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NEWS | May 20, 2020

Ammunition specialist provides unique support to Tobyhanna

By Ms. Danielle E. Weinschenk,

This Spring, Team Tobyhanna celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Army Quality Assurance Specialist (Ammunition Surveillance), or QASAS, career program (CP) and applauds the contributions of QASASs worldwide.

The QASAS CP was established in 1920 to train Army civilians as ammunition experts. The unique program is centralized within the Army and requires several years of rigorous training before a QASAS can set out on their own. The QASAS training course begins with a full year of classroom training with others joining the field. Once complete, QASAS trainees complete another full year of practical hands-on training at a separate location before their first assignment.

A key component of the QASAS career program is a mobility agreement, which requires participants to move every two to three years based upon the needs of the Army. To date, there are more than 300 certified QASASs worldwide.

Team Tobyhanna’s current QASAS is Kimberly Hart, who assumed the role in 2018. She serves as the depot’s sole ammunitions expert and is responsible for quality assurance on missile guidance and control systems. Hart also facilitates shipping, storage and receipt of these critical weapons systems components. Perhaps most importantly, she serves as a certified escort, allowing ordinance to be transported on and off-post. Those who work with her say Hart’s efforts are key to mission success.

“In many ways, the QASAS is the unseen 'backbone' of the Missile Repair Shop at Tobyhanna,” said Debra Sandy, Chief of the Quality Management Directorate’s Quality Control Office. “Kim exemplifies the role of a QASAS and routinely goes well above and beyond those duties to support and assist.”

Robert Haas, Director of Quality Management, says the QASAS program plays an important role at the Depot.

“Our QASAS is vital to our missile guidance and control mission. We’ll certainly miss Kim, but she assures us that the QASAS CP's excellent training program will ensure our next QASAS is just as capable.”

Hart says the best part of her job is that it’s a continual learning experience.

“I’m really appreciative of all the knowledge I was able to gain during my time at the Depot.”

Hart’s assignment with Team Tobyhanna will conclude in July. She’ll be moving to Japan to serve as the QASAS at the 10th Regional Support Group Ammunition Depot. Although she’s excited for the change in scenery, she says she leaves Northeastern Pennsylvania with a heavy heart.

“Tobyhanna was very welcoming to me,” she said. “It was an exciting place to work.”