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The Fleet Readiness Center Southeast AMAS team earns PMA-260 Team of the Year award

PMA-260 manages the procurement, development and fielding of common ground support equipment and automatic test equipment for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps and is composed of 20 different teams covering areas like acquisition management, test and evaluation, and sustainment of equipment that allows the Navy and Martine Corps team to operate, repair and service aircraft. FRCSE’s AMAS team is one of those 20 teams. 

The AMAS team, located at Cecil Commerce Center, earned the award for imaging, repairing and logistics associated with Portable Electronic Maintenance Aids (PEMAs). 

PEMAs are laptops that are configured according to the type, model, series aircraft being serviced, and works like an interactive technical manual. The AMAS team’s primary responsibility is ensuring that PEMAs are provided to those who maintain aircraft operated by the Navy and Marine Corps – about 30 different types.

“Our warehouse is about 1,200 square feet,” said John Mason, FRCSE’s AMAS team lead logistician. “We have racks around the perimeter of the room that nearly reach the ceiling, and back in March 2023, our entire warehouse – including the floor space – was full of new PEMAs and others needing repair. The pallets covered every surface in the room, and at any given time, the Support Equipment Managing System, which is the system we use for processing, was tracking about 16,000 PEMAs requiring support.”

Year to year, the AMAS team, composed of about 22 personnel – is responsible for buying, processing, tracking, unboxing, imaging, repairing and shipping thousands of PEMAs.

This year alone, they completed 5,362 refreshes, which happen every four years, including replenishments for the team’s largest consumers -- F/A-18 Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers. 

A refresh consists of the team purchasing new laptop computers to replace all the existing PEMAs for customers at the organization (O), intermediate (I) or depot (D) repair level. The team buys, tracks, images and sends the ready-for-issue devices to the maintainers. Based on timelines and the amount of PEMAs delivered at a time – usually thousands – a refresh needs to be carefully planned to ensure timely delivery.

First, the team determines the number of PEMAs required, then they order the devices from the manufacturer. The items ship to the AMAS warehouse where they are processed, unboxed, organized, sent to the lab for imaging and finally shipped out. The team gives each customer 30 days with the new devices before requiring them to return the old ones. 

The requirements for Super Hornets and Growlers made up 3,501 of the total PEMAs refreshed, and the work was expected to take the AMAS team well into fiscal year 2024. However, they kicked into high speed, knocking out upwards of 250 PEMAs a week. 

“I’m extremely proud of the team’s contribution to providing the warfighter the right hardware and software tools for performing maintenance and repair on Navy and Marine Corps aircraft,” said Brad Sherrill, FRCSE’s AMAS FST lead. “These tools may not be large weapon systems or used in direct combat, but each is a vital tip-of-the-spear resource needed to keep planes flying.”

However, the AMAS team workload didn’t just stop at fleet requirements. The AMAS team also processed, outfitted, repaired, loaned, transferred, delivered, demilitarized and disposed of almost 6,500 other devices during 2023 -- totals far exceeding the expectations for the year.

“The AMAS Team provides PEMAs to all O, I, and D level repair facilities, but we also provides older repaired PEMAs to Navy and Marine Corps schools that are not part of the program of record and wouldn’t normally have access to these pieces of equipment,” Mason said. “This helps ensure students going through training have an actual piece of equipment to use while learning.”

Wherever there is an aircraft within the Navy and Marine Corps arsenal, there are PEMAs supporting the maintenance of that aircraft. Keeping that in mind, the FRCSE AMAS team doesn’t just come to work every day and do a job well; they provide essential support to the fleet, ensuring that every maintainer has a quality device that harnesses the data required for them to execute their piece of the mission. 

About Fleet Readiness Center Southeast

Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE) is Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia’s largest maintenance, repair, overhaul and technical services provider, employing approximately 5,000 civilian, military and contract workers. With annual revenue exceeding $1 billion, the organization serves as an integral part of the greater US Navy, Naval Air Systems Command, and Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers by maintaining the combat airpower for America’s military forces.