SPECIAL UNIT PROFILE

Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 1-Star Lifters

Elite Navy/Marine unit uses 2 Gulfstream IIIs and 3 G550s to carry top leaders around the world.


Maintenance and missions

Safety Officer Maj Ron Wood (L) is developing procedures that integrate military safety systems and internationally recognized safety management standards. Gulfstream Site Mgr USN C37 CLS Program Sean Strudgeon (R) leads a team of 14 civilian technicians. All have military experience.

Aircraft maintenance is performed by a mix of civilian contractors and military personnel. Contractor logistics support (CLS) on the C37B is Gulfstream, while military personnel augmented by TSM contractors are responsible for C20D maintenance. Gulfstream employs 15 maintenance personnel at ADW.

Leading the Navy C37 CLS Program team is Site Mgr Sean Strudgeon, a 15-year Gulfstream employee who was based at SAV (Savannah GA) until 1998. All 14 licensed A&Ps reporting to him are civilians with military experience.

The team works 2 basic 10-hr shifts but works around the customer's schedule as required. Technicians are on 1-hr recall and are available 24/7. Strudgeon's team carries out A checks every 500 hrs and C checks every 12 months.

The ADW facility can carry out nondestructive testing, but all work on major structures or essential repairs following lightning strikes or hail damage is done by Gulfstream SAV. VR1's C37Bs are on a corporate maintenance program, says Strudgeon.

He describes VR1 as resembling a Part 91 operation "except the customers are military." Dispatch reliability rate is close to 100%. The Gulfstream team has received FAA's Diamond award for maintenance excellence 5 times in the past 6 years.

Artman pays tribute to Strudgeon's team when he says, "VR1 is privileged to serve with-and learn from the professionals at Gulfstream." A civilian contract to maintain the C20Ds was due to be implemented in Oct 2008 but was challenged with no firm timetable for settlement.

In the interim, military maintenance personnel manning has decreased from 70 to 20. For now, these 20 personnel augmented by 6 TSM contractors are conducting all C20D maintenance. Artman speaks highly of the C20D maintenance team, describing them as "absolutely first class."

He praises their professionalism, dedication and commitment to excellence, noting that they "use the tenets of operational risk management, informed by ongoing assessments of capacity, expertise and human factors."

Master Chief (AFCM) Ray Cangelosi (USN) has served as senior enlisted maintenance advisor since reporting to VR1 in May 2007. He has also been instrumental in ensuring that high maintenance standards continue to be upheld during the contract dispute period, despite the significant reduction in manpower.

Maintenance material control officer (MMCO) Lt Jim Baldwin (USN) oversees all C20D/C37B maintenance. He has over 25 years of USN service and has been with VR1 for almost 18 months.

As contracting officer representative (COR), Baldwin is responsible for contractor logistics including satellite and wireless maintenance issues-and ensures proper execution of contracts. More than 40 personnel report to him, including on-site Gulfstream and TSM employees.

Baldwin has funding authority and determines the validity of requests up to $25,000-above that he refers issues to the type commander (TYCON). He describes his job as unique and challenging: "The operational demands and unique mission of this command they're what make this tour rewarding."

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