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NEWS | Aug. 16, 2022

Army Depot equips PA National Guard with critical communication equipment

By Ms. Danielle E. Weinschenk

SCRANTON, Pa. –Tobyhanna Army Depot recently had the opportunity to support soldiers from its own community – thanks to a cooperative approach and a program that ensures operational readiness for military units.

Depot personnel from all over the country traveled to the Armed Forces Recruiting Center in Scranton last week, delivering an AN/TSC-185B Satellite Transportable Terminal to the 213th Signal Company of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. The STT, a key piece of field communication systems, is a highly transportable mobile satellite system that establishes secure voice, video and data communications for service members.

The effort was truly a labor of love, according to Brian Warholic.

“Four separate teams and countless members of Team Tobyhanna banded together to make this [the delivery] happen,” he said. “All involved are passionate about Tobyhanna’s mission and supporting our warfighters – especially ones right in our own backyard.” Warholic is a logistics management specialist in the Production Management Directorate.

Originally owned by a National Guard unit in another state, the STT was recommended for maintenance through the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Reconnaissance, Surveillance, or C5ISR, Lifecycle Analysis Team program. CLAT personnel conduct 30-plus missions yearly, joining forces with military units to assess their equipment and identify barriers to readiness. During CLAT missions, assets are evaluated, and a source of repair (SOR) is determined.

Personnel from Tobyhanna’s Asset Management Team then cross-collaborated with the CLAT team to transport the asset to Fort Hood, Texas – where forward depot personnel were ready and waiting to bring it back to operational status.

Artisans at Fort Hood repaired the STT as part of Tobyhanna’s groundbreaking Depot Maintenance Forward effort, which expands its SORs beyond the gates of the Pocono installation. DMF co-locates electronics personnel near units stationed in high-activity locations, eliminating the need to send systems across the world for repair.

In addition to the Fort Hood facility, the depot maintains DMF locations in Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; Panzer Kaserne, Germany and Camp Humphreys, South Korea. DMF provides limited repair abilities; assets that require more complex support are sent to Tobyhanna’s main facility in line with the traditional depot maintenance process.

Management of DMF efforts takes place on-site at Tobyhanna through a team dedicated to forward logistics support. Production Controller Nicole Ford noted the DMF approach provides a more cost-effective and quicker turnaround for military units, heightening readiness for America’s military. Ford works in the Production Management Directorate.

Once the asset was fully repaired, the National Guard Bureau decided to reassign the asset to the 213th Signal Company. The AMT then arranged for transportation to Scranton, where depot personnel – including the Fort Hood technicians who repaired the asset – assembled with the unit for an asset acceptance mission (AAM).

A unique approach to depot maintenance, AAMs bring key personnel directly to the unit for a joint inventory, acceptance test procedure and workmanship inspection of the repaired system. Identified issues can be addressed immediately, instead of routing them through complex and time-consuming communication channels – or, worse, leaving the unit responsible for resolving on their own.

The AAM effort began as a pilot between Tobyhanna’s DMF program and the National Guard Bureau – garnering high praise from customers and military members. The effort has since been expanded to include National Guard assets repaired at Tobyhanna proper. More than 40 AAMs have been completed to date.

Warholic says the AAM process benefits all – especially military members in need of equipment and support.

“AAMs close the maintenance loop between Tobyhanna and our customer, heightening confidence in our maintenance efforts. Because the AAM is a collaborative experience with both parties involved, units know for sure the product they are receiving back is complete and 100% operational. These in-person experiences help build strong relationships between depot personnel and our customers, which is priceless.”

Unit personnel also lauded the effort and Tobyhanna’s performance.

“Our team is extremely excited to get this new equipment – it’s a good day when your equipment comes from Tobyhanna Army Depot. We appreciate the chance to develop a direct relationship with the people who support us, and this process no doubt increases our operational readiness,” said SSG Jonathon Janes, the unit’s supply sergeant and warrant officer candidate.

Tobyhanna leadership also celebrated the event and applauded the efforts of all involved.

“This was a wonderful team effort,” said Joseph Fantanarosa, director of Field Logistics Support.

Support for previous STT programs earned Tobyhanna high accolades, such as the 2020 Secretary of Defense Maintenance Awards Program, Robert T. Mason Award and the Army Chief of Staff Logistics Excellence Awards Program, Army Award for Maintenance Excellence.

AAMS and the DMF program are directly aligned with Tobyhanna’s long-range strategic plan, TOBY2028 – specifically the C5ISR Readiness line of effort focused on ensuring military members have the tools and equipment to face any conflict. The plan focuses on posturing the depot to be competitive in the future.

Tobyhanna will facilitate future AAMs in Guam, Idaho, New York and South Carolina.

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 3,500 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.