An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Organization : Article Display
NEWS | July 27, 2020

Tobyhanna Army Depot mitigation strategy sustains Soldier readiness overseas

By Ms. Jacqueline Boucher

The far-reaching power of the Army’s organic industrial base sustains Soldier readiness on a global scale.

Experts at Tobyhanna Army Depot kept work orders for nine Command, Control, Computer, Communication, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) systems on schedule after thousands of Korean nationals were furloughed when the Special Measurement Agreement between the United States and South Korea expired in April. The furlough resulted in a reduction of the South Korea Depot Maintenance Forward production capacity at the Maintenance Support Command-Korea (MSC-K) location. MSC-K is the depot’s strategic partner that provides industrial support in country.

“Everything came together across time zones,” said Valerie Hurd, Tobyhanna’s Korea Division chief. “Everyone from the production management team at Tobyhanna to the employees on the shop floor gave 110 percent to meet the additional requirements even with reduced manning due to COVID-19.” The Korea Division falls within the scope of the depot’s Field Logistics Support (FLS) Directorate.

Tobyhanna provided six partial trailer systems, a blank shelter supporting troposphere communication and a full command post system. For the ninth system, leadership approved conversion of a test station for production. This prevented the need to ship an additional shelter.

“Amid all the events and challenges that have occurred in 2020, members of Team Tobyhanna are true professionals who effectively provide solutions in a time of uncertainty,” said Capt. James Cho, 8th Army, G4 materiel readiness maintenance officer. “The collaboration postures 8th Army units at a fight-tonight state of readiness.”

Korea Division personnel will install electronics equipment and populate the systems as they arrive in country. Once testing is complete, mission-capable systems will be turned over to the warfighter.

Army senior leaders were thankful Tobyhanna was able to help meet this year’s requirements, according to Jeff Roberson, regional maintenance manager for the division.

“The mitigation strategy let us finish the schedule, reconstitute our repair cycle float fleet and preposition ourselves to get ready for fiscal year 2021,” Roberson said.

News of the potential furlough surfaced early in the year giving decision makers an opportunity to find a way to meet fiscal year 2020 scheduled requirements. CECOM worked with 8th Army and 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command to determine priorities and methods to complete the scheduled assets.

Joe Costanzo explained that several organizations were involved in coming up with a workable solution to support the mission. Costanzo heads the Production Management Directorate’s Forward Support Program Management Division.

“Unplanned requirements are not uncommon,” he said, adding that processes are in place to determine capability and how additional work affects the production line. “We needed to provide a seamless transition from the depot to the overseas site.”

The division chief praised depot personnel for using all the tools in the communication toolbox to share information.

“The ultimate goal was to ensure that assets were returned to the Soldiers as quickly as possible,” said Rob Lantka, FLS Directorate director. “It was a team effort to replace 8th Army industrial capacity with assets serviced by the depot.”