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NEWS | Aug. 3, 2021

Team Tobyhanna keeps Soldiers connected through partnership with Project Manager Tactical Radios

By Ms. Danielle E. Weinschenk

Team Tobyhanna keeps Soldiers connected through partnership with Project Manager Tactical Radios | Article | The United States Army

Employees at Tobyhanna Army Depot are playing a big role in the deployment of critical communications equipment for America’s warfighters.

The depot and Project Manager Tactical Radios (PM TR) are working together to create radio installation kits (IKs) for the Integrated Tactical Network (ITN) capability fielding.

A key priority for the Army, the ITN incorporates the Army’s current tactical network environment (applications, devices, gateways, etc.) with commercial components and transport capabilities to ensure warfighters are always connected, even in the furthest corners of the world.

“When battalions deploy, the IKs we create at Tobyhanna will help them set up a ‘communications bubble’ that does not rely on towers. Simply put, our work makes sure the warfighter is never without communication capability,” said Kris Martin, the logistics management specialist for the program.

Martin, who works in the Production Management directorate, is just one part of a 17-person team that is dedicated full-time to the ITN IK mission. The team consists of logistics support from the Production Management directorate, engineering support from the Production Engineering directorate and fabrication support from the Systems Integration and Support (SIS) directorate. He says the team is top-notch.

“We have phenomenal support from our teammates across the depot, especially the folks in SIS. They do an incredible job responding to the shifting priorities of this program, allowing us to always meet customer requirements.”

The fastest-growing segment of the partnership is fabrication work, which has doubled in the past year. Depot employees can fabricate more than 1,000 different items for PM TR, according to Martin.

“Our SIS artisans do an amazing job building power and signal cables as well as manufacturing a variety of metal components for the IKs.”

In addition to the work performed on-site, depot personnel also travel around the world to field the IKs – an endeavor that technical personnel say is key to mission success.

“IK fieldings help our team gain a cradle-to-grave understanding of this workload,” said Blake Small, an electronics technician assigned to the program. “It also allows us to identify potential improvements we can incorporate into our processes for the next fielding. We are committed to always growing.”

The depot also hosts two other PMs for interoperability testing – allowing for a validation and verification of components prior to the fielding. According to PM TR Fielding and Operations Chief Nelson Cespedes, the endeavor is vital to Warfighter success.

“The interoperability testing helps us ensure the IKs and other equipment perform as expected. By identifying issues proactively, we can ensure our Soldiers have the highest quality equipment that gives them the support they need on the battlefield.”

Tobyhanna previously collaborated with PM TR on a highly-successful program focused on integrating Manpack radios for Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) units. The depot served as the central logistics hub, streamlining the process overall and reducing travel time for key personnel.

Timothy Ivory, Chief of PM TR’s Integrated Product Support Branch, says the continued relationship was a no-brainer.

“Our experience with Tobyhanna has been fantastic. The team here understands our dynamic, enduring requirements and always finds a way to give us what we need,” adding that the SIS team who builds cabling has provided mission-saving support more than once.

Ivory says he expects to be working with Team Tobyhanna long after the ITN kitting project ends in 2032.

“We don’t see ourselves going anywhere else – the investment in Team Tobyhanna has certainly been worth it.”

The continued partnership between Tobyhanna and PM TR is directly aligned with the depot’s long-range strategic plan, TOBY2028 – specifically the C5ISR Readiness and Shape the Future lines of effort. PM TR is part of the Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T), which works closely with the Army Futures Command’s Network Cross Functional Team to improve and grow the Army’s tactical network for current and future Soldiers.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C5ISR) systems across the Department of Defense. Tobyhanna’s Corporate Philosophy, dedicated work force and electronics expertise ensure the depot is the Joint C5ISR provider of choice for all branches of the Armed Forces and industry partners.

Tobyhanna’s unparalleled capabilities include full-spectrum logistics support for sustainment, overhaul and repair, fabrication and manufacturing, engineering design and development, systems integration, post production software support, technology insertion, modification, foreign military sales and global field support to our joint warfighters.

About 3,700 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the command’s mission is to empower the Soldier with winning C5ISR capabilities.