Members of the Fleet Readiness Service Center Southwest (FRCSW) of the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) recently participated in a groundbreaking ceremony with contractor RQ Construction in San Diego, California, USA, to mark the start of construction for a new paint and finishing hangar, corrosion control shop, and cleaning facility. The facility includes a wash rack paint complex.
The current paint complex occupied by FRCSW, built in 1970, has exceeded its service life and is unable to accommodate new mission workloads, according to NAVFAC. Current FRCSW operations have increased, causing congested aircraft production lines, extended turnaround times, delays in returning an asset to operational status, and disruptions to critical workload demands.
“When it comes to supporting a production effort of 100-plus aircraft per year, all roads lead to paint,” says Capt. Steven Leehe, FRCSW’s commanding officer. “All PMI [planned maintenance interval] special rework aircraft must pass through our paint facility before leaving here. The existing paint hangar is literally the pinch point by which all product lines are subordinated for their throughput velocity. This facility will eliminate the current heel-to-toe congo line of aircraft waiting in the queue for paint, which will greatly enhance our ability to increase throughput and reduce turnaround times.”
With a target completion date of March 2024, the new paint facility will consist of a 35,000-ft2 (3,251.6-m2) paint-finishing hangar and an 18,000-ft2 (1,672.3-m2) corrosion control shop. The paint complex will increase capacity and support operations while accommodating all Navy carrier-based aircraft on the U.S. West Coast that must utilize FRCSW corrosion control and/or paint and finishing services.
The site will enable FRCSW to meet required operational contingency for excess capacity, while also allowing FRCSW to meet PMI-1 Cor-Ban 35 coating application requirements.