New faces in "small" places.
The new look in EW at WRALC starts at the top with the new chief of the LN section, Col Harry M. Calcutt, Jr. Colonel Calcutt, who replaced the recently retired Col William Taylor last August, comes to the job with significant EW experience, including more than two years as director of projects at the Air Force Electronic Combat Office. A senior navigator with over 1,800 hours on such aircraft as the ET-29, B-52F/G/H, T-43 and EC-130E, he also has served as chief of the EW Budget Branch and EW Systems Division at Andrews AFB and as an EC systems analyst in the Pentagon.
However, LN represents his first experience in a logistics slot. While such a change naturally would take some getting used to, Colonel Calcutt can be forgiven if he needs a little extra time -- for his present post is new in more ways than one.
With the merger of the Systems and Logistics Commands into the Air Force Materiel Command, a new working relationship between the EW experts at Warner Robins and their counterparts at the RW branch of the Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson had to be created. The Air Force adopted the Integrated Weapons Systems Management (IWSM) philosophy in part to facilitate the creation of such new relationships. One of the first IWSM wickets through which the service had to pass was the determination of where overall responsibility for Air Force electronic combat would rest. The service settled on Warner Robins, and thus Colonel Calcutt finds himself not only the head of WRALC/LN, but the product group manager for Air Force EC systems.
The IWSM mandate gives Colonel Calcutt, working under WRALC Commander Maj Gen William Howland, overall responsibility for what he termed in a recent interview "commodity" EC systems. These include systems that appear on more than one platform -- in other words, most of the jammers, radar warning receivers, expendables dispensers and other EC gear in the Air Force inventory. The only equipment not included under the new mandate are systems designed for a single platform, such as the B-1B's ALQ-161 and the F-15's TEWS. In these instances, system responsibility rests with the aircraft system program directors (the new term for "SPO"). However, the WRALC technicians often support such efforts. For example, LN has addressed supportability, software and sustainment issues for the F-15's ALQ-135, the colonel said.
WORKING IT OUT
While cradle-to-grave oversight of general EC logistics has long been the purview of the center, the addition of development and acquisition responsibilities presents an interesting challenge to the colonel: how to meld the activities at Wright-Patterson with those at Robins. Colonel Calcutt has chosen an integrated product team approach, wherein personnel from both RWW and WRALC/LN would serve on the teams assigned to each EC program. Such an approach not only will make management of each effort easier and more effective, but it will ensure that logistics and support considerations will be addressed early in the development of technologies for new systems or enhancements to existing equipment.
"By having their people on the team at meetings and program reviews that take place, we really and truly address sustainment issues up front like you're supposed to and don't wait until we transition the program to the logistics center," echoed Col Richard Hayes, who runs the EC Programs (RWW) branch of RW at Wright-Patterson, in a separate interview. "That's very critical. We've always said that was the right thing to do; this really makes it happen."
Meanwhile, the integrated product team approach also will benefit the kind of upgrade efforts the logistics center previously handled on its own. "We now are able to bring our development and lab expertise down to the mod programs," explained Colonel Hayes. "So that when we take reviews together, I can bring on at any time guys from my teams that have the development expertise to help solve some of |Col Calcutt's~ mod program's problems or even bring in some of the lab expertise. Before you could do it, but it wasn't a day-to-day action. And now with members on the integrated product team, it happens naturally at a very low level -- and that's where all the real work gets done."
The melding of activities also will lead to a reexamination of where development efforts will take place, Colonel Calcutt revealed. In the future, new development work will be examined on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the skills resident at Wright-Patterson or Robins would be most applicable to the task at hand. As a general rule of thumb, the colonel said, new systems development involving brand-new technologies would take place at Wright-Patterson. However, development of upgrades or modifications that require intimate knowledge of the existing system may be entrusted to the staff of the logistics center.
The new IWSM regime also should make planning more efficient and complete, Colonel Hayes said. This will prove particularly true when developing long-range EC road maps and master plans. Colonel Calcutt expected the new integrated product team concept to be approved and inaugurated by the first of last month. (For a glimpse of how program responsibilities will be apportioned, see Figure 1.) Meanwhile, the colonel had already begun working closely with Colonel Hayes on several efforts:
* The Advanced Strategic and Tactical Expendables (ASTE) program, an effort to develop new flare technology, will reach the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) stage this May. A draft RFP should be released before then; the number of contracts that will be issued remains uncertain, said Colonel Hayes, but contract award should come by this September. As previously reported (see "Spinning the Wheel Again" by Stephen M. Hardy, JED, October 1993, p. 105), the ASTE demonstration/validation effort has included approximately 13 different flare types, including thrusted kinematic, unpowered aerodynamic, tethered, forward-fired and "special material" units.
* Advanced missile approach warning (MAW) remains a high priority in 1994. Warner Robins, as the guardian of the Air Force's jamming pods, has been intimately involved with the studies now underway covering the integration of MAW systems into the ALQ-131 and -184. Colonel Calcutt reported that the studies are near completion and that no "show-stoppers" had been discovered. Meanwhile, F-15 developer McDonnell Douglas and the F-16's Lockheed-Ft. Worth have been examining internal MAW approaches. An acquisition strategy panel for the next phase of the MAW program was slated for February; a draft RFP should be released this April. The Milestone II EMD award should come in the first quarter of FY 1995, said Colonel Hayes. RWW would prefer to go with one MAW system for both internal and podded applications, he said; however, user requirements will be the final arbiter.
* The Air Force also will look to add IR countermeasures (IRCM) capability to some of its jumbo aircraft. An acquisition decision memorandum (ADM) was released last December. RWW will brief the Air Staff in March on its initial studies; concept definition and program scheduling will proceed from the meeting. The Air Force's IRCM program will form part of an overall, integrated IRCM effort including the Navy and the Army.
* New systems and technologies require new test equipment. The Joint Services EC Tester (JSECT) will provide improved flight-line end-to-end diagnostic capabilities to the Air Force and Navy. An ADM for this effort arrived in late January.
Yet even before the establishment of IWSM, WRALC worked closely in support of RW's efforts to improve Air Force EC capabilities. For example, WRALC issued the contracts for the Band 4 and Band 9/10 upgrades to the ALQ-99 as part of the EF-111A System Improvement Program (SIP). The SIP has run into funding problems with Congress (see the December 1993 edition of "EC Monitor," p. 22); however, the ALQ-99 upgrades remain on schedule. Motorola is working on the Band 4 transmitters and AEL has the contract for the Band 9/10 enhancements.
Meanwhile, the center also has a few EC efforts of its own. For example, the WRALC recently exercised another option on its contract with Raytheon for ALQ-184 jamming pods. It also switched on an option to a contract awarded in 1992 to H.F. Henderson Industries for reliability and maintainability modifications to the ALR-69 radar warning receiver. Electro-Radiation serves as a major subcontractor on the program.
Another enhancement effort illustrates the center's support for Special Operations aircraft. LN recently awarded a $37.3 million contract to ITT Avionics for the development of a low-band extension to the ALQ-172 ECM system. As reported in last month's "EC Monitor", the low-band award brings to two the number of enhancements for which ITT is under contract. The other, ECP-93, calls for the inclusion of gate-array technology, flight-line reprogrammability and expansion of the system's memory. The ALQ-172 protects the B-52 and Special Operations AC-130H Gunships. While the ECP-93 enhancements should benefit both aircraft types, the low-band extension currently is slated just for the Gunship.
Two other programs should benefit the Gunships, according to Mike Tip-ton, division chief within the LU branch of the WRALC. The ALQ-131 Block II pod has replaced the QRC 80-01 version of the ALQ-119, while the center will swap the ALR-56M RWR in place of the ALR-69 aboard U model Gunships. Meanwhile, the MH-53J helicopter will receive an integrated EW suite -- once a protest to the award granted to IBM has cleared up (see story in this month's "EC Monitor" for more details).
Other sources in Warner Robins report the center also has undertaken a project in conjunction with Loral to upgrade the processors of the ALR-56A radar warning receiver to that of the -56C. A host of software upgrades also are in the works, the source said.
But while the creation of the Air Force Materiel Command has given the center more responsibility in the area of EW development, WRALC retains the depot maintenance mandate from the old Logistics Command days. Yet changes are afoot here as well, Colonel Calcutt explained. For example, the Air Force has decided to prune its previous three-level maintenance strategy to two levels. Thus, the old flight-line/intermediate/depot hierarchy will see the deletion of the intermediate service layer.
In assuming much of the work previously done by intermediate-level facilities, Robins personnel could see their workload increase by as much as 100,000 man hours annually, Colonel Calcutt predicted. The goal, he said, will be to turn around malfunctioning systems in five days. The new methodology is currently being applied to B-52 and F-16 maintenance, with the F-15 scheduled to transition to two-level maintenance by the end of 1996.
Besides servicing US Air Force and Special Operations maintenance requirements, the WRALC also performs depot and support work for EW gear sold through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. For example, the center has provided life-cycle cost estimates to SAF/AI to support a Taiwanese buy of jammer pods. The Republic of China is weighing the ALQ-131 against the ALQ-184 for use on its F-16s. Colonel Calcutt did not know when the Taiwanese were expected to make a decision.
THE BEAT GOES ON
As if these changes weren't enough, more await just over the horizon. The center has already glimpsed one such sign of the future -- competition for depot work. The center defeated industry bidders for an ALQ-155 maintenance contract. While Colonel Calcutt said he wasn't aware of similar challenges in the immediate future, the competition concept remains alive. In fact, the Air Force has already investigated Navy aircraft maintenance requirements and facilities to see if they hold potential opportunities.
Also, the E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) aircraft will call Warner Robins home when they officially reach deployment. The LK division of the WRALC will handle the care and feeding of the aircraft.
Barring yet another major reorganization within the Air Force, it appears the importance of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center will continue to grow. Who knows -- next time we may start our profile with a reference to the "teeming metropolis of Warner Robins."
ELECTRONIC COMBAT GOES WEST
While Warner Robins holds most of the EW cards in the logistics deck, other logistics centers also have a hand to play. This is particularly true of the Sacramento Air Logistics Center (SMALC) at McClellan AFB, CA, where the touch of IWSM's long hand has also been felt.
Just as WRALC/LN has received new responsibilities, the Range Threat Systems Division of SMALC's Space and |C.sup.3~ Management Directorate also has acquired additional duties. While the IWSM-inspired "Range Threat Systems Division" name will be unfamiliar to most, the group's previous moniker has been well-known in EW threat simulation circles since 1983 -- which is when the Red Force/Range Center first opened its doors. According to System Program Director Lt Col Michael Smolin, Red Force has added simulator acquisition and development duties (including some previously residing at Eglin AFB) to its previous depot maintenance and sustainment tasks as a result of IWSM reshufflings.
The division manages 23 simulator types, representing approximately 330 units in the field. Five of these systems represent recent acquisitions or ongoing development efforts:
* The AN/MST-T1A Multiple Threat Emitter System (MUTES) completed deliveries last month. Aydin served as prime contractor on the program.
* The AN/MST-T1V Mini-MUTES is now being produced by Harris. A blue/gray threat ECP and advanced surface-to-air missile (SAM) upgrades are in development.
* The AN/FSQ-T22 multiple threat simulator is being installed at Cannin AFB. Developed by AEL, the simulator has once again attracted the interest of the Navy, which had been on board at the start of the program but subsequently pulled out. Colonel Smolin reported the Navy has allocated money for the purchase of one system.
* The Unmanned Threat Emitter (UMTE) recently completed IOT&E and is on its way to Alaska. Sierra Research served as program prime contractor. (For more information on these and other simulation systems, see "Centralized versus Distributed -- A Simulated Discussion" by Stephen M. Hardy on p. 47 of last month's issue.)
In keeping with its primary role as a logistics asset, the center carries cradle-to-grave sustainment responsibilities for the threat emitters under its management oversight. Colonel Smolin reported that funding cutbacks are as much a reality in his area as they are in the military in general. For example, until recently it had been customary to bring emitter systems to McClellan for depot-level maintenance every five years or so. The Air Combat Command has determined it can no longer afford to cycle systems back to California as frequently; Colonel Smolin anticipates the depot cycle will expand to once every seven or eight years, with mobile depot maintenance assets picking up the slack. As a result, depot budgets in the colonel's area have decreased, from an average of between $16 million and $18 million in the past to approximately $12 million this year.
In addition to its work for the US Air Force, the SMALC also supports FMS threat emitters, plus the Spadeadam Range, located 20 mi south of the Scottish border in the UK. Colonel Smolin said Red Force has two primary FMS projects. The first involves the Delemere Air Weapons Range in Australia. The range includes a MUTES, an AN/MSR-T4 Threat Reaction Allocation System and an AN/MSQ-T8A radar system for controlling the range. Colonel Sinolin will travel to Australia late this month for a program management review. The colonel indicated additional issues will be discussed; while he didn't provide details, it seems likely the Australian's desire to expand the range's capabilities will find a place on the agenda.
The other FMS project involves support of France's Polygon range, located in that country's Alsace-Lorraine region at Epinal, near Nancy. Cindy Sharp, who heads Red Force's efforts on this program, indicated Red Force has three pieces of equipment on the range, including an AN/MPQ-T3 currently undergoing modification. The -T3 is being fitted with a J-band modification by Metric Systems, with a target completion date of this summer.
TABLE 1 EC RANGE THREAT SYSTEMS AND STATUS System Status Quantity THREAT EMITTERS AN/MST-T1A Sustainment 20 AN/MST-T1V Acquisition 80 Blue/Gray ECP Development Advanced SAM Development AN/MSQ-T43 Sustainment 24 AN/MSQ-7B Sustainment 2 AN/MSQ-T8A Sustainment 4 AN/MPS-T1 Sustainment 9 AN/MLQ-T3 Sustainment 2 AN/MPQ-T3 Sustainment 15 AN/MSQ-T13 Sustainment 3 AN/TPT-4 Sustainment 4 AN/TPT-T1V Sustainment 5 AN/FSQ-T22 Sustainment 1 AN/VPQ-1 Sustainment 54 AN/MPS-19 Sustainment 4 AN/MPS-9 Sustainment 19 AN/TPT-T2 Sustainment 1 BOMB SCORING RADARS AN/MSQ-77 Sustainment 11 AN/TPQ-43 Sustainment 15 AN/FXQ-4V Sustainment 35 JAMMERS AN/MLQ-T2 Sustainment 2 AN/MLQ-T4(V)1 Sustainment 7 ANALYSIS AN/MSR-T4 Sustainment 22 DRONE Drone Tracking Sustainment 1 Control System
While these efforts would appear more than sufficient to keep Red Force occupied, Colonel Smolin reported he is looking to expand the division's responsibilities. The Air Combat Command has decided to remove its blue suits from the day-to-day operation and maintenance of its centers, in favor of civilians. An RFP for such an effort for all its ranges except Nellis (where Loral already has a contract for operation of the range) is expected shortly, and Colonel Smolin says he will be one of the first in line to place a bid. Such a move would make sense from an efficiency standpoint, he said; this would make Red Force the single point of contact for all emitter issues.
But as IWSM has brought new responsibility to some parts of the SMALC, it has removed them from others. The F-111 shop serves as a case in point, as responsibility for the EF-111A System Improvement Program has shifted from McClellan to the RWJ branch of RW at Wright-Patterson. According to Walt Seifert, program manager for the SIP at the SMALC, three people remain full-time on the program in Sacramento. Their current role in the SIP is to ensure that the systems developed within the program can be properly integrated within the aircraft. Thus, they are important participants in testing and design reviews.
In addition to the SIP changes, Seifert reported that plans are underway to upgrade the aircraft's ALE-28 chaff/flare dispenser with the ALE-40. There currently are no plans to install the ALE-47, he said.
Overall, work on F-111s has slowed considerably, Seifert said. Few F-111Es remain in the inventory, while the F-111F presently is funded for five years. Only the EF-111A Raven appears to have an indefinite life span, he said.
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|Title Annotation:||includes related article; Warner Robins Air Logistics Center|
|Author:||Hardy, Stephen M.|
|Publication:||Journal of Electronic Defense|
|Date:||Mar 1, 1994|
|Previous Article:||Room for improvement.|
|Next Article:||A sampling of recording equipment.|