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Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor

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INTERview


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Supporting the Warfighter; by Providing the Highest Quality, Responsive Solutions.


Robert R Wilson

President & CEO

R2C Inc

www.r2c-inc.com


Contact:

(256) 701-7045

Robert@R2C-Inc.com


Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor

CEOCFO Magazine


Published – April 13, 2020



















CEOCFO: Mr. Wilson, what is the vision behind R2C Inc?

Mr. Wilson: In the beginning, we wanted to provide our Government customers with solutions to their challenges and work with them in an Integrated Product Team setting.


CEOCFO: You said “in the beginning.” What is going on now?  

Mr. Wilson: We still work with our Customers in the same integrated setting, but we have found, in order to fulfill their requirements, we had to grow and develop additional offerings. For instance, in the beginning we were only able to offer an engineering solution that would then need to go to another organization to have it manufactured. We have invested in our company and increased our Manufacturing capabilities so that we can now greatly reduce the time required to go from Prototype to Full-Rate production. Our Core Focus is Supporting the Warfighter; by Providing the Highest Quality, Responsive Solutions.


CEOCFO: Would you walk us through a couple of engagements? What was someone looking for and how you developed or enhanced the solution they were needing?  

Mr. Wilson: One of our Primary Customers is the US Army Aviation Missile Command (AMCOM). In support of our Government Customer we have provided engineering and logistical support to every US Army aviation platform to include Grey Eagle UAVs. Several of these platforms have been flying for decades and are always in need of modification to keep them up-to-date with advanced technology. Our work advances the platform through engineering and then ensures that documentation is updated so that the platform can be maintained and sustained.


We have had the opportunity to support other branches of service as well. We worked with the USAF to help overcome an obsolescence issue with the B-52. As you might imagine, an aircraft that has been in service since 1955 has been upgraded and retrofitted multiple times. Obviously, the avionics systems and mechanisms that are on-board are significantly different than when it first entered service. However, there are also times when some of the original equipment design is perfect and continues to be just what is needed. The issue here is that many vendors over the course of 70 years have a tendency to go out of business or be bought up by another and the parts they made are no longer manufactured. We help in these times as well to find creative solutions to address the challenges.


We worked a project supporting the B-52 where the OEM solution was perfect for the requirement and the USAF had detailed instructions on how to make the item required. It was a Crystal for a FLIR window in one of the systems on-board. They had everything documented in great detail. However, that documentation and the process in general, was written prior to the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency. Since then, many of the elements required to make the crystal are ingredients that have been banned by the EPA and found harmful. Our task was to find a way to make the crystals as good or better as the original with different elements. In a stroke of innovation, one of our scientists was able to reach out to a university where we worked with a university professor and a grad student to come up with an alternative way to grow the crystal that was required so we could continue to support this system on the B52 aircraft.


CEOCFO: Would this be all B52s or would it be at a specific installation? Are you actually installing something? Are you creating the plans?  

Mr. Wilson: This system is adaptable to all B-52 but is installed by the crew and may not be on every type of mission. What we have done here is, in this specific instance, is identified a solution that fixes a part that goes onto the aircraft. It could not be repaired before, but we were able to find a way and work with many different entities to pull that together, so that it could be fixed. Sometimes you run into a situation where you would love to repair it, but you just physically cannot due to obsolescence or due to new rules and regulations; you cannot use the same mechanisms that were used in the past.


CEOCFO: How do you decide what projects to bid on? What would you prefer given a choice? Are there certain types of projects you might like better?    

Mr. Wilson: We seek out the Governments requirements and then determine if we have the capability required to help.  

We are a full-service aviation and defense company, so we have done everything from maintenance on an aircraft, to high end engineering working with highly technical solutions and unique elements to perform aircraft modifications as well as providing solutions on high-end missile systems and manufacturing.     


CEOCFO: That is a pretty wide range!  

Mr. Wilson: It is an incredibly wide range! But I find that when you are able to work with your customer in an integrated setting, and everyone is looking for the best way to get things done, most obstacles can be overcome, and most goals achieved.


CEOCFO: What has changed during the current Administration? Have you seen a difference in getting things done or in upgrading the way we hear it has been done? What do you find?

Mr. Wilson: A lot has changed, and for the better! The Military has a budget and is fully funded not working on a Continuing Resolution. This means that planning can and is taking place and the funding is executed so much more efficiently. This means that America’s Warfighters are getting the tools they need to prosecute the mission and defend America’s Freedom and Our way of Life.


CEOCFO: Are you concerned now, given what is going on with COVID-19?  

Mr. Wilson: Not so much concerned. However, it is slowing things down a bit as we figure out how to overcome the challenges with telework and the like. There will be a significant paradigm shift on the other side of this though and in some ways, it will make America stronger and more resilient to future challenges.  


CEOCFO: What do you look for in your people? What is important to you when someone is part of R2C?  

Mr. Wilson: I believe that attitude sets the altitude. If you approach things with a positive can-do attitude and you are doing that in the spirit of service, there are few things that cannot be overcome. We strive to support America’s Warfighters; that is our Core Focus. As long as all of our people are on-board with that mission, R2C will continue to meet the challenges we face and achieve any goal which we have set.


CEOCFO: What are you surprised we can do today in your industry, as far as technology? What are you surprised that we cannot do yet?  

Mr. Wilson: Looking at it from a whole, Powered flight began in Dec 1903 a crazy daredevil activity that surely claimed many lives. To think that in less than 120 years we have gone from that to Commercial flights safely departing and arriving to all corners of the world. We have even sent Mankind to celestial bodies and returned them safely to Earth. We have sent powered vehicles to explore the reaches beyond our solar system. All of this in such a short time is truly remarkable. It has never been so apparent that we can truly do whatever we can imagine.


As for what we cannot do yet: I believe we are only limited by our lack of imagination. We must learn to get out of our own way, trust in what ourselves and those around us, accept the challenges, and strive to move forward. We stand on the shoulders of Giants; it is incumbent upon us not to squander the gifts that we have been given.


CEOCFO: What are you surprised we have mastered?  

Mr. Wilson: Cell Phone technology. From the “Communicator” of 1960s Star Trek to the hands of most every American old and young. The ability to have so much knowledge at our fingertips through the interactive internet is astounding.


CEOCFO: What are you working on right now that you can talk about?  

Mr. Wilson: We are performing aircraft modifications to increase the safety of flight, redesigning a missile system for the US Army, and working to upgrade a couple of antiquated systems that our Warfighters use for training. Additionally, we are working on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) techniques to better identify and track items of interest.  


CEOCFO: You have a pretty long list of services; product management, modeling and training. Are there certain areas that are not getting the attention you think they deserve?

Mr. Wilson: No, not really. Much of what we do goes through cycles of need. Let me explain. We go back again to what we were talking about before; a military aircraft has been in-service for forty years. There will be a time when you are going to have to update the onboard systems. When are performing the upgrade or modification, you have to apply certain skill sets, from engineering and modeling and validation and verification, to writing documentation, testing, retro testing and making sure that everything is working with legacy equipment, as well as newer technology. Then that solution has to be produced and fielded and then trained to the user.


There are other times, on the same aircraft, that we may be catching it in the form of maintenance perspective. When you start talking about intermediate level and depot maintenance, those are scheduled types of maintenances that are consistently ongoing and touch everything in the fleet every five years; everything runs through a depot rebuild cycle.


Then there are other instances where the engineering has already been done, the checkout has already take place, and we were not involved in that, but then we come to the point where someone needs something built for that modification and they have to put out a contract which we have an opportunity to bid. Therefore, we must ensure that we have the capability to provide services and solutions to the overall life cycle of that system.    


CEOCFO: How is business?  

Mr. Wilson: Great! Our Best year Ever! As we grow, we increase our capability and capacity. In the end, I believe it comes down to the Human factor. We have gathered a great group of people and formed them into a great team. It is their knowledge and special gifts that make our company great. We will continue to attract the best people and give them the opportunity to dream and realize their dreams. By doing this we will ensure that we meet or exceed the R2C Mission.


Our Mission is to provide the highest quality products and services to our clients to ensure our Warfighters receive the most advanced, technologically superior tools to perform their mission by which they defend our freedom and our way of life.


We are committed to providing the highest quality, responsive solutions to our clients to support the Warfighter. Through collaboration and continuous improvement, we are furthermore dedicated to perform in a legal, ethical, and moral manner to meet and exceed all customer expectations.


CEOCFO: How do you keep ahead of new technology, whether it is software, hardware, materials? There are lots of components, lots of parts to what you do, a big range. How do you stay on top of it all or enough of it to make sense?  

Mr. Wilson: You cannot stay ahead of technology. It is impossible. That is the beauty of America. If you are staying on top of technology, if you are staying ahead of technology, then your people that are in technology are not doing their job. The question is, how do we utilize technology? Therefore, we are not really trying to “stay ahead” of technology as much as ensuring we understand what the mission is and how to use technology to better perform the mission. We must identify new technology whether it is coming out of Military research labs, Industry or America’s technology giants and understand how it can be best deployed.


How do we apply it? It is the application of technology that is important and to do that you have to understand the mission. If you understand the mission and what problems are being faced, then you can figure out how to leverage the technology, that is perhaps even in the commercial sector, that can give our soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen, the advantage that they need.  


CEOCFO: What has changed in your approach over time?  

Mr. Wilson: Nothing. It remains providing the best and most timely solution at a fair and reasonable price to ensure America’s Warfighters have what they need. What has changed is the capability and resources we have within the company to better achieve that goal. That increases with each day and each new person we bring on to help us achieve our mission.


CEOCFO: Then, you got it right from day one?  

Mr. Wilson: It is pretty simple and straightforward. We are in the business of taking care of our Warfighters and the people and companies that support them. There is not a better job in the world.


CEOCFO: What is next? What is ahead for R2C Inc?

Mr. Wilson: We will continue to grow. We will continue to develop our company and grow our capability, we will expand and be better at what we do and be able to help our Warfighters and our Government Customers to do the things necessary to prosecute the mission.  


CEOCFO: How will you be better? Why will you be better?  

Mr. Wilson: Human talent. Systems and Software are great, but nothing so far is anywhere as close to the talent that Human beings bring to the fight. The ability to change thought patterns and adapt is what makes us the dominant species we are. It is this ability to adapt to the challenges we face and the commitment to one another that will drive us to be better.


CEOCFO: Is there anything that people should know about R2C that we have not discussed?

Mr. Wilson: I think we have had a pretty good discussion. As far as what I want people to know about R2C, they need to understand just how good and how creative our people are and the focus they have on achieving the mission. When they are put in an environment that allows them to be innovative and come up with great ideas, they have the tendency to excel and exceed all expectations, simply put, if we can dream it we can do it.


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“As far as what I want people to know about R2C, they need to understand just how good and how creative our people are and the focus they have on achieving the mission. When they are put in an environment that allows them to be innovative and come up with great ideas, they have the tendency to excel and exceed all expectations, simply put, if we can dream it we can do it.”- Robert R Wilson

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