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LAIRCM team wins prestigious award

  • Published
  • By Brian Brackens
  • Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – When Airmen fight, a key defensive system many take with them is the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures System (LAIRCM), which detects, tracks, jams and prevents surface-to-air missiles from impacting aircraft.

The team responsible for the acquisition, sustainment and modernization of LAIRCM, was recently named winner of the 2021 Dr. James G. Roche Product Support Excellence Award.

“It’s an honor to win this award,” said Lt. Col. Tomoyuki Ono, Materiel Leader for the Agile Combat Support Directorate’s LAIRCM Program Office. “It’s a testament to our team’s hard work, and it highlights that we’re not just successfully sustaining the system, but we’re improving it to keep up with the continuously evolving threats.”

Specifically, the LAIRCM Program Office was recognized for improving LAIRCM’s software update process, decreasing – by 41 percent – the time it takes to update the system, and partnering with the Navy to field vital software updates to avoid a six-month schedule delay and enable a critical P-8A deployment.

The program office has solved problems and developed solutions with outside the box thinking said Danny Gallaher, the Deputy Chief of Logistics.

“The teams critical thinking resulted in creation of a generic aircraft alignment data set to conduct LAIRCM operational checks reducing C-17 modification schedule from 45 to 7 days per aircraft,” added Gallaher.”

LAIRCM is currently installed on 17 different U.S. Air Force platforms for a total of approximately 1,300 aircraft. It is also flown on a number of aircraft operated by foreign military partners.

“LAIRCM is very personal for me,” said Christina McPeak, the LAIRCM Logistic lead. “My husband is a retired C-17 loadmaster, and when he was flying downrange, knowing that LAIRCM was on his aircraft was a big relief for me, because I knew he was protected. So working in this program office carries extra significance for me.”

Currently, Ono and the program is focused on ensuring LAIRCM continues to meet warfighter needs well into the future.

“We follow what we call an evolutionary acquisition process where we continue to update, and upgrade our system [LAIRCM] to continue to meet evolving threats,” said Ono. “Block 30 is our most current [LAIRCM version] that we're trying to modernize all the aircraft to and we are in the process of developing further upgrades. I’m confident that our system will continue to protect our large aircraft today and tomorrow.”