During the month of May, the Cartridge and Propellant Actuated Device (CAD/PAD) Joint Program supported two workshops sponsored by NAVAIR's Program Management Air (PMA) 201 at the College of Southern Maryland's La Plata campus.
Both workshops focused on ensuring a robust CAD/PAD industry for the U.S. and its foreign customers as they gathered in southern Maryland near the program's management activity. Both forums provided opportunities to discuss new initiatives and emerging requirements.
The CAD/PAD program is administered through a Joint Program Office (JPO) staffed by Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD) employees. The CAD/PAD Joint Program Office (JPO) is the only Department of Defense program office that specializes in complete life cycle management of CAD/PAD items.
NSWC IHD's Systems Engineering Department's CAD/PAD Division executes the development, engineering, acquisition and logistics support functions for these devices. Additionally, the command's Applied Technology Department produces approximately 10 percent of the yearly replacement requirement and conducts qualification, lot acceptance and surveillance testing of the devices.
"At Indian Head Division, we value supporting workshops like this, because we are committed to dynamic communication, coordination and collaboration among CAD/PAD professionals," said Captain Andy Buduo, NSWC IHD's commanding officer.
Most CADs/PADs are explosive components installed on aircraft and other vehicles to save lives during emergencies, such as clearing escape paths, extinguishing fires and ejecting aircrew out of aircraft.
CADs/PADs are also used in other scenarios, including delivering weapons on target, jettisoning equipment from aircraft or deploying certain types of parachutes.
The first meeting was the 22nd CAD/PAD International Logistics Meeting (ILM) held May 1-3. The ILM workshop is for military personnel who order, maintain and handle CAD/PAD devices.
According to Mike Thornton, the CAD/PAD Division Director, the ILM gives users at the end of the CAD/PAD supply chain the opportunity to discuss logistical issues directly with the JPO.
"This is a meeting where those who manage CADs/PADs at the deckplate can tell us what their issues are and make suggestions for improvement," said Thornton.
Tracking CADs/PADs is a major undertaking. Experts in escape system mechanics, parachute rigging, ordnance and maintenance management track over 550,000 installed explosive parts on different systems. More than 90,000 of these devices also get replaced each year.
CAD/PAD employees also handle more than a million CADs each year to support weapons release, countermeasures and sonobuoy operations, and the ILM has had direct impacts on supply chain delivery.
"The majority of our logistical process improvements we've made over the years have started from these meetings," said Lee Manis, the CAD/PAD Deputy Assistant Program Manager for Logistics. "We've saved something on the order of 150 recurring man years based on input from the Fleet."
Another benefit that came out of the ILM was delivery time of components. "In the past, it used to take 30 to 35 days for our Fleet customers to get their CADs/PADs," said Karl Lehman, CAD/PAD Logistics Branch Manager. "Now, it takes less than 14 days."
The second meeting was the ninth CAD/PAD Technical Exchange Workshop held May 22-24. This bi-annual event promotes the long-term health and economic competitiveness of the CAD/PAD industry by sharing information among private industry, academia, national labs and government agencies.
"This forum provides an invaluable opportunity to discuss new initiatives and recent and emerging requirements," said Travis Thom, the CAD/PAD Technical Exchange Workshop coordinator.
"It is the only inter-organizational meeting dedicated to presenting new technologies and program updates relevant to the CAD/PAD industry, which ultimately benefits future warfighting capabilities through the incorporation of new technology, increased product reliability and readiness at potential reduced costs."
At their core, both programs measure progress by the same metric.
"Our whole purpose is to help our customer," said Dee Holt, the program's Foreign Military Sales Logistics Management Specialist Coordinator. "We measure our success by their success."
As the largest Department of Defense full-spectrum energetics facility, NSWC Indian Head Division is one of 10 Naval Sea Systems Command Warfare Center Divisions. NSWC IHD's mission is to research, develop, test, evaluate and produce energetics and energetic systems for fighting forces around the globe.