NAVAIR

COMFRC hosts Industry Day event at FRC East

Commander Fleet Readiness Centers Rear Adm. Michael Zarkowski briefs 50 industry specialists, representing 36 businesses, about the importance of modernizing FRCs at the COMFRC-sponsored Industry Day held at the Havelock, N.C. Tourist and Event Center, April 19, 2018.

Commander Fleet Readiness Centers Rear Adm. Michael Zarkowski briefs 50 industry specialists, representing 36 businesses, about the importance of modernizing FRCs at the COMFRC-sponsored Industry Day held at the Havelock, N.C. Tourist and Event Center, April 19, 2018.

Apr 19, 2018

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Materials Engineer Rob Thompson discusses FRC East's additive manufacturing efforts with industry specialists attending the COMFRC-sponsored Industry Day April 19, 2018.

Materials Engineer Rob Thompson discusses FRC East's additive manufacturing efforts with industry specialists attending the COMFRC-sponsored Industry ...

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. — More than 50 professionals representing more than 30 companies participated in Commander, Fleet Readiness Center’s Industry Day hosted by Fleet Readiness Center East at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center April 17, 2018.

The purpose of the event was to seek ideas and solutions from private industry experts on how to modernize Naval aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul depots.

Fleet Readiness Centers Commander Michael Zarkowski and Deputy Martin Ahmad set the drumbeat for the event with remarks that clarified the purpose and hope of the day’s affair.

“Our Fleet Readiness Centers are national treasures that we have got to get modernized,” said Zarkowski. “What we need from you … are your solutions, your ideas, your equipment.”

Ahmad shared a jarring perspective on the nation’s defense status in comparison to other world powers.

“We have to be very concerned that we are no longer first in everything,” he said. "That’s our call to urgency to our workforce, and that’s the call to urgency we want to share with you, because we can’t do this without a partnership with industry.”

Ahmad presented an overview that gave insight on aging facilities and equipment, investment strategies for sustainment and modernization, and laid out COMFRC infrastructure plan objectives. He highlighted that 51 percent of COMFRC’s 6.7 million industrial square footage is more than 67 years old, and 50 percent of more than 2,800 test equipment items are more than 25 year old.

“We’re trying to modernize everything about the FRCs, from our business processes to our equipment and facilities, taking better care of our workforce — everything across the board,” said Ahmad. “We really need to learn how we can do this more efficiently from you,” said Ahmad. “We need you to understand what our infrastructure and equipment needs are. We want your interest in this because we plan to get solicitations out.”

The participants then headed out to tour the FRC East facilities to view current operations at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. Once the tour was over, the group reconvened at the Havelock Tourist Center for an afternoon roundtable discussion of ideas, strategies, feedback and related industry topics.

“We’re blessed to be resourced to sustain and to modernize our equipment and facilities, and the acknowledgement that we cannot do it alone resulted in us reaching out to our industry partners,” said Adrienne Somerville, COMFRC National Business Operations director, of the tactical approach to get ideas toward more immediate industrial solutions to strengthen readiness.

 “What we want to do is encourage … the creativity and innovation that emerges from those joint relationships,” said Somerville. “We’re most interested in how fast we can solve our challenges and how accurate we can be in defining those solution sets.”

FRC East has a workforce of 3,911 civilian, military personnel and contractors, making it the states’ largest industrial employer in Eastern North Carolina.  Its annual payroll exceeds $354 million.  Its 119 buildings include about 2.1 million square feet and are spread across about 147 acres.  The estimated replacement value of the facility is $1.36 billion.

FRCE Public Affairs
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<p>ATLANTIC OCEAN (Oct. 3, 2011) An F-35B Lightning II conducts initial sea trials over the Atlantic Ocean. The F-35B is the Marine Corps Joint Strike Force variant of the Joint Strike Fighter and is designed for short takeoff and vertical landing on Navy amphibious ships. The aircraft is operating with the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1). ( photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)</p>

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