By Jaclyn Nix, CCAD Public AffairsOctober 24, 2011
Corpus Christi, TX - Corpus Christi Army Depot provides maintenance, repair and overhaul services to more than just Army aviation. Since the early 1990s, the depot has returned more than 170 Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawks and thousands of components for Air Force, Navy and Marine helicopters to the fight.
CCAD's Pave Hawk division worked diligently through 2011 completing twelve Pave Hawks, returning them to their units. The joint effort is in addition to the hundreds of Army UH-60 Black Hawks, CH-47 Chinooks, AH-64 Apaches, OH-58 Kiowa Warriors and related components that have found their way to the frontlines.
"The same level priority and attention we give to the task force, we give to the Air Force mission because those are the same aircraft that are going to pull our Sailors, Airmen, Soldiers and Marines out of the fight," said Col. Christopher Carlile, CCAD Commander. "We understand how important the Pave Hawks are to the Air Force contribution."
A highly modified version of the Sikorsky's UH-60 Black Hawk, the HH-60 Pave Hawk is a combat search and rescue helicopter for the United States Air Force, and provides rescue for all U.S. branches, foreign and non-military combatants. CCAD, at any given time, repairs approximately ten percent of the Air Force fleet.
"The Pave Hawk is a high demand, low density fleet," said Wayne Duffy, Air Force Liaison. "Their mission rate is extremely high because they basically do armed rescues. They're considered higher priority because there are so few of them."
"They have provided 50% of the rescue operations in Iraq and Afghanistan with only 2% of the helicopter assets in theater," he added.
CCAD employs several programs that restore or improve Pave Hawks. The Structural Integrity Program (SIP) is designed to prolong the life of the aircraft through a structural upgrade that either replaces or modifies parts on the airframe while Joint Depot Level Maintenance (JDLM) cleans and treats the primary structure of the aircraft. The Refurbishment Inspection and 600 Hour Phase are different inspections on the aircraft from gaskets to transmissions. Other programs include the Inertia Navigational Unit (INU), laser-assisted aircraft alignment, and replacing the 308 beam.
Similar to the Pave Hawk programs, the Navy and Marine Corps workload rates high priority.
"It's very high priority and the depot treats it as such, but it's a high priority for the Warfighter out there to do their job," said Gunnery Sgt. Brett Massey, Navy/Marines Corps Liaison.
The depot is one of a select few sources of repair for Navy and Marine components, transmissions, and parts for the Navy and Marine helicopters due to CCAD's cost-saving processes which save time and dollars as compared to new purchase.
"The experience that mechanics and artisans are getting while working on the multi-services aircraft will help them out individually, and will enhance the depot as a whole," said Gunnery Sgt. Massey.
"The war is supported by all branches of the military and we support the Warfighters," said Louie Tapia, Pave Hawk Structures Section Chief.