Multi-year mission culminates in historic target missile launch
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Tobyhanna Army Depot's Quality Engineer Leonard Zito (standing on Humvee) and Missile Defense Agency personnel stand next to a blast barrier on Launch Hill on the Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands one day prior to launch. A laun... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Multi-year mission culminates in historic target missile launch
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. -- "It's hitting a bullet with a bullet."

Those were the words of Vice Adm. James Syring, previous Missile Defense Agency (MDA) director, following a test on May 30 which marked the first time in U.S. missile defense history that an intercept missile successfully hit an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) target.

Syring's remarks alluded to the complexity of the Flight Test Ground-Based Interceptor 15 (FTG-15) mission, in which a target missile was launched from the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, tracked by a variety of sensors, and then intercepted by a missile launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

At the Kwajalein Atoll, a team from Tobyhanna was responsible for the equipment that transported the target missile and supported it during the launch. This included road testing of the trailer to identify potential logistical issues. The team also conducted structural analysis and load testing of the launch stand to ensure it met necessary specifications.

"The Tobyhanna team did a tremendous job for Targets and Countermeasures and we look forward to working with them in the future," said David Goodall, logistics management specialist for the MDA's ICBM Targets Program.

Tobyhanna began providing operational support of mission equipment to MDA in 2014. "Our bid came in so much lower than the previous contractor that we won the workload hands-down, even with plenty of competition," said Leonard Zito, quality engineer in the depot's Continuous Process Improvement Directorate.

The team tackled everything from troubleshooting and reverse engineering to electrical, structural and corrosion problems with the mission equipment.

Wiring needed to be traced and labeled, and later required reprogramming for circuits, switch controls and power cables to hydraulic systems. Operational support also included making modifications to the design of several pieces of equipment. All repairs and changes were inspected, tested and approved by the MDA. Detailed logs of all repairs were kept, including the torque specifications of every bolt.

According to David Shuleski, logistics management specialist in the Production Management Directorate's Field Support Project Management Branch, the success of the mission and quality of support has paved the way for future work with MDA.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems across the Department of Defense. Tobyhanna's Corporate Philosophy, dedicated work force 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 logistics support for sustainment, overhaul and repair, fabrication and manufacturing, engineering design and development, systems integration, post production software support, technology insertion, modification, foreign military sales and global field support to our Joint Warfighters.

About 3,200 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.