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NEWS | Feb. 27, 2023

Emerging information technologies showcased at Tobyhanna during NET Day

By Mr. Nicolo Manzo and Ms. Danielle E. Weinschenk

Personnel from Tobyhanna Army Depot’s (TYAD’s) Information Management Division (IMD) are committed to identifying and implementing innovative technology, which positions TYAD for optimal performance and support of our Nation’s warfighters.

On February 9, IMD hosted a New and Emerging Technology (NET) Day to inform the workforce about new technology at Tobyhanna and offer live demonstrations to allow employees an opportunity to engage with these cutting-edge applications.

Director of Resource Management Trish Kratzer said NET Day was a success because of the breadth of information provided.

“NET Day gave the IMD team the opportunity to showcase current IT initiatives to the workforce. The team provided everything from live demonstrations of new equipment to on-the-spot customer service of IT devices. It was a great success,” said Kratzer, who leads IMD and other base operations organizations.

Some of the newest technology showcased included voice over internet protocol (VoIP), Mersive Solstice Pods and the Meeting Owl 3 video conference camera. These new technologies will help provide heightened opportunities for collaboration and visibility of floor shop operations, thereby increasing TYAD’s ability to streamline and improve production processes. This will allow for a more cost effective, mobile, secure and scalable infrastructure.

Training Instructor James Fina will soon be utilizing the new technology. He says NET Day has set him and his colleagues up for immediate success and

optimized performance.

“After sharing my thoughts with my supervisor, a request was made to implement the equipment within our workspace. The live demonstrations of the equipment along with the factory representatives gave me great insight on this new technology,” said Fina, who works in the Field Logistics Support Directorate.

IT professionals have also been busy implementing innovative technologies across the depot for heightened user experience and efficiency – including an expansion of the popular virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

VDI replaces bulky desktop towers with a small black box called a Thin Client. Less expensive than traditional towers, the Thin Clients are also much smaller and lighter. VDI technology creates the user’s profile and stores it on a remote server, accessible from any other Thin Client device across Tobyhanna’s vast campus – or the world. The devices are also more cost effective.

“Since processing is done on the server, the hardware requirements for end devices are much lower, reducing the need for new and expensive hardware,” said Shaun Young, an Information Technology (IT) Project Manager in IMD.

Young also touted the benefits of the VoIP installation happening now at the depot.

“VoIP is more mobile and reliable than analog telephone lines,” he said. “The ability to quickly scale down to reduce lines when needed will also present a cost savings for the depot.”

Virtual meeting tools remain in demand despite the reduction of pandemic-related restrictions, according to IMD personnel.  The Solstice Pod, a flexible appliance that hosts Solstice collaboration software and provides support for a broad range of room configurations and equipment, is being installed in conference rooms across the depot for more effective and personal virtual engagements. The tool allows multiple participants to share content and control screens, while connecting to hardware seamlessly. Those who use them say they’re a real time saver.

“The Solstice Pods are very effective at enabling users to broadcast presentations without assistance from IT or audio-visual personnel,” said Grant Chyko, an audiovisual technician in the Public Affairs Office.

NET Day and the implementation of technology across the enterprise directly aligns with Tobyhanna’s long-range strategic plan, TOBY2035, which has four focus areas: Investing in Our People, C5ISR Readiness, Shape the Future and Strategic Communications. TOBY2035 aims to posture the depot for success in the coming years as the Department of Defense's premier worldwide C5ISR readiness provider.

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 3,100 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.