FRCSW Naval Air Systems Command Fleet Readiness Center Southwest


North Island, CA


Gregory McCalester -
Lina Macias -

Operating Status Summer 2023:


Student Requirements:

Students must be solely U.S. citizens. (Dual citizens and permanent residents are not eligible.) Students must also have their own transportation to the site.


To produce quality airframes, engines, components and support equipment, and provide service that meet the Naval Aviation Enterprise's aircraft ready-for-tasking goals with improved effectiveness and efficiency.

About the Lab

Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) traces its heritage to 1919, when the Navy began repairing aircraft at what is now known as Naval Air Station North Island. Since its humble beginnings almost a century ago, the facility has been at the forefront of weapon system sustainment, providing innovative Naval Aviation maintenance solutions utilizing the latest technologies. Today, as the Navy's premiere west coast Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facility, FRCSW specializes in the maintenance, engineering and logistics support for a wide range of high-performance aircraft – servicing more that 225 airframes and 35,000 components annually.

About the Internship

We are seeking motivated college students with an interest in expanding their knowledge and developing their hands-on experience in engineering, computer science, electronics, finance, logistics, and contracts management. The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) offers you a challenging and exciting career in the federal government with a variety of opportunities to achieve your career goals. Demonstrating and validating new technologies to improve material performance is a key area of research interest at FRCSW. Students will uniquely benefit from not only research in the laboratory, but the hands-on experience gained with exposure to the industrial operations of aircraft maintenance and repair.

What will I do any given day as an intern at this lab?

Interns participate in lab functions in a number of ways including (but not limited to) assisting mentors with guided research projects; job and project shadowing with professional researchers; attending technical meetings; networking with STEM professionals and other interns; group mentoring sessions; touring labs; and other professional development activities.

What majors and disciplines are a good fit for interning at this lab?

The primary fields of interest are:

  • Aerodynamics
  • Aeronautical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Business
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Information Sciences
  • Material Sciences
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics
  • Physics
  • Programming
  • Statistics
  • Systems Engineering

What kinds of projects do interns at this lab participate in?

The following are examples of projects to which interns may be assigned:

Avionics Engineering: We provide avionics engineering support for a wide variety of core avionics, wiring, RADAR, electro-optic, and electronic warfare systems found on all T/M/S USN/USMC aircraft including P-8, EP-3E, Triton, E-6, T-45, and F/A-18. This support includes comprehensive engineering investigations and avionics modifications to existing systems. The Avionics Engineering department has several Research and Development projects related to unmanned aircraft programs. The engineers support development and testing of unmanned ground communication and satellite communication systems. The aircraft/avionics modification team develops design packages for emerging and upgraded technologies.

Support Equipment and Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment: The Support Equipment and Engineering Department is responsible for the design, development, evaluation, verification, fielding, and in-service engineering support for Aircraft Launch and Recovery (ALRE) and aircraft/target/weapon Support Equipment (SE). This includes the technical cognizance over the systems that test and certify the final release of any part or component used on such aircraft or engines. The division’s teams procure, design and/or sustain support equipment Test Program Sets (TPSs), Support Equipment, Automatic Test Systems (ATS) Software Support, and Portable Equipment Maintenance Aids (PEMAs).

ATE/TPS/SE acquisition team: We procure hardware, software, and supporting documentation including operational test program sets (OTPSs) and Automatic Test Equipment (ATE) including PEMA re-procurements. This includes request for proposal (RFP) development, source selection, contract data requirements list (CDRL) review and acceptance, systems engineering technical reviews (SETR), acceptance testing, on-site verifications and fleet support team transitions. Within this competency is the Consolidated Automated Support System (CASS) Software Support Activity (SSA). The CASS SSA develops, acquires, maintains and distributes ATE system software and tools for fleet and development sites world-wide.

ATE/TPS/SE design team: We provide innovative hardware and software design solutions including CASS OTPS development, test routine development on Pinpoint, Huntron, and Eclypse testers, and hardware/software design and design and upgrade of ATE. Our programming environments include ATLAS, Fortran, L200/LASAR, C, C++, C#, TestStand, LabWindows CVI, Visual Basic, Java, .NET, VMS, DOS, VHDL (FPGA/CPLD), ATML, and HTML/XML. This organization is specialized in digital systems, electro-optics, radio frequency (RF), navigation, and electronic warfare (EW) systems. Additionally, the team assists Navair PMAs, cost estimators, and other acquisition teams in estimation of commercial TPS development costs and evaluation of technical issues on contracted ATE/SE/TPS development.

ATE/TPS/SE fleet support team (FST): We provide life cycle management from acquisition through retirement of ATE, TPSs, and Support Equipment (SE). This FST team provides depot production support, replenishments, hardware and software updates, block upgrades, test harmonization between various levels of maintenance, mission data file support, and obsolescence avoidance. On-site fleet training has been provided domestically and internationally for peculiar and common support equipment across all levels of maintenance.

Materials Engineering Laboratory: The Materials Engineering Laboratory at the Fleet Readiness Center Southwest provides technical expertise, skills and services in the areas of manufacturing, maintenance, overhaul and repair of current and emerging aviation systems in support of worldwide operations for the US Navy and Marine Corps. The facility has the technical capabilities to support material and processing research, engineering, and repair process development. Our full-service laboratory consists of a wide range of analytical chemistry, nondestructive inspection, chemical processing, composites, polymers, metals, ceramics, special coatings and aircraft environmental testing and analysis capabilities. Established in 1936, the Materials Engineering Laboratory has been providing engineering services for more than 85 years.