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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Mobile Maintenance Facilities keep Naval fleet in business

By Jason M. Webb | | February 11, 2010

A small branch of employees at Maintenance Center Albany keeps the Naval Air Systems Command working in comfort by providing much-needed refurbished workspaces.

The Mobile Maintenance Repair Facility repairs eight, 20-foot modular mobile shelter units from the ground up each month to support the Naval Air Systems Command.

Each unit is meticulously repaired and reconstructed to fit the fleet customers need here at MCA.

The mobile shelters provide workspace aboard ships and land for service to the Naval aviation community.

The shelters are shipped to MCA when they are in need of repair or reconfiguration, and go through a repair cycle that custom configures each one to support the customer’s needs.

“Once the facilities are inducted into the system, they are brought up here to this shop and they go through a complete inspection to see what extent of repairs have to be accomplished,” said Larry Olson, manager, Electronics Branch, MCA. “The shop planner gets involved and pulls a drawing package and determines what materials have to be ordered to bring it up to that configuration. After that’s done the sheet metal mechanics go in and strip everything out of it and do any repairs.”

According to Jim Clanton, project lead for communication electronics, MCA, the shelters come to MCA in “humble shape” and in need of repair.

“We rebuild them (shelters) from scratch ... from the ground up,” Clanton said. “From sheet metal repair, welding, repainting and reconfiguring as to whatever the customers current requirements are we repair it.”

Presently, 10 workers repair about eight mobile shelters per month, up from two per month when the program was initially started 18 months ago.

The employees reconfigure each shelter to the needs of the NAVAIR fleet.

“There are several various configurations from electronic and mechanical calibrations, supply support and administrative office support to sustain aircraft in combat operations,” Clanton said. “Some configurations house electronic test stations which might test aircraft radar, radios, guided systems and avionics. This is their workshop.”

According to Clanton, each shelter has its own environmental control unit which offers heating and cooling, and can be joined together to form one larger environmentally controlled complex.

With the need for climate controlled shelter all over the world in sometimes hostile and forbidding climates, Clanton sees his employees increasing their production rate to fulfill those needs.

“We advertise a cycle time of 60 days. In actuality, more like 30 days. We’ve made some great process improvements,” he said. “We started this program about 18 months ago with a production rate of two systems per month. That production has now gone to eight per month. Hopefully in the next few months it will go to 20.”