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NEWS | Sept. 26, 2022

Senior leader capitalizes on life lessons to lead workforce

By Ms. Jacqueline Boucher

Tobyhanna Army Depot’s new deputy commander capitalizes on life lessons to thrive amidst a constantly changing environment.

Robert Lantka advocates maximizing Team Tobyhanna’s support of the Defense Department by exploring innovative strategies to achieve new highs for direct revenue and labor hours, with predictable, stable workload.

As the deputy commander to the commanding officer, Lantka directs the operation and administration of the depot. He provides strategic guidance and assistance on matters pertaining to mission requirements and operating goals. He also determines resource requirements in terms of funds, facilities and personnel. The deputy commander reviews and evaluates the effectiveness and efficiency of depot missions. He also identifies and resolves critical operating problems, and determines and directs special studies and management improvement reviews.

“Tobyhanna is always changing. It’s important for the organic industrial base facility to have a strategic plan charting a path forward,” Lantka said, commending the workforce for their role in developing the depot’s long-range plan -- TOBY2028/2035 -- to be the best value for the warfighter.

Lantka brings a wealth of experience to the position; using his skills as a leader to inspire and motivate people.

Early in his career, Lantka held multiple leadership positions at Tobyhanna Army Depot such as a supervisory production controller, logistics management supervisor and communications security project officer.

“Working here really opened my eyes to the business side of the Army,” Lantka said, referring to how the depot administers an Army Working Capital Fund to finance operations. “Opportunities at Tobyhanna have allowed me to hone skills I learned, as an air defense artillery officer, in the Army to make hard choices, prioritize and balance resources.”

In 2015, he was assigned as a logistics management specialist for the Sustainment Maintenance Division, Headquarters Department of the Army, Deputy Chief of Staff G4. During that time he supported policy, programs, and processes for the Army Organic Industrial Base, as well as planning, programming, and funding for Army depot maintenance operations.

“At the Pentagon, I came to appreciate the Army mission that underscores the important role civilians play in business processes, strategies and efficiencies,” Lantka said. “It was rewarding to contribute to major command- and Department of the Army-level programs and policies to make a difference on a large scale.” He claims the experience made him more effective at his job by helping him see things from a different perspective.

Lantka returned to Tobyhanna Army Depot in 2019 to serve as the director of field logistics support, leading hundreds of government and contract employees working in over 40 locations around the world.

A year later, he took charge of the depot’s material, supply and enterprise resource management functions as the deputy director of the Production Management Directorate. Lantka advised the director while overseeing logistics modernization program operations, capacity production in the industrial support shops, inventory management, supply operations, and material movement. He also oversaw the planning, scheduling and budgeting of forward support missions to include language labs, depot maintenance forward operations, home station mission command and control installations, and mobile depot maintenance.

“I strive to be a leader who is involved and will provide guidance, ultimately enabling the team to achieve successful outcomes,” he said. “It’s vital everyone feels they are part of the team and their input is essential in the decision-making process.” Lantka describes a leader as someone who shows respect at all times, provides clear and honest communication, offers support in the decision making process and accepts responsibility.

Lantka was named the director of the Resource Management Directorate in 2021. In this role, he managed a multi-million dollar budget, personnel management functions, workforce training, process improvement initiatives, and the organization’s information technology infrastructure.

“Army requirements and operations tempo are changing,” he said. “We can’t do things like we did 10 years ago. It’s imperative Tobyhanna explores new strategies to get equipment to the warrior, on time and in budget, as well as, increase capabilities.”

Lantka served in the U.S. Army from 2004-2008, separating at the rank of captain. He started his depot career in 2009.

Tobyhanna’s deputy commander graduated from Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Finance. He also received a Master of Policy Management degree from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., in 2018.

“It’s an honor to serve as deputy commander alongside such a skilled and dedicated workforce,” Lantka said. “Tobyhanna is so much more than a depot. The type of work we do here continues to evolve because we aggressively develop capability to meet the future needs and requirements of the warfighter. Team Tobyhanna has made this facility what it is today and I’m excited to see what the future has in store.”

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 workforce 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 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.