News | Aug. 19, 2021

International depots support Super Hercules preservation

By DCMA International and Elizabeth Szoke

Defense Contract Management International employees recently returned a C-130J to the fleet after the completion of its service maintenance and made program history as it became the first to be completed at an international commercial depot.

DCMA United Kingdom provided contract administration support to the first multiple-award contract of its kind on behalf of Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific, or FRC WESTPAC.

“DCMA United Kingdom’s team provides support not only to those aircraft deployed in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility, but from elsewhere around the world when maintenance is needed,” said Navy Capt. Nick Russo, DCMA International’s commander. “Our team of quality assurance specialists, contract administrators and air operation’s government ground and flight representatives ensure that the Marine Corps is receiving an aircraft that is 100 percent ready for its next missions.”

Naval Supply Systems Command’s Fleet Logistics Center Yokosuka awarded the contract to provide planned maintenance on the Marine Corps’ fleet of C-130J Super Hercules.

One of the biggest proponents of ensuring this mission’s success is adding reliable overseas sites to support stateside depots.

“As continental U.S. depots try to keep up with staggering demand from years of heavy flying by the entire Navy and Marine Corps fleet, it’s important to look for other sources of maintenance capacity to maintain a steady supply of ready aircraft to frontline squadrons,” said Russo. “This is where our commercial depot sites play a major role.”

Marshall Aerospace is one of two international companies to win a contract and they recently completed the first aircraft from VMGR-252 out of Cherry Point, North Carolina with the oversight and support of DCMA International. The other company is Cascades Aerospace, located in British Columbia.

These commercial depot sites provide vital capacity, which complement organic C-130 depot centers such as the ones located at Hill Air Logistics Center in Utah and at Robbins Air Logistics Center in Georgia.

“Marshall Aerospace was a logical choice for this particular contract as they’ve been servicing C-130 aircraft from the Royal Air Force, NATO members and numerous other countries for more than 30 years”, said Air Force Lt. Col Matt VanGilder, DCMA U.K.’s former commander. “Marshall is also licensed by Lockheed Martin, the aircraft’s manufacturer, to produce certain components that may not be readily available in the supply system.”

DCMA International has 31 locations around the world to provide contract support in more than 40 countries, so they are poised to provide support to commands like the Fleet Logistics Center Yokosuka and FRC WESTPAC, who do not have people positioned around the world to monitor the quality and performance of contractors.

“This type of capability is critical as aircraft age and the original sources of supply diminish over time,” said Russo. “DCMA International will continue to look for these sources for our service customers.”

The teamwork and communication between DCMA International, FRC WESTPAC Program Manager and the FLC Yokosuka team resulted in delivering a fully mission-ready aircraft back to the fleet.

“The team worked through COVID-related quarantines, shipping delays, parts shortages and limited access to facilities to minimize exposure possibilities throughout this first aircraft’s depot period and still managed to have the aircraft ready for delivery in 200 days,” said VanGilder. “200 days may sound like a long time to an outsider, but that is a fraction of the turnaround time in other depot locations.”

DCMA International has teams ready to support the possible growth of more commercial depots.

“We’ll be there, as we have been for decades, to ensure our warfighters continue receiving aircraft that are mission-ready,” said Russo.