TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. - Tobyhanna Army Depot has won the 2008 Army Chief of Staff Maintenance Excellence Award for Depot Maintenance.

Depot employees earned the high-level award for delivering rapid and effective maintenance, fabrication, modification and worldwide field support.

Depot commander Col. Ron Alberto and other depot officials attended the 2008 Combined Logistics Excellence Awards ceremony and banquet June 3. Winners were chosen from across the total Army in several categories - to include Active, National Guard and Reserve components. The ceremony was held at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel, Alexandria, Va.

"It was my honor to represent Team Tobyhanna and to walk across the stage and receive the 2008 CSA Maintenance Excellence Award for Depot Maintenance," Alberto said

Accompanying Alberto at the event were Suzanne Rudat, deputy director of the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Directorate; Cindy Evans, chief of the Air Traffic Control Scheduling Division, Production Management Directorate; Michael Rusinko, electronics engineer, Productivity Improvement and Innovations Directorate; and Ed Farrell, chief of the Engineering Design Development and Manufacturing Division, Production Engineering Directorate.

"Sue, Cindy, Ed and Mike represented all who were responsible for our nomination package and the excellent work of every member of our depot work force," Alberto said. "I thank everyone responsible for this win and to pledge my continued support as we move forward to compete later this year with winners from the other Services for the Secretary of Defense Robert T. Mason Award for Depot Maintenance."

"While the award nomination format requires a focus on selected systems, winning this Army Maintenance award is a total depot accomplishment," stated Frank Zardecki, deputy commander. "This is a prestigious award, and one we could not have earned without the commitment and hard work of personnel across the installation. We have rapidly expanded our work force, taken on substantially increased workload and met accelerated schedules without diminishing the quality of our products and services."

In competing for this year's award, Tobyhanna highlighted its rapidly expanding expeditionary capabilities and significant logistics process improvements on three critical counter mortar radar systems, said Ann Super, program analyst, Business Management Directorate. The systems are: the AN/TPQ-48 Lightweight Counter Mortar Radar (LCMR), and the AN/TPQ-36 Mortar Locating and AN/TPQ-37 Artillery Locating radars, referred to as Firefinder. They enable U.S. and allied forces to "backtrack to origin" incoming mortar, artillery and rocket attacks by enemy forces.

Rusinko noted that Tobyhanna has an outstanding history of assuming challenges for maintenance programs and delivering results beyond customer expectations.

"Our highly skilled and team-based work force, focused through a proven corporate philosophy, has created momentous improvements in quality, cost, response and operational availability," he said.

"Tobyhanna is aggressively transforming the Counter Mortar Radar business processes through Lean and Six Sigma methodologies to streamline operations, eliminate waste, reduce costs, enhance quality, and increase production rates for the warfighter," said Rudat.

These significant savings directly result in warfighters receiving critical weapon systems to accomplish their mission as well as save lives, she added.

Lt. Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, deputy chief of staff, G-4, presided over the ceremony. Before announcing the ceremony's guest speaker, she told logistics Soldiers that the Army is proud of them.

"There is something about being in a room surrounded by a bunch of winners - it just feels really good," she said. "Our Army is extremely proud of you and so am I. To all of you, you represent what is good about our Army."

Lt. Gen. Stephen M. Speakes, deputy chief of staff, G-8, spoke to the Soldiers and Army civilians, commenting on what they had done for the Army and comparing them to the logisticians who kept Soldiers supplied during World War II.

"You have to go back to World War II to see an Army that has sustained combat formation, in combat, the way you have - (to find an Army) to be able to compare and contrast what you have achieved. That is no small tribute to your accomplishments."

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 5,800 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.

Editor's Note: Parts of this story were taken from an Army News Service article by C. Todd Lopez.