With respective grades of 98.9 and 95.6, Sailors at Fleet Readiness Center Southeast’s detachments at Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS Jax) and Naval Station Mayport should be beaming after their units aced major inspections recently.
FRCSE, as the Navy aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul facility is known, employs civilians to do in-depth work on military aircraft at its headquarters aboard NAS Jax. Sailors at their detachments perform the more frequent, day-to-day maintenance required – and the Navy inspects them every 18 months for safety, quality and efficiency.
“These inspections are so important,” FRCSE Command Master Chief Donald Henderson said. “Not only does it give us an honest assessment of what kind of job we’re doing, it ensures that we are sending the very best equipment possible to our warfighters on the front lines.”
Lt. Cmdr. Derek Tindell, the officer in charge of Detachment Mayport, credited his Sailors.
“A 95.6 is a great score, and it’s a credit to a lot of the hard work the Sailors put in every day,” Tindell said. “The program managers really spent a lot of time and did deep dives into their programs to ensure we were doing everything effectively and efficiently.”
Though preparing for the inspection is important, FRCSE Commanding Officer Capt. Trent DeMoss said scores like this come from sustained hard work and dedication.
“You don’t just get ready for an inspection like this during the last three months or the last two weeks,” he said. They stay ready. They’re ready all the time.”
The scope of the inspection was massive. The maintenance department aboard a carrier can be inspected in as little as two or three days, by a 10-man Aviation Maintenance Management Team. Detachment Jacksonville’s inspection took two weeks.
“We usually schedule inspections to last for a week at the most,” said Chief Daniel Castro a member of Aviation Maintenance Management Team Four. “But because this is a Fleet Readiness Center, we’re going to be here for two weeks.”
DeMoss said such widespread success under thorough scrutiny reflects the detachments’ culture.
“The two detachments had 78 of their 79 programs rated on-track, and these are major programs like hydraulic contamination, non-destructive inspection and tool control –You don’t just fix that in a week,” DeMoss said. “So that means they’ve been doing it all along. That it’s a normal culture and way of doing business.”
However, the scores from both detachments are anything but normal. They stand out, even for seasoned Sailors.
“I’ve never seen a score of 98.9,” said Detachment Jacksonville’s Master Chief Fred Flaherty. “The squadron that did the best of any I’ve been a part of personally was a 94.
“That speaks volumes about where our Sailors are within the mindset of doing work right the first time – not just for themselves, but for the Navy.”