Project team condenses stock, frees storage space
Thomas Becker (right), CECOM Life Cycle Management Command team leader, helps Thomas Damski, material handler, use a forklift to remove UNIDENT items from storage.

TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. - Since 2007, the CECOM Life Cycle Management Command Unidentified Stock (UNIDENT) Project Team has worked to condense the supply of materials at Tobyhanna for higher efficiency.

Their efforts have helped clear 440,000 square feet of storage space and recover stock worth $35 million for fiscal year 2007-08 and $780,000 for fiscal year 2009 have been returned by the Communications Directorate. The directorate is part of CECOM's Logistics and Readiness Center.

This has included an extensive mission to identify the accumulation of misidentified stock and to process, screen, recover or dispose of these materials with a tentative goal of reducing the CECOM account at Tobyhanna Army Depot by 1,100 lines of stock totaling about 100,000 items.

Individual responsibilities for this project required that stock must be visually inspected line-by-line and, when necessary, that new Federal Supply Classification Numbers be assigned prior to disposal documents being issued to the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO).

Thomas Becker, the Multichannel Radio Branch Quality Assurance Specialist for the Communications Directorate of CECOM's Logistics and Readiness Center, is the point of contact for the project.

To aid him in overseeing the disposal of excess and misidentified stock, Directorate interns were delegated to the Project UNIDENT Team. They collaborated with Becker to identify all items, prepare paperwork for the DRMO and determine proper demilitarization codes for disposal.

To date, 42 Logistics and Readiness Center interns have participated in this project and have been instructed in the inner workings of the Depot and Defense Logistics Agency operations at Tobyhanna.

Here at CECOM, the project is being led by Michele Famulary of the Logistics and Engineering Operations Directorate, which has contributed by creating UNIDENT item lists of CECOM's accounts at Tobyhanna Army Depot warehouses. This material was released over a two-year period to allow CECOM workers sufficient time to process the expansive item lists.

After processing and screening by the CECOM team, the newly identified material was sent to a DRMO facility to be staged for resale or disposed of as required. Additional screening was done by Justin Frey, Tobyhanna DRMO representative, to ensure that no classified, secret or hazardous materials were present. DRMO personnel then verified item documentation before transportation out of Tobyhanna and on to a demilitarization facility as necessary.

The UNIDENT project team has rapidly reached their goals, managing hundreds more lines of stock than initially expected.

At the end of fiscal 2007, the first year of the project, 3,031 lines of stock were processed, consisting of nearly 231,400 pieces of equipment. By fiscal year 2008, a total of 4,360 lines of stock had been received, and a total of 443,350 individual parts were processed. By fiscal year 2009, 37,323 more items were processed with a grand total of 480,673 individual parts, 3 percent of which required special handling and disposal.

The items were classified and managed in many different ways: 35 percent was recyclable aluminum, steel or wire; 25 percent waste; 5 percent returned to shops for use as spare parts; 15 percent turned in to the DRMO as electronic scrap to be sent to the demilitarization centers; 15 percent returned to the DRMO for reutilization; and 5 percent returned to the CECOM accounts for immediate use by the item managers.

Aside from the collaboration of the UNIDENT team, CECOM attributes much of their success to the permission granted them by Donald Carroll, Production Support Management, to use Building 87 at Tobyhanna, which also provided space for using related equipment and environmental support. Carroll also granted the CECOM team the assistance of his Tobyhanna dedicated support team, Joseph Iglio and Thomas Damski, both of whom were key players on this project.

"Project UNIDENT has developed into a win-win situation," Carroll said. "Most all square footage cleared from DDTP resulted in additional work space being turned over to Tobyhanna for mission workload."

"We felt it was a good experience for all," Damski added. "We all teamed together moving tons of material from what seemed at times to be an endless trail of materials coming from DDTP."

Under the direction of Communications Director Mark DiPaola, the UNIDENT team reached their project goals eight weeks ahead of schedule, cutting their expected project time and costs in half.

"It was especially gratifying to see the interns actually get hands on experience of the items they manage back at Fort Monmouth," Iglio said. "Many item managers, especially interns, never actually get a chance to see or touch the item they manage.

The fiscal year 2009 UNIDENT project will reach completion upon final filing of paperwork for remaining sensitive items in need of special handling and disposal.

CECOM Team Leader Thomas Becker has received high recognition for work on the UNIDENT project, was awarded a Commander's Gold Coin from the Defense Logistics Agency for performance and exceptional service and also was named one of the Logistics and Readiness Center's Top 10 Employees of 2009.

Carroll called working with CECOM "a pleasure." "Over the past two years the Unident Project team from CECOM consisted of the team lead, Thomas Becker and over 50 interns," he said. "The interns, mostly item managers, come to Tobyhanna usually two at a time for a two week period. During the past two years working with Mr. Becker and the interns, I can honestly say there was never a negative moment with anyone on the team."

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 5,600 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.

Page last updated Mon August 31st, 2009 at 13:43