Depot sets stage for future communications systems workload
October 24, 2013
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. -- Tobyhanna is in the final stages of securing a new workload that could bring more than $1 million and 24,000 manhours of work to the depot next fiscal year.
Depot personnel have been working together with Product Manager (PM) Warfighter Information Network-Tactical Increment 1 (WIN-T Inc1) to develop a suitable and affordable Product Support Strategy for the WIN-T Inc1 program. The effort could bring up to 38 AN/TSC-167 and AN/TSC-185 Satellite Transportable Terminals (STT) to the depot per year, beginning fiscal 2015.
In preparation of these incoming systems, two STTs, one AN/TSC-167 and one AN/TSC-185, were inducted here on July 22 for overhaul and are serving as engineering models to help the depot develop capability for each terminal type.
"Right now, we're using these STTs as engineering models to validate and verify our overhaul and test procedures," said Kevin York, chief of the depot's Satellite Communications Division. "The PM also provided two AN/TSC-167s to establish a maintenance support system. This will allow us to test components from future overhauls against a 'golden standard,' saving time and money."
The two new terminals are part of the suite of equipment that provides the warfighter with "Networking At-The-Halt" capability. Since Tobyhanna already supports the AN/TSC-93E Lynx, AN/TSC-154 Secure Mobile Anti-Jam Reliable Tactical Terminal (SMART-T) and AN/TSC-156 Phoenix, personnel can use prior knowledge, experience and cross-training to easily transition into this workload.
"We've got the facilities, we've got the people and we've got the ability," said York. "The biggest challenge will be getting everyone up to speed on the systems as quickly as possible."
Depot personnel working on the terminals have invested time in off-duty training as part of Tobyhanna's employee development program.
The knowledge and skills attained from courses in networking and information systems has proven instrumental in understanding and troubleshooting these systems.
"We have been able to leverage what personnel have learned through networking training courses and apply it to the skills needed to overhaul these terminals, which contain a high number of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) networking equipment," said York.
Another challenge facing personnel overhauling the STT systems is the difficulty finding part numbers for COTS items.
"Tobyhanna develops and fosters a relationship with the PM's office to ensure there is an established and supported supply chain activity for organic support," said Christopher Howe, logistics management specialist in the depot's Satellite Communications Branch. "This process continues when the system is transitioned to the Logistics and Readiness Center for life cycle sustainment and provisioning."
Tobyhanna's effort to overcome challenges and prepare personnel and facilities for the STT workload has been recognized by Caroline McCarthy, chief of WIN-T Inc1, Readiness Management Division Logistics, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
McCarthy said the collaborative effort between the depot and WIN-T Inc1 has included the performance of a Core Logistics Analysis and Core Depot Assessment and Source of Repair Analysis, which identified the WIN-T Inc1 items that require organic depot-level support.
"A key input provided by Tobyhanna in these analyses was the capability and capacity evaluations," she said. "These evaluations help determine the minimum depot workloads and gaps in training, test equipment, etc., and have to be filled to meet warfighter operational requirements. Tobyhanna will continue to play a key role as this program transitions to organic support capability."
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 3,700 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, Md., 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.