The 2023 DOD Maintenance Symposium, held December 18-21 in San Diego, featured the theme of “Cultivating Global Integrated Sustainment in a Contested Environment.” NCMS was inspired to pull out all the stops with its exhibit hall booth, which showcased a theme of “The Need for Speed” to highlight the technological advances it fuels through programs such as Commercial Technologies for Maintenance Activities (CTMA). Not above having a bit of fun, booth staffers came dressed to impress in flight suits and aviators and handed out a custom-made “flight manual” booth directories.
The DOD Maintenance Symposium is the only event conducted by the Office of the Secretary of Defense that is entirely focused on advancing the maintenance of weapon systems and equipment. It welcomes maintenance and sustainment professionals from government, industry, and academia to exchange ideas on improving maintenance tools and procedures and sustainment strategies and practices. The event offered a wide range of breakout sessions, keynote presentations, and panels, which explored numerous topics including agile combat sustainment, artificial intelligence, maintenance manpower, and more.
NCMS had the opportunity to feature ten outstanding partner companies with next generation maintenance capabilities in their booth: ARSOME Technology (augmented, virtual, and mixed reality), Boston Engineering (family of sustainment assisting robotics), EDLORE (AI-driven maintenance technology software platform), Gecko Robotics (robotics-powered predictive maintenance), Markforged (additive manufacturing), Perfect Point EDM (electro-discharge fastener removal), Siemens/Guidehouse/Amazon Web Services (technical data packages for forward operating bases), and Titomic (portable cold spray repair system). Visitors to the booth had the opportunity to speak with partner company representatives about how their next generation sustainment capabilities are being implemented to great benefit in pockets across DOD.
Reflecting on the event, NCMS Project Manager Michelle Revels had this to say: “This was my first time at the DOD Mx Symposium, and I was particularly struck by how our booth setup was truly an embodiment of collaboration.
“Not only were we able to highlight the amazing technologies of several of our industry partners,” Revels said. “But also, as they received interest from attendees, they were able to introduce them to our NCMS team so they could learn about the CTMA program.”
NCMS also facilitated the DOD Maintenance Innovation Challenge (MIC) breakout session, where the competition’s six finalists provided presentations about their entries and winners were selected. The Overall Award was given to the 3-in-1 Portable Surface Preparation System, presented by Jeff Piascik, Director of Research and Development for Atmospheric Plasma Solutions (APS), and Scott Meller, CEO for APS. The “People’s Choice” Award was given to Identifying Aircraft Pressurization Leaks Using Acoustic Imaging, presented by CMSgt. Edward H. Marchbanks and SRA Tristan McKee, both from 439 Maintenance Squadron, Westover ARB.
NCMS presented each group of winners with a check for $50,000, which can be applied to in-kind support enabling them to conduct further demonstrations for DOD representatives. Additionally, NCMS is investing $50,000 for the third and fourth place winners of the MIC as a means to reinvest in the DOD community that has provided such outstanding support to the CTMA program. For more information regarding the MIC competition, see: https://www.ncms.org/news/2023-mic-winners-announced/.