Employees trained, ready to test encryption devices
April 11, 2011
- Communications specialists use sophisticated equipment to test encryption devices arriving from the field.
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, PA. - Communications specialists here will soon be using sophisticated equipment to test encryption devices arriving from the field.
The employees are trained and new test stations are in place, ready to screen KGV-72 Programmable In-Line Encryption Devices that are part of the Blue Force Tracking (BFT) system. The encryption device allows for secure exchange of information.
Members of the Communications Systems Directorate's Secure Communications Branch will use a fault test verification kit to screen the assets to certify operability. The screening process takes about one hour to complete. Units are repaired by the manufacturer.
"We're all excited to work on this complex piece of equipment," said James Kondratick, branch chief. "The work we do here will ensure mission success for the warfighters."
In preparation for the new workload, the branch received two test sets and employees have been training on six KGV-72 devices to improve their proficiency. The test kit attaches to an assembled BFT system, which uses a transponder and satellite to check to see if the encryption device is working properly.
"This is a very advanced system and we faced some challenges," said Kyle White, electronics worker. "We worked hard and the training really helped us get ready to receive this new asset."
The KGV-72 was developed as part of the Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade-and-Below (FBCB2) Encryption Device Program. The device is a high-grade security solution that is compatible with existing and future BFT terminals and transceivers. The KGV-72 operates seamlessly with installed FBCB2 remote computers and provides high-grade traffic data encryption.
"I'm looking forward to working with this new device," said Bob McLaughlin, electronics mechanic, noting that a lot of people rely on this equipment to do their job. "It's state-of-the-art technology used by warfighters in the field - they deserve our best."
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 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.