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NEWS | Nov. 1, 2021

TOBY2028 strategic plan drives impressive growth at Tobyhanna

By Ms. Danielle E. Weinschenk

TOBY2028 strategic plan drives impressive growth at Tobyhanna | Article | The United States Army

Big changes are happening at Tobyhanna Army Depot – all thanks to the organization’s future-focused strategic plan, TOBY2028.

TOBY2028 aligns with the depot's four strategic focus areas, called lines of effort (LOEs): Invest in Our People, C5ISR Readiness, Shape the Future and Strategic Communications. The endeavor was launched in 2018, as depot leaders envisioned becoming the Department of Defense's premier worldwide C5ISR readiness provider.

According to TOBY2028’s overall lead Heather Fiedler, the plan’s success can be attributed to the participation of depot employees.

“TOBY2028 has showcased the talents and passion of Team Tobyhanna, and they have done a great job working to shape our future and deliver on our commitments.” Fiedler is the depot’s organizational development specialist.

The foundational LOE under TOBY2028 is Invest in Our People (IiOP), focusing empowerment efforts for the Army’s most important resource: its people. Fielder lauded the success of the IiOP’s Peer2Peer (P2P) Proactive Education Program, which trained employees on how to handle peer-to-peer disclosures such as harassment, suicidal ideations, substance use and mental health issues.  The program strives to create grassroots support where trained peers can connect co-workers with the appropriate first responder for intervention.

“Because we know that disclosures are often made to peers first, we developed this program to ensure members of Team Tobyhanna always have a trained person to confide in. After less than a year, we’ve received a wealth of positive feedback for the program – and its participants,” Fiedler said.

P2P, aligned with the Communication- Electronics Command’s Selflessness-Ownership-Unity-Larger Purpose (SOUL) program, is part of a larger slate of people-focused initiatives outlined by Fielder. Two standouts include a reciprocal shadowing pilot designed to build relationships across organizational silos and a twice-weekly mindfulness group to help reduce employee stress.

A pivotal accomplishment under the C5ISR Readiness LOE is the enhanced scheduling process, identified by the Army Materiel Command as a best practice earlier this year. The endeavor, originally piloted at Tobyhanna, provides leadership with real-time reporting tools based upon data entered by production floor personnel. It also heightens visual management to optimize production floor execution. Production floor leadership gave the new process rave reviews.

“Enhanced scheduling enables us to more efficiently execute mission requirements by clearly defining and prioritizing workload requirements based on real-time data,” said John Scott, Chief of the Tactical Satellite Systems Branch in the C4ISR Directorate.

As subject matter experts on the topic, Tobyhanna hosted 12 government agencies for a summit in July to provide training on the enhanced scheduling process. The summit also allowed depot personnel to directly interact with their counterparts at other organizations, sharing knowledge for collective growth.

Strategic communications (STRATCOM) were also improved under TOBY2028, with the introduction of multiple initiatives to better inform depot stakeholders. One such initiative was the development of a recruitment video to attract talent, jointly produced by the IiOP and STRATCOM LOEs.

Anne Gebhardt, Recruiting the Future Workforce team lead, says the video will be a big help in publicizing Tobyhanna to prospective employees.

“We believe this video will showcase not only the many different careers at Tobyhanna, but also the excellent benefits package and the advancement opportunities here. We also believe current employees sharing why they remain part of Team Tobyhanna is a powerful endorsement.”

Another STRATCOM initiative was aimed at ensuring a growing communication platform – social media – was fully accessible to all members of Team Tobyhanna’s diverse stakeholder group.

“Our team was excited to develop a plan to guarantee our media products were 508-compliant, ensuring our teammates who are deaf or blind can still engage with our digital platforms and are spun up on the latest news from Team Tobyhanna,” said Ryan Beilman, co-lead of the STRATCOM Effective Communication team. Beilman outlined the plan, which requires all depot social media to include closed captioning for videos or the integration of a sign language interpreter, while images all must be accompanied by a detailed image description.

Significant efforts are also underway for the Shape the Future LOE, whose mission is to drive a collaborative approach to innovation to support emerging requirements for the future force. The team’s current focus is the Technology and Capability Review Team (TCRT). This new group will identify sustainable short and long-term workloads and establish a business case analysis to address the investment opportunities. Shape the Future Lead Katlin Edmunds believes the TCRT will be a big success for Tobyhanna.

“This new effort will enable us to use data for process-based decisions on strategic capability investments. Simply put, it will help us better identify new workloads for Tobyhanna’s unique skill set.”

Fielder says TOBY2028 will endure long past the year 2028.

“TOBY2028 is not only our organizational roadmap today; it will remain our guide well into the future.”

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.