CECOM, industry, collaborate to establish organic COTS radio sustainment support
September 9, 2013
CECOM's Logistics and Readiness Center led the way with Product Manager Network Systems, Army DA G8 and Tobyhanna Army Depot to establish organic radio repair capabilities through maintenance partnership agreements between Tobyhanna Army Depot and three original equipment manufacturers, said Ceciliana Cruz, logistics management specialists, LRC.
The agreement addresses depot sustainment capabilities for warranty and non-warranty equipment. Although partnerships are not new concepts in Army maintenance, CECOM plans to leverage the agreements to develop an organic repair capability for use in fiscal year 2013 and beyond, said Cruz.
"In FY 12, we didn't have an organic repair capability for the radios," explained Cruz. "Radios were repaired under warranties or the requesting unit paid the Original Equipment Manufacturer or a Regional Support Center for out of warranty repairs. Having this organic repair capability allows for replenishment of the Standard Army Supply System through repair of Line Replaceable Units."
The assembly program takes Theater Provided Equipment, TPE, returning from Southwest Asia and repairs and assembles the Line Replaceable Units into radios to be used to fill unit Equipment On Hand shortages. The LRC funds Tobyhanna for repair and set assemble support, working hand-in-hand to establish this capability. Under the program, Tobyhanna tests and inspects returning TPE Excess, repairs Line Replaceable Units and obtains ancillary items (i.e. cables, brackets, antennae) and configures them into end items for reissue to fill Equipment On Hand shortages, according to Cruz.
"This is the first time that I'm aware of that units were asked to leave their equipment in theater and return stateside with shortages," said Cruz. She said the radios procured during the war were only for the duration of the conflict and were never meant to be reutilized and transitioned into sustainment. "These radios were purchased to bridge the gap until the Joint Tactical Radios System, JTRS, was developed and fielded. Since JTRS is not yet fielded to its Army Authorized Objective, these radios must remain in the Army's inventory and subsequently be serviced and sustained."
CECOM has budgeted and planned for the reutilization of all available returning TPE in fiscal year 2013, said Cruz. Program quantities are limited by the number of retrograded TPE received and program completion is dependent upon the availability of Overseas Contingency Operations funding. To date, TYAD has been funded $8.7 million for the fiscal year 2013 set assembly effort which will produce 2100 end items of various COTS radio configurations. The requirements have gone up since last fiscal year, said Cruz.
The repair effort will be on-going for the life of the system. The set assembly program will be on-going until all equipment on hand shortages are filled or all TPE assets have been utilized, whichever comes first.