May 2004 
Volume 03, Issue 1 
Integrated Defense Systems

Move over, Buck Rogers

An X-45 aircraft releases an inert Global Positioning System–guided bombThe night is eerily calm, the darkness foreboding. A U.S. pilot pulls on a G-suit and helmet and climbs into an aircraft not knowing what the future holds. As the jet climbs over the desert skies, adrenaline is pumping because this is for real.

The highly trained airman has entered another world, one where thousands of lights dart up from the ground with no warning, each one seemingly aimed his way. This would be the greatest fireworks show ever witnessed if it were not deadly. It's no game. It's warfare, it's dangerous, and there's nowhere to hide.

Known as Suppression of Enemy Air Defense, the mission is simple. Fly into harm's way and become human bait, a target for air defenses. Once the ground missile site turns on its radar and prepares to launch a strike, the chaos begins. If the threat can't be destroyed, other pilots will die.



Sharon Beauclar and Tom Naeger use air pads to move a completed outer wing frameBoeing Integrated Defense Systems is converting the F/A-18E/F manufacturing process in St. Louis from stationary assembly to a pulse line.

The change promises a better value for the U.S. Navy and the continued quality and craftsmanship that Boeing workers put into every Super Hornet.

"This is a total cultural change for us," said Cliff Hall, leader and superintendent of the Forward Fuselage Integrated Process Team. "Everyone was involved in this, from the HPWO (High Performance Work Organization) teams, the design teams, the manufacturing engineers and our leadership. This was an integrated approach."


Take one tablet …

Debbie Ross writing on a Tablet PCWhen Flight Line Inspector Debbie Ross works on an aircraft at the Boeing Integrated Defense Systems Military Flight Center in Seattle, she performs inspections, jots down notes, then runs back and forth between the aircraft and her desk several times a day to input information on her computer.

But that's about to change, thanks to a new, high-tech tool called a Tablet PC, which will enable Ross to do her job, perform multiple inspections on other jobs and remain in one strategic, but mobile, location.

Ross herself participated in a trial of the Tablet PC from last December to March while inspecting modifications on the Airborne Warning and Control System Test System No. 3.


KUDOS for a smoke and fire guy

Dick CoveyDick Covey, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems vice president of Homeland Security and Services Support Operations, was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame on May 1.

Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978, Covey logged more than 646 hours in space and participated in missions that included the repair of the 15,000-pound SYNCOM IV-3 satellite, the first flight after the Challenger accident, and servicing and repair of the Hubble Space Telescope. In a recent interview, Covey discussed his career as an astronaut and how he has applied that experience as a Boeing executive.



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