TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. (Feb. 12, 2015) -- A team of Army personnel that included two depot technicians gave the Ukrainian army the ability to accurately track mortar rounds.
Lightweight counter mortar radars that backtrack incoming mortar rounds, enabling quick countermeasures recently were delivered to Ukraine. According to the Department of Defense website, the radar systems are the first to be delivered so U.S. Army military and civilian personnel can train members of the Ukrainian armed forces.
Team Tobyhanna arrived in-country and spent two weeks at the International Peace Keeping and Security Center in Yavoriv training Ukrainian soldiers to deploy, operate and troubleshoot the radars.
The Department of Defense's website said that the radar systems are part of the $118 million in equipment and training the United States has committed to assisting Ukraine's armed forces.
Ed Mickley, a depot spokesman, said the training included classroom instruction, hands-on equipment assembly and disassembly, tactical deployment and emplacement. The team taught a cadre of Ukraine army officers how to use the radars.
"The students had extensive hands-on training acquiring live mortar rounds and troubleshooting common equipment faults in the field," Mickley said. "Practical real-world experience was the focus of the radar training."
"The Ukrainians were very receptive to the training," said a U.S. Army radar trainer. "They had a very positive attitude and were eager to learn, knowing that the equipment would help prevent the deaths of fellow [Ukrainian] soldiers."
One of the depot technicians said the Ukrainians are very good soldiers, well educated, knew radars and had done their homework. "They were thrilled to get these radars," he said. "They asked a lot of questions and thoroughly tested the system's capabilities."
"Our initial work was to check three to make sure they functioned as teaching aids," said an electronics technician in the depot's Production Engineering Directorate. They had to modify the radars to accept 220 volt electrical power, the standard in Europe.
By the end of the training, the Ukrainian soldiers could set up the radar as fast as U.S. Soldiers.
"The most challenging part of this mission was the language barrier," Mickley said. "Several translators from the Ukraine Army and the American embassy helped a lot."
"Working with Tobyhanna personnel has always been very beneficial to me," said the Army radar trainer. "I look forward to learning as much as possible from the skilled technicians. This information ensures the training soldiers receive is accurate and current."
The trainer said that he is looking forward to working with Tobyhanna in the future and commends the employees on their knowledge of the systems.
Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or C4ISR, systems throughout the Department of Defense. Tobyhanna's corporate philosophy, dedicated workforce and electronics expertise ensure the depot is the Joint C4ISR provider of choice for all branches of the armed forces and industry partners.
Tobyhanna's unparalleled capabilities include full-spectrum support for sustainment, overhaul and repair, fabrication and manufacturing, engineering design and development, systems integration, technology insertion, modification, and global field support to warfighters.
About 3,100 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 Command. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, 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.