Volume 03, Issue 3
|Integrated Defense Systems|
START OF A NEW AGE
On May 20, a 25-year-old Australian dream became reality. That's when-ahead of schedule-the first Project Wedgetail 737-700 aircraft took to the skies over Seattle on its initial flight and launched a new era in airborne surveillance and command and control.
Since the late 1970s, Australia has been working toward acquiring this kind of capability. But it wasn't until a convergence of the right platform and right technology that it became affordable to Australia and other potential customers. The end result was the pairing of the Boeing Next-Generation 737-700 aircraft with Northrop Grumman's Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array antenna.
The 737-700 features 21st-century avionics, navigation equipment and flight deck. It has the speed, range, endurance and payload capacity to meet the requirements of the airborne early warning and control mission. Because the 737 is the most popular commercial jet in the world, there's a global support network.
EYES AND EARS ABOVE
History abounds with examples of commanders who won or lost battles depending on the kind of information they obtained about enemy intentions. The pursuit of information superiority on the battlefield is ancient, but the way that information is obtained and exchanged across the U.S. Armed Forces today is changing with the force of a tidal wave-particularly in Command and Control (C2).
The drive today is to speed up the information flow across the battle space and slash the time needed to receive data about a threat, analyze it and then send it to warfighters to deal with. Quick strategic decisions result in battles won and lives saved.
Command and Control, defined generically in terms of national defense, is the exercise of authority and direction by designated commander(s) over assigned forces in the accomplishment of a mission. Command is the authority vested in an individual for the direction, coordination and control of military forces. Control is the means by which command is exercised.
For the love of the job
Women had filled support and combat assignments before, but this teaming of Goddard and Crain, who work in the Aerospace Support business unit of Integrated Defense Systems at Mesa, Ariz., marked the first Boeing all-female support team in a combat zone.
During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Goddard and Crain were in Tikrit, Iraq, in the middle of the desert from October 2003 to March 2004 with the D company of the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Division.
Goddard provided Apache Longbow helicopter technical expertise, and Crain provided in-theater logistics support. They also provided some humanitarian support when they helped coordinate a clothing drive for Iraqi children.
The hand of experience
Engineering acumen, program management expertise and long memories are the hallmarks of a team of space industry leaders who are lending Mission Assurance support to Space Shuttle return-to-flight activities at Integrated Defense Systems.
These experts, including retired NASA and Boeing program directors and engineers, are conducting emeritus reviews as part of Houston's Mission Assurance activities that are key to getting the Space Shuttle flying again.
The Mission Assurance discipline at IDS is based on three key elements: independent reviews and assessments, independent risk assessments and technical integrity verification. Its goal is to identify program risks and ensure that all needed steps are taken to mitigate them adequately.
The work of the emeritus group is one of the ways that the common IDS Mission Assurance approach is being applied to return-to-flight activities. The group's leader is Wayne Littles, former director of the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. During a distinguished 30-year NASA career, Littles also served as NASA's chief engineer and the agency's associate administrator for space flight. In that role, he directed the planning, development and operation of the Space Shuttle, Spacelab and International Space Station programs.
A little DAP will do ya
The Boeing Derivative Airplane Programs organization recently received the Washington State Quality Award, an advanced-level award for organizations that have demonstrated significant progress toward business excellence. The DAP award application went through an intensive evaluation and scoring process by the WSQA Board of Examiners. The award was presented by Washington State Gov. Gary Locke.
This commendation is one of the latest for DAP-a Boeing Integrated Defense Systems organization that's earned a stellar reputation for creativity, innovation and world-class customer service in a high-velocity environment.
Located in Seattle, Derivative Airplane Programs includes three commercial airplane models that are reconfigured to meet military requirements.
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