Repair teams ready thousands of SINCGARS radios for deployment
Zandra Kuligowski performs diagnostics testing on a Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System at Tobyhanna Army Depot. Technicians doing similar work at other installations have tested and repaired thousands of the radios to ready them for deploying Soldiers. Kuligowski is an electronics mechanic.

TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. - Technicians here have repaired nearly 10,000 Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Systems in support of the Communications Electronics Evaluation Repair Teams program.

CEER Teams of three to six SINCGARS technicians from the SINCGARS Branch, Communications Systems Directorate, have been to Forts Drum, N.Y.; Fort Richardson Alaska; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Bragg, N.C.; and Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

Tobyhanna CEER-T teams from the Laser/Image Optics Branch also repair night vision systems such as the AN/PVS-4 night vision scope for the M-16 assault rifle.

"Like the Image Optics Branch teams, our teams are testing and repairing the radios to return them to the 10-20 standard, the Army Maintenance Standard, which ensures Army equipment is able to perform its wartime mission," said John MacCartney, branch chief.

MacCartney explained that the Army has recently adopted a two-level maintenance concept, Field and Sustainment, in which CEER-T technicians are performing field-level repairs to meet the Army's requirements.

"The CEER-T program was developed to have good operational equipment available for our warfighters to train on when they return from deployment and get them to Fully Mission Capable status prior to future deployments," MacCartney said. "Units returning from the fight send their equipment to co-located installation maintenance sites to support their Reset requirements.

"CEER-T technicians are on site at those installations to support quicker turnaround of equipment than if the equipment is sent to Tobyhanna."

Radios are tested and repaired onsite, and reinstalled into vehicles, MacCartney said. The technicians are supported by CEER-T site leaders from the U.S. Army CECOM Life Cycle Management Command. Components repaired included the power amp, the auxiliary power amp, displays and cables.

Don Suckstorff, electronics mechanic leader, says the work, while traightforward, can provide surprises.

"We went to Schofield Barracks in Hawaii expecting a 45-day mission in support of the 25th Infantry Division, but the division needed an accelerated schedule, plus they needed help reintegrating the radios into vehicles and upgrading the software of some of the radios," he said.
The mission deadline was shortened by 12 days, so the technicians worked 12-hour days starting Jan. 24 to prepare hundreds of pieces of equipment for the division.

"We finished on Feb. 20, six days ahead of schedule," Suckstorff said. "The 25th was very pleased with our work. An important technique we used was to not work on holidays so teams would not be separated. They could work as a cohesive team if they worked the exact same days."

He noted that technicians repaired 120 to 140 components a day.

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.

Page last updated Mon June 2nd, 2008 at 13:28