Crash and Salvage Crane “Tilly” ready to be loaded aboard United States Army Corps of Engineers shipping carrier, Ocean Grande on Feb. 16. (U.S. Navy Photo)

Fleet Readiness Center Aviation Support Equipment Det. North Island responds to urgent fleet request and delivers

Responding to an urgent Commander Naval Air Force Atlantic request, Fleet Readiness Center Aviation Support Equipment (FRCASE) Det. North Island recently completed an extensive overhaul, including the complete tear-down and re-build, of a Crash and Salvage Crane for delivery to USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76).

Normally a process that can take up to 15 months, the FRCASE team was able to complete it in nine. Ralph E. Gough, Jr., Director, COMFRC Aviation Support Equipment lauded the efforts of Det. North Island, “Not only was this an urgent request that North Island accomplished quickly, the logistical coordination for delivery was monumental. This team overcame a lot of obstacles to ensure our sailors and marines have the equipment they need to support flight operations around the world. I commend them on this outstanding accomplishment.”

Affectionately named “Tilly,” the crane is vital for any U.S. aircraft carrier to conduct flight operations. Its purpose is to provide support to the ship’s crash and salvage team in the event of an aircraft or flight deck mechanical failure. Without a crash and salvage crane, aircraft cannot embark or conduct flight operations, severely hindering readiness.

Typically these cranes are overhauled by FRCASE every 10 years. The depot also conducts annual load test/certifications and provides assistance with depot level emergent repairs exceeding fleet capability.

On Feb. 16, “Tilly” set sail to her new home in Japan where she will be placed aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76). Designated Rework Point-021 Crane experts loaded her onboard the Unites States Army Corps of Engineers shipping carrier, Ocean Grande to make her overseas voyage.

This is the first time for FRCASE to ship equipment via commercial shipping vessel to an overseas location. According to Roy Bridges, FRCASE Det. North Island, “An evolution of this nature takes time to set up logistically, so it has been very rewarding seeing it come to fruition. The team really came together to make it happen,” he said.

Rear Adm. Trent DeMoss echoed Gough’s sentiment, “The teamwork and dedication required to coordinate and execute this high-priority and logistically complicated delivery is a testament to FRCASE Det. North Island’s resolve. This is how we generate readiness in and through teamwork. Way to show GRIT!”

FRCASE provides agile, relevant, quality support equipment maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services to meet Naval Aviation Enterprise entitlements and Optimized Fleet Response Plan requirements in an efficient and cost effective manner. FRCASE’s services provide seamless integrated MRO services to reduce the cycle time and improve the availability of ready for use aviation support equipment assets for U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps activities.

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