Each Wednesday, Cooper meets with H- 60 squad-
ron representatives, maintenance
officers and maintenance chiefs to
review how things are progressing
on their aircraft. The meetings are
brief, perhaps a half-hour, but thor-
ough and to the point, he said.
“While it’s here, we’ll send them
a list of O-level [organizational-
level] discrepancies, so then they
can work them while it’s here,” he
said. “If it’s accessible, they’ll try to
get it while it’s apart.”
When the depot work is done,
the squadron goes over the aircraft
— the “buyback” — and “if they
have any problems, we’re right here
to assist,” he added.
Cooper, a former Sailor with an
H- 60 squadron, knows the process
well. “This is a good learning experience for them,” he said.
Aviation Electrician Airman Nathan Glancy, left, and Aviation Electrician 2nd Class
Jason Newhouse from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 41 aboard Naval Air
Station North Island install avionics components in an H- 60 Seahawk helicopter in
the Seahawk maintenance facility at Fleet Readiness Center Southwest.