Black Hawk system repair surge supports warfighter
February 23, 2009
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. - Flight Control Systems Branch personnel doubled the number of Black Hawk systems they repair and overhaul here to support warfighters in Southwest Asia.
The request, which came from the Army Aviation and Missile Command, was for the branch to increase their production from 20 to 40 systems for January, noted Jim Walters branch electronics mechanic leader.
Six technicians in the branch (two are Student Career Experience Program participants) repair and overhaul the UH-60L Black Hawk Vertical Instrument Display System, which is comprised of five parts: two signal data converters, two pilot display units and a central display unit.
The VIDS is located in the cockpit of the helicopter and constantly provides pilots with accurate information on engine status. The branch is part of the Command Control and Computers/Avionics Directorate's Avionics Division.
"It usually takes about 10 days to overhaul, repair and troubleshoot a system, but the time varies depending on what needs to be repaired," explained Trung Mai.
Normal maintenance includes replacing light bulbs, connectors and power supplies. Because the system is exposed to vibrations from the helicopter, loose hardware needs to be tightened and circuit cards need repair. Each system houses up to 25 circuit cards.
Five test sets, which include a simulator and tester, were used by technicians on one shift, noted Walters, adding that they only made use of about 160 hours of overtime.
"We weren't sure if we were going to be able to finish when the last week approached, but everyone stepped in and did what they had to do," added Walters.
"We care," Mai explained. "And this is how we're able to show it."
Tobyhanna Army Depot is the largest full-service Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance maintenance and logistics support facility in the Department of Defense. Employees repair, overhaul and fabricate 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. The depot is the Army Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence for Communications-Electronics, Avionics, and Missile Guidance and Control Systems and the Air Force Technology Repair Center for ground communications and electronics.
About 5,700 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 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.