Depot only organization 'Resetting' TRC-190 high frequency radios
June 18, 2008
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. - The depot is the first and only agency operating a Reset program for the AN/TRC-190 High-Capacity Line-of-Sight (HCLOS) radio system. Technicians have performed the mission since 2006.
The AN/TRC-190 is a multichannel radio terminal that allows point-to-point ultra high frequency radio links between various nodes of the Mobile Subscriber Equipment system.
"Reset" is the refurbishment of equipment from Southwest Asia that is worn or damaged by higher operating tempo, rough desert environments and limited maintenance available during war-time operations. Reset involves the repair and replacement of components and parts.
When the systems arrive at the depot, employees in the Digital Group Multiplexer/Mobile Subscriber Equipment (DGM/MSE) Branch begin the repair part of the program. The branch is part of the Communications Systems Directorate's Voice Communication Division. Three shifts inventory, evaluate and disassemble the system.
Employees in the Systems Integration and Support Directorate test and repair power and lighting, utility and equipment outlets, and repair the shelter itself.
"Each piece of equipment is repaired so that it is fully operational," says Sean Finan, an electronics mechanic leader in the branch. Everything that comes out of the shelter is repaired and repopulated because of the rough environmental conditions the shelters endure in the field, such as sand damage, he added.
One component that is extracted from the TRC-190 is the AN/GRC-245 HCLOS radio. It provides about 8 megabytes per second (Mbps) of data, which increases the capacity of the Army's Area Common User System network.
The radio has a 99.9 percent reliability rate, and its range results in using the minimum occupied frequency spectrum. The amount of spectrum a radio takes to transmit data is critical because spectrum becomes more crowded with the deployment of new systems.
Also, the Forward Repair Activity (FRA) sites send radios here and technicians verify if they need repair. If it is still under warranty, it is sent to the manufacturer for repair.
"In the past, parts were sent directly to the manufacturer for repair and there was nothing wrong with them," explained Roger Burridge, an electronics mechanic in the branch.
The depot sends the radios to the manufacturer and sends working radios to the FRA. "This saves Soldiers about two months in turnaround time," he says.
"We receive about 50 percent of the radios from Iraq," Burridge said.
They also receive equipment from Fort Lewis, Wash., Fort Bragg, N.C., Fort Drum, N.Y., he adds.
Next, employees rebuild the shelter with the refurbished equipment and test it.
The repair cycle time takes 60-90 days to complete and goes through eight different inspections during that time. The final inspection is performed after the TRC-190 system is mounted on a Humvee.
Tobyhanna Army Depot is the Defense Department's largest center for the repair, overhaul and fabrication of a wide variety of electronics systems and components, from tactical field radios to the ground terminals for the defense satellite communications network. Tobyhanna's missions support all branches of the Armed Forces.
About 5,800 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 CECOM Life Cycle Management Command. Headquartered at Fort Monmouth, N.J., the command's mission is to research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control, computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the Armed Forces.