By Randy TisorMarch 30, 2009
FORT CARSON, Colo. - The Tobyhanna Army Depot Forward Repair Activity on Fort Carson, Colo., hosted an open house March 11 to get the word out about their newly remodeled facility and electronics repair expertise.
Ed Scroggins, FRA site lead, said the open house was an opportunity for FRA staff to get to know the electronic repair and maintenance needs of the Fort Carson community. Scroggins added that, due to a lot of deployments and turnover in personnel at Fort Carson, many people weren't aware that an FRA existed on post.
According to Scroggins, the FRA handles standard Army maintenance information systems, including desktop computers, laptops, printers and general office automation equipment.
He noted that a large part of the team's Fort Carson mission also involves command post systems and integration as well as air defense and air management systems maintenance.
"We're hardware repair - if a system is broken, units bring it to us. Most of the time, we're able to get that system back to the unit sometimes in 72 hours or less."
Scroggins said that the Carson FRA team also services and supports trailer mounted support systems, power systems international systems, generators and environmental control systems.
"We have field support representatives here at Fort Carson that deploy with units to service their command post systems and integration systems and also the air defense air management systems," Scroggins added. "It's easier for us to repair that system in the field while the unit is deployed rather than pulling that system out and shipping it back to the United States."
According to Scroggins, all of the current FRA staff have a military background and, collectively, the small group has upwards of 150 years of technical expertise. The team can also draw on the resources of the vast pool of knowledge in residence at Tobyhanna Army Depot or from any of the many other FRAs around the world.
"Tobyhanna Army Depot is the largest electronics depot in the world," Scroggins said. He added that there are FRAs in Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Germany and almost every major post in the United States. "If there's a military facility close by, we're close by," he said.
Scroggins added that when one or more of his team members deploy with a unit, they are, in effect, a temporary FRA.
"When we deploy into an area of operation, we can assist any unit that comes in and out of that area. We're versatile enough that we can go out there and support those other units that require our support," Scroggins said.
"(The FRA staff has) been very helpful," said 1st Lt. Sarah Frederickson, signal officer for 704th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. "They make themselves available when we're doing our training exercises so that if there are any issues that arise, they are able to jump in and help out. It's made my life a lot easier."
Frederickson said that the Soldiers in her battalion, like Soldiers everywhere, have a lot on their plates when it comes to training.
"They're warriors," Frederickson said, "so they have to fulfill all of the requirements for training ranges and shooting, moving and communicating, so not all of them can get the breadth of knowledge that these (FRA) guys have. That's where the bridge happens. We get as much information from them as we can and it kind of fills all the holes that we might have missed if training wasn't able to be processed completely by Soldiers."
"I've had two (FRA technicians) who've been very attentive to our brigade and my unit. I really appreciate their help and I hope to continue that relationship in the future," Frederickson said.
About 40-50 members of Fort Carson units and directorates took advantage of the opportunity to see the new facility and meet FRA team members.
The Tobyhanna Army Depot FRA has been on Fort Carson since 2004 and in its current location on O' Connell Blvd. for almost two years.
For more information, contact Ed Scroggins, 719-526-9750 or 719-526-9760.