NEWS | Aug. 17, 2021

Tobyhanna Army Depot retains Aerospace Standard quality certification after external audit

By Ms. Danielle Weinschenk

Tobyhanna Army Depot’s quality management system (QMS) will maintain an industry-standard certification after an audit by outside officials last week.

Auditors from Orion Registrar visited the depot to conduct a surveillance audit in accordance with the depot’s certification in the Aerospace 9100/9110 Standard (AS). Derived from the ISO 9001 quality system, AS 9100 includes additional quality system requirements demanded by the aerospace and defense industries, which are vital to support the depot’s maintenance efforts on avionics components for military aircraft.  Tobyhanna has maintained industry-standard quality certifications since 2003. Only 20,000 companies worldwide hold the AS certification.

Surveillance audits are conducted between recertification audit years and required Orion personnel to spend 10 total auditor days investigating Tobyhanna’s adherence to AS. At the conclusion of the audit, Orion recommended the depot keep the AS certification and lauded the depot’s performance, specifically by the workforce.

“We are always impressed by Team Tobyhanna; however, several areas and employees stood out as exceptional,” said auditors Eric Barnes and Dan Wyrick. “Special recognition goes out to Steven Ornitz of the Systems Integration and Support (SIS) directorate, the Quality Management Division team, and the TACSAT Systems and Component Branches of the C4ISR directorate.”

John Scott, chief of the TACSAT Systems Branch, says he appreciated the praise from Barnes, but couldn’t take the credit for his Branch’s audit success.

“When it comes to quality, process discipline is very important to our TACSAT team. They are continuously looking for ways to improve even the most miniscule tasks while at the same time holding each other and their leadership accountable. If anyone deserves the accolades for our audit success, it’s them.” Electronics Mechanic Supervisor William Long agreed.

“Our team welcomes the opportunity to be audited with a fresh set of eyes and, because of that willingness to take feedback, we are continuously growing as an organization.”

Within their recommendation for recertification, the auditors cited best practices as well as areas for improvement (AFIs), according to Robert Haas, Director of Quality Management.  He says the audit-identified AFIs are always welcome.

“We appreciate the chance to learn from these AFIs and make Tobyhanna Army Depot’s QMS even stronger,” adding that one AFI noted by the auditors was corrected before the audit was even over.

“Orion personnel identified a discrepancy between paperwork and the process in one of our SIS refinishing shops,” he said.  “Eugene Haikes, the shop supervisor, immediately addressed the issue and put a preventative action in place. This is a great example of how Team Tobyhanna places quality and AS at the forefront of our processes.”

Auditors will return to Tobyhanna for another surveillance audit in late 2022.

Maintaining the AS certification and a healthy QMS is directly aligned with Tobyhanna’s long-range strategic plan, TOBY2028. The plan has four strategic focus areas: Investing in Our People, C5ISR Readiness, Shape the Future and Strategic Communications and aims to posture the organization for future success.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for 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.