NEWS | May 20, 2019

Teamwork primes training devices, boosts combat readiness

By By Jacqueline Boucher

In the largest public-private partnership (P3) in Tobyhanna Army Depot history, the organic industrial base facility joined forces with Lockheed Martin to repair thousands of laser-based training devices fielded throughout the Army. 

Team Tobyhanna is scheduled to repair more than 90,000 pieces of man-worn and vehicular hardware that are part of the Instrumentable-Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (I-MILES) family of training devices -- Individual Weapons System (IWS), IWS 2 and the combat vehicle tactical engagement simulation system (CVTESS). Employees at the depot are also fixing small arms transmitters, which are part of the IWS. 

The modern repair facility in one of the depot's warehouses boasts new benches and tool boxes for dozens of depot employees assigned to the C4ISR Directorate's I-MILES Branch. 

"This program could blossom into so much work for Tobyhanna," said Logistics Management Specialist David Shuleski, who noted there are more than 250,000 I-MILES items in the Army inventory. 

"Right now we're removing and replacing defective wire harnesses, battery packs and detectors. Employees are also performing fabric repair as needed," said Shuleski, who works in the Production Management Directorate's Avionics and Sensors Program Management Division. 

The Lockheed Martin team is responsible for on-site supply chain functions such as receiving, warehousing and shipping. 

"We look forward to continuing to partner with Tobyhanna Army Depot on the successful execution of the I-MILES mission and the Army Training Aids, Devices, Simulators and Simulations Maintenance Program (ATMP)," said Rob Dykema, global sustainment senior manager for Lockheed Martin. Tobyhanna will receive $54 million to repair MILES devices throughout the ATMP $3.5 billion seven year contract.

P3s enable the Defense Department to leverage the best capabilities of both the public and private industrial base to efficiently and effectively provide weapon system support and achieve affordable operational readiness for the warfighter, according to Mark Blasko, chief of the Production Management Directorate's Sustainment Planning Division. To date, the depot has engaged in 294 partnerships since the P3 program started in 1996.

"This is significant because after more than 20 years of Tobyhanna's involvement in successful partnerships, there is continued growth in P3 opportunities as the U.S. Army looks to rapidly modernize the force," Blasko said.

I-MILES gear is used by the U.S. military and other armed forces around the world for training purposes. It uses lasers and blank cartridges to simulate actual battle. Laser emitters are attached to the rifles' barrels and the laser receptors on the Soldiers' helmets and harnesses. Vehicles are typically outfitted with a belt of laser sensors or individual wireless detectors.