Contributor Rico Schrader
CORPUS CHRISTI ARMY DEPOT, TEXAS- Organizations that require depot-level aircraft repairs have a resource readily available with Corpus Christi Army Depot. Whether in or outside the continental United States, CCAD Field Team Operations, comprised of highly skilled artisans of multiple trades, are deployable worldwide to support the warfighter.
Ken Ausdemore, aviation readiness and maintenance support specialist, said, "When an extensive depot-level repair is needed, we're authorized to travel to the customer for on-site aircraft maintenance and repairs."
According to Wes Reed, chief of Field Team Operations, the mission of the FTO is to provide Department of Defense aviation warfighters with the highest quality of on-site logistical support and depot-level maintenance services on rotary wing aircraft to meet readiness and mission objectives on a global scale.
Recently, the FTO deployed to the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, because several CH-47F helicopters with airframe issues needed repairs.
The anticipated repair schedule was 16 working days; however, the team significantly reduced the repair turnaround time and returned the aircraft to the unit within ten days. The 3rd CAB responded with an excellent customer survey rating and greatly appreciated the support. “This was a direct reflection of the FTO performance and their dedication to the warfighter," said Reed.
Depot Field Team launch dates are facilitated by the requesting unit and are parts driven. Depending on the severity of the repair issues and component availability, a DFT can launch in as little as two weeks.
Ausdemore said, "CCAD technology and manufacturing capability allow us to meet the customer's requirements in a timely matter. It's cost-effective and negates shipping the aircraft to a depot facility for repairs."
Since the goal is to return aircraft to the unit by the most efficient means possible, it is a win-win situation saving time on maintenance checks and monitoring, which allows units to focus on operations.
The DFT can assess, evaluate, repair, or replace heavy structures and components on forward-deployed aircraft, such as the CH-47 Chinook, UH-60 Black Hawk, and AH-64 Apache. In addition to supporting the United States Army, the team provides services to the Department of Defense, Department of State, and foreign military sales rotary wing platforms. Customers worldwide benefit from the DFT’s ability to quickly elevate a units’ status to fully operational.
There is a certain synergy that FTO team members possess. They have traveled together, meshed professionally, and understand the scope of their work and roles within the team. The FTO has harnessed that expertise and works to analyze critical data points of aircraft.
"They're all highly experienced journeyman, structural experts, and they're good at their jobs," said Ausdemore. "We have experienced unforeseen issues because aircraft always have hidden cracks and seams, even though they're not open to the eye until we evaluate it and determine the severity."
In the end, CCAD is expanding Army aviation's global reach by ensuring combat power for the operational commander while keeping the Army flying.
Units can request CCAD's assistance by sending the estimated cost of damages to the Army Aviation and Missile Command Logistics Center at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
CCAD is America’s Aviation Depot and the aviation industry leader in maintenance, repair, and overhaul of helicopters, engines, and components.