September 17, 2015 --
Marine Depot Maintenance
Command is the recent recipient of the Robert T. Mason Award for Depot
Maintenance Excellence for 2015.
This marks MDMC’s third
Robert T. Mason Award. The command won it in 2005 and 2007.
Each year, the Secretary of Defense Maintenance Awards Program recognizes
outstanding achievements by field-level units engaged in military equipment and
weapons systems maintenance within the Department of Defense, according to its website,
Highlighted throughout the
award citation are MDMC’s Test, Measurement and Diagnostic Equipment Division’s
Rick Pavlik, division manager, TMDE, MDMC, said receiving
the award is a high honor for his team.
“TMDE’s mission is to provide tools to help Marine
maintainers to calibrate and repair their weapons systems and equipment as
efficiently as possible by giving them state-of-the-art equipment,” Pavlik
According to the award citation, “The TMDE team excelled at
delivering world-class, value-based repair and test solutions in support of the
warfighter during fiscal year 2014. The team calibrated, repaired and tested
more than 20,000 pieces of equipment and provided training to approximately 900
Marines throughout the world.”
TMDE oversees contracts from third-party companies that
build equipment and provide technical oversight during the purchase process,
according to Pavlik.
After the equipment is received, TMDE staff trains the Marines
on how to operate the new equipment as well as provides follow-up visits to
assist the Marines.
“(It is rewarding) to create a piece of equipment and physically
see a Marine use it to fix his or her broken weapons systems,” he said.
The citation further stated,
“(TMDE) also produced more than $2 million in cost avoidances, generated cost
savings of more than $600,000 and realized more than $2 million in return on
Pavlik said TMDE strives to be innovative in its maintenance
support while saving the Marine Corps money.
“In this time of budgetary constraints, anytime you can save
money for the taxpayer, that’s a good thing for the Marine Corps,” he said.
Steven Prewitt, project coordinator, Weapons Systems
Support, TMDE Division, MDMC, said he was proud of TMDE’s achievement.
“It’s definitely a sense of pride and humbling at the same
time,” Prewitt said. “There are a lot of other people doing a lot of great
things, too, and to be recognized amongst so many people doing so many great
things I think is phenomenal.”
The depot-level award is named for
Robert T. Mason, a former assistant deputy undersecretary of defense for
maintenance policy, programs, and resources, according to www.acq.osd.mil/log/mpp/awards.html.
MDMC and TMDE officials will receive the award at the
Secretary of Defense Maintenance Awards Program banquet and ceremony scheduled
for Dec. 8 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Pavlik said receiving the award is a great accomplishment
for the TMDE team.
TMDE employees work on a variety of equipment from handheld wind
and weather meters used by Marine Corps snipers to the Virtual Instrument
Portable Equipment Repairer/Tester system, a multi-million dollar system used
to test electronic equipment.
One type of Marine Corps gear the staff tests with the VIPER/T
system at TMDE is the Thermal Laser Spot Imager.
According to Prewitt, the Thermal Laser Spot Imager is used
by artillery unit forward observers to identify targets and ensure targets are
properly marked by a laser designator.
“Here at TMDE, we are able to use our VIPER/T system to make
sure the Thermal Laser Spot Imagers are functioning properly and that they meet
certain performance specifications and requirements by the Marine Corps,” he
Prewitt, who has been a project coordinator for five years
at TMDE, uses the VIPER/T system to test the Thermal Laser Spot Imager’s
ability to identify up to 14 different size targets.
Much of the older test equipment was big, heavy and
cumbersome, according to Prewitt.
“Today, we are able to provide the Marines equipment that is
used in optics laboratories and facilities and it is easier for them to
maintain,” he said.
Prewitt has firsthand knowledge how the test equipment can
help Marine maintainers. He served in the Marine Corps as an electro optical
ordnance maintainer from 1995-2000. With his knowledge of the old and new
systems, he understands what the Marines need.
“Marines want to fix
their own gear and we try and provide a way for the Marines to maintain their
equipment as far forward (deployed) as possible,” he said. “It makes me feel
better knowing they have better tools and test equipment than what I had when I
was in and are more skilled and more efficient in the way they do their