The “Birthplace of Naval Aviation Maintenance” just got a little older.
Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) celebrated 100 years of service to the fleet on board Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI) July 26.
From its initial founding in 1919 with the designation as an Overhaul and Repair Department, the first of its kind in DoD, to the engineering milestone of the 1991 initial Center Barrel procedure on F/A-18 A-D aircraft, FRCSW holds a tradition steep in innovation and history.
In commemoration, hundreds of FRCSW teammates gathered to enjoy live music, a car and art show, and an array of food offered by the command’s diversity teams during the two-hour event.
Following the Color Guard and National Anthem guest speaker Rear Adm. Mike Zarkowski, Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers, kicked off the festivities by noting that FRCSW was the first FRC to undergo the Naval Sustainment System (NSS) model.
The NSS is a series of initiatives designed to create a higher-performing organization to increase aircraft readiness.
“The positive manner with which you all have embraced the (NSS) changes has set the stage and provided the frame of reference for the other depots, as they have and will kick off NSS,” Rear Adm. Zarkowski said.
Addressing the future, Zarkowski said that adaptability was one of the key requirements to ensure success.
“Our FRCs must continue to transform,” he said. “We must seize initiative again and again. We must learn from our failures and advance on our successes. Do not be afraid to fail; from failures, we will build the skills and confidence to succeed later. FRCSW has proven that time and time again over the last 100 years.”
FRCSW Commanding Officer Capt. Tony Jaramillo followed and spoke of the diversity within the command, and the advantages it brings.
“FRCSW is one of the most diverse groups of individuals you will ever find,” Capt. Jaramillo said. “It’s what makes us unique. There is a wide range of different skills, talents and backgrounds at this command and diversity is about leveraging these differences to give us added strength. It allows us to better utilize our individual talents, skills and knowledge collectively to achieve our mission.”
He said that the command’s successes, innovations and resiliency is attributable to those, past and present, who have worked here.
“The legacy of FRCSW is its people – it is your hard work, your dedication and tenacity. Your desire to keep looking forward and embracing change will ensure this depot endures for another 100 years.”
“We are not trying to be the next of anything,” Jaramillo said. “We are first; the first aviation MRO, the first to establish aircraft repair stations, engine overhauls and the first training school for aviation maintenance. We will continue to be the first in many more endeavors. Our history is the Navy’s future and your legacy.”
Proclamations followed by Congressional Districts 49, 50, 52 and 53; the cities of San Diego, Coronado and Chula Vista; as well as the San Diego Port Commission and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.
The event concluded with a ceremonial cake cutting.