Technicians, National Guard work side-by-side to hone skills
July 11, 2014
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. -- School was in session for dozens of Soldiers who provide service and support for automotive track and wheeled vehicles, as well as communication and electronics equipment.
Members of the Maine Army National Guard's 152nd Component Repair Company (CRC) spent two weeks at Tobyhanna Army Depot increasing their ability to rebuild transmissions and engines, machine new parts for weapons systems and repair night vision systems.
Several depot directorates and a tenant agency hosted 57 Soldiers during their annual sustainment training. The company executed over 2,400 hours of work while here.
A large contingent of the company is assigned to the Electronics Platoon, which boasts radar repairers, radio and communications security repairers, computer detection repairs and microwave systems operator-maintainers. The remaining members of the 152nd are skilled in tech supply, ground surface equipment and allied trades.
"The training we received at Tobyhanna makes us a stronger, more capable unit," said 1st Lt. Todd Thompson, platoon leader. "The Soldiers trained and worked alongside the depot's civilian employees to gain in-depth knowledge of the equipment they'll work on in the field."
The hands-on training provided the company's allied trade specialists an opportunity to fabricate more than 1,500 parts for shelters and electronic shop vans. Acquiring extensive experience on the computer numerical control machines, lathes, water jets and lasers proved invaluable to the Soldiers, according to the lieutenant. In addition to creating the parts, they were able to weld over 500 production pieces, Thompson added. Allied trade specialists fabricate, repair and modify metallic and nonmetallic parts.
Technicians here also supplied over 142 hours of guided training on machinist equipment, painting techniques, engineering design and arc welding to the allied trade specialists.
Six Soldiers worked with depot employees in the Environmental Control Branch overhauling environmental control units (ECU) for the Standard Integrated Command Post System, Special Test Inspection and Repair Program, and the Air Defense and Airspace Management System.
"Safety was our first priority," said Michael Dankulich, branch chief. "We made sure everyone understood the risks associated with working on high voltage equipment that develops high pressure when in operation."
The Soldiers then learned the various components that make up an ECU and their purpose. Dankulich mentioned that some were able to practice brazing techniques using oxygen and acetylene gas, and learn how to reclaim and recharge refrigerant in an ECU. For many years the two most common methods of joining copper tube and fittings have been soldering and brazing.
The Soldiers earned high marks from their Tobyhanna trainers. According to Dankulich, personnel here really enjoyed working with the members of the CRC. "Everyone said the 152nd was one of the best teams to come into the shop for training."
One senior member of the CRC remarked that there was a lot of positive feedback from the Soldiers. Tobyhanna was able to provide specialized instruction to the 26 members of the electronic platoon who work on critical military equipment.
"Members of the platoon received a training experience unlike any other," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Robert Salvato, technical advisor. "Tobyhanna delivered training for several low-density military occupational specialty (MOS) skill sets that we can't effectively maintain at our home station."
Depot experts taught the Soldiers how to encrypt, load and calibrate multiple pieces of Nett Warrior equipment. Furthermore, the electronics personal studied the repair and building of cables for systems such as Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station, Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System and Blue Force Tracking. Part of their training also included a four-day course on robotics to learn how to build, program and control the machines.
"This was an excellent experience from a world-class facility," said Pfc. Matthew Theriault, radio and communications security repairer, who was pleased to see there were so many opportunities available to members of the electronics platoon. Theriault remarked that everyone's positive attitude and strong work ethic contributed to a very successful training event.
Members of the unit's heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) section worked on over 90 air conditioners, refrigerators and heat pumps, according to Thompson. The lieutenant explained that the Soldiers learned a lot while helping meet the depot's mission requirements. "Personnel in the Environmental Control Branch demonstrated brazing techniques and how to recover and refill systems with refrigerant and troubleshoot in-depth faults," he said.
In the Defense Logistics Agency's warehouse receiving area, Soldiers spent more than 400 hours processing nearly 50,000 items.
Spc. Shawn Smith, computer detection systems repairer, realized he could apply everything he learned here to his military career. "Thanks to this unique training opportunity, I'm a better, more educated Soldier."
Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Systems across the Department of Defense. Tobyhanna's Corporate Philosophy, dedicated work force and electronics expertise ensure the depot is the Joint C4ISR provider of choice for all branches of the Armed Forces and industry partners.
Tobyhanna's unparalleled capabilities include full-spectrum support for sustainment, overhaul and repair, fabrication and manufacturing, engineering design and development, systems integration, technology insertion, modification, and global field support to warfighters.
About 3,300 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.