Soldiers' night vision repaired
May 6, 2008
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. - Technicians here supporting a new repair program have rapidly repaired thousands of night vision systems stateside and overseas.
The repair program, called Communications Electronics Evaluation Repair Team, or CEER-T, supports the test and repair mission (called Reset) of night vision systems and the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) used in Southwest Asia.
CEER-T is an effort to augment the directors of logistics at various installations in support of the Reset of SINCGARS and night vision systems. Directors of logistics would request support for SINCGARS and/or NVG. A team would be dispatched after a meeting with the directors of logistics at the installations.
The CEER-T work out of pre-positioned conexes provided by the U.S. Army CECOM Life Cycle Management Command, says Richard Woodworth, director of Communications Systems. The maintenance conexes contain test equipment to support the assigned missions and the supply conexes house spare parts needed to support repair. The conexes are kept at Tobyhanna until a requirement is generated by a customer, such as Fort Drum, N.Y.
"We are repairing AN/PVS-4 and AN/TVS-5 night vision sights, AN/PVS-7A, B and D, and AN/PVS-14 night vision goggles," said Andrea Cool, electronics mechanic supervisor, Laser/Image Optics Branch, Electro Optics/Night Vision Division.
The division is part of the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Directorate. The AN/PVS-4 is mounted on small arms such as the M-16 assault rifle. The AN/TVS-5 is mounted on the M-2 .50-caliber machine gun. The AN/PVS-7A, AN/PVS-7B, and AN/PVS-7D are helmet-mounted binocular night vision goggles and the AN/PVS-14 is a monocular night vision goggle.
Teams of seven or eight depot technicians have traveled to Forts Drum, Bragg (N.C.) and Hood (Texas), and to Germany, and have repaired about 6,000 systems since the mission began in November 2007. The technicians for the SINCGARS and night vision systems are supported by CEER-T site leaders from CECOM.
Currently Night Vision Division is performing a Reset mission here at the depot. Technicians are field repairing goggles for the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
This is the first time the CEER-T team is 'working from home.'
"It's basically the same mission here as on the road, only we are not providing depot-level repair," said David Kakareka, electronics worker. "We repair or replace parts, perform minimal cleaning, then the devices are sent back to the Soldiers."
"Some of the goggles and sights are in bad shape," says Jerry Kapinus, electronics worker. "They have sand in them, scratches and broken parts, but very few have critical damage, like smashed lenses."
The electronics workers worked 12-hour shifts at the installations and found that repairs varied.
"The goggles are less complicated mechanically and usually take less time to repair than the sights," said Joe Pollack.
Cool said when the mission was new, there was a learning curve associated with work and traveling from installation to installation.
"But the team compensated nicely and by the third trip things were working very smoothly," she said. "The team has exceeded all expectations by completing their missions ahead of schedule and is also committed to ensuring our Warfighters have the best product they can turn out."
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 Communications-Electronics 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.