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Leaders Corner
Rick Yuse (photo)

Rick Yuse

President,
Raytheon Technical Services Company
Rick Yuse wears two hats at Raytheon. He is president of Raytheon Technical Services Company (RTSC) LLC, and he is Raytheon Chairman and CEO Bill Swanson's appointed enterprise leader for Mission Support, one of Raytheon's four core markets. Technology Today recently spoke with Yuse about both of these challenging roles and the increasing reliance on technology by our Mission Support and technology customers. Yuse brings with him a unique perspective, as he was an internal customer for RTSC's Mission Support services when he was a program manager at Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS). Yuse joined Raytheon in 1976 and has held positions ranging from systems architecture and design to flight test director and program manager. Before being appointed RTSC president, Yuse was vice president of Integrated Air Defense for Raytheon at IDS, where he was responsible for air defense programs.

TT: Raytheon has adopted Mission Support as one of its core growth markets. For a company that is largely identified as an engineering and technology company, why is Mission Support so important?

RY: One key element of Mission Support is the lifecycle support of fielded Raytheon systems. Mission Support is about maintaining equipment with the Raytheon name on it — keeping it operational and ready for the warfighter. We provide Mission Support solutions for deployed systems, but Mission Support starts as an integral part of the design phase. To the extent that our engineers provide for logistics support and maintenance and usage requirements, the more efficient our systems will be to maintain in the field, which ultimately will enhance their performance and reputation and maintain the 'no doubt' customer trust that we're all so proud of. And with leaner budgetary days ahead, every dollar that our customers don't have to earmark for support of existing systems frees up funding for upgrades and new technology.

TT: How does Mission Support differ from Mission Assurance?

RY: Mission Assurance is the personal and collective commitment of Raytheon and our employees to ensure that our customers have no doubt about our products and services. Our solutions must work for the customer, the first time and every time. Mission Assurance permeates the entire life cycle of our deliverables. The goals of Mission Support are ensuring that systems in the field operate failure-free; that if a failure occurs, it's detected as quickly as possible; and that the repair can be made promptly, all while minimizing the personnel, assets and supplies that must be dedicated to these tasks. These goals are tightly aligned with achieving 'no doubt' Mission Assurance.

TT: Mission Support across Raytheon and RTSC as a business has demonstrated strong growth recently. How do you see the Obama administration's priorities, and the general economic condition, impacting that growth going forward?

RY: We see Mission Support services as a potential hedge against the impact of possible declines in the research and development (R&D) and procurement budgets. The administration has indicated that it will be looking closely at large weapons development programs, particularly those that are not performing to cost and schedule parameters. This means that legacy systems will be fielded for longer periods. That's an opportunity for Mission Support in terms of sustainment and an opportunity to perhaps upgrade some of these systems with reliability or capability enhancements.

TT: But Mission Support is more than product support. It includes other support items such as training and professional and technical services. What is the outlook for these kinds of services?

RY: Yes, Mission Support is a very broad market space encompassing product support as well as a variety of outsourced services. Training, for instance, has been an area of strategic focus and growth in Raytheon, led by RTSC. In the past couple of years, we have grown to become one of the largest providers of outsourced training in the world, with significant program wins such as the U.S. Army Warfighter FOCUS contract, and the FAA's Air Traffic Control Optimum Training Solution (ATCOTS) program.

ATCOTS delivers training to the FAA's air traffic controllers, and Warfighter FOCUS integrates three previously separate training domains — live, virtual and constructive. RTSC and its team of subcontractors deliver integrated, turnkey, lifecycle training services and support to warfighters at 500 U.S. Army locations worldwide. Training is an area of the military budget we see as holding up well. Training is an underlying element of readiness, whether we are talking about soldiers, air traffic controllers, or employees at commercial companies.

TT: Do you see technology playing a larger role in Mission Support?

RY: Since 9/11, the United States has been in a period of military readiness at virtually any cost. But now, almost eight years later, two major factors have altered this environment: the priorities of the new administration and the economic crisis in America.

Our customers are signaling that we are entering a new era characterized as the right readiness at the right cost. So because budgets will be tightening in the years ahead, our customers are demanding innovative, lower-cost solutions requiring us to put the "tech" back in technical services.

TT: Can you provide an example?

RY: Anyone associated with supporting our systems knows that it's not your father's logistics any more. Today, customers don't just want to be assured that a particular system will work when needed. They also want to be able to predict when it will fail, be able to track the parts needed across an integrated global supply chain, and understand this across all equipment in the battlespace. This is what we call precision logistics. This takes logistics and maintenance planning past a purely statistical approach and into the realm of real-time understanding of each unit in a fielded population.

Precision logistics begins with embedded sensors and built-in tests that provide timely and specific information about the state of a unit. To carry this concept to the next level, we can put these sensors on the network and gather real-time information about the state of the fleet. For example, take something as simple as the Humvee. It has about 40 embedded sensors, and there are 125,000 fielded Humvees. We can generate quite a bit of information on the state of the fleet from that. Not only do we have the state of each unit, but also the necessary information for identifying failure trends, subcomponent life cycles and other critical operational health parameters.

TT: How can Raytheon apply innovation to Mission Support?

RY: It's important to remember that innovation comes in many forms. In Mission Support, we can innovate with technologies to deliver more efficient training, smoother and more affordable logistics, and more reliable products. But we also can be innovative in how we deliver services to our customers. And that's something that we are working on as a company right now.

We have a cross-company team that has been looking at alternate business models for lifecycle support, including next-generation performance-based logistics, and how we might make better use of public–private partnerships. The group will deliver recommendations, perhaps as a part of the Mission Support strategy, this summer

TT: How do you see technology playing a factor in the growth of RTSC?

RY: We strive to provide innovative solutions for our customers. We do not of course invest as much in R&D as other Raytheon businesses, but we do reach back to the rest of Raytheon to both leverage technology and access domain expertise. Our engineers are adept at applying existing technology to problems, and they do so in an innovative and cost-effective manner. Applying the right technology combined with ready access to domain expertise makes us more attractive to our customer base.

TT: Raytheon is looking at growing its international business. How do you see international Mission Support growing?

RY: The international market for Mission Support is estimated at about $30 billion a year and is forecast to continue to grow at a modest rate, perhaps equal to or slightly faster than the U.S. market. As a company, we are pursuing several interesting international Mission Support opportunities. Raytheon Australia has two significant outsourced training opportunities in its five-year plan; Raytheon Systems Limited in the United Kingdom has significant logistics and training opportunities in its plan. RTSC is pursuing training opportunities in Middle East, and of course opportunities with the other Raytheon businesses supporting their fielded systems. With the right focus and investment, we can significantly grow our international Mission Support business.

TT: Given your success rising through the engineering ranks to a business leadership role, what advice would you give new engineers just starting their careers at Raytheon?

RY: I've always enjoyed architecting, designing and fielding large complex systems ranging from Cobra Dane to the Aegis and THAAD weapons systems to the U.S. missile defense system. As such I've been intimately involved with both the design and fielding of many of the systems Raytheon has produced. One effect of this is that I've had the opportunity to work and live in some of the world's, let's say, more out of the way locations. But more importantly, I have had the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of these programs. I have been involved from the proposal and concept definition phases; to detailed design, manufacturing, unit-level and system-level testing; and finally fielding and system sell-off. I have also had the opportunity to work with some of the best and brightest folks in our industry. I believe that exposure to all phases of a program provides you with valuable knowledge and insight from an engineering, business and customer relations viewpoint. That's otherwise difficult to acquire.

So my advice? Enjoy what you do. Don't be afraid to take the hard assignments and take every opportunity to learn as much from the program you're supporting, and the people who are leading it, as you can. You'll find that here at Raytheon, we're very fortunate to have, no matter the discipline — from engineering to program management and business leadership — some of the best people our industry has to offer.