By Mr. Anthony Ricchiazzi (CECOM)March 5, 2018
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. -- Technicians are fabricating hundreds of electronics assembly systems in support of the 8th Army in the Republic of Korea (ROK).
The assemblies will establish radio interoperability between U.S. and Korean forces to ensure secure communication between allies and enhance battlefield readiness.
The assemblies, designed by the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) and the Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate, enable radio transmissions between the U.S. Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System and the ROK PRC 999K tactical combat radio system.
"The effort has the visibility of the CECOM commander [Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor]," said Keith Hoffman, chief of the Systems Integration and Support Operations Division, Production Management Directorate. "The systems are basically four foot radio cables integrated onto circuit boards that allow the two radios to securely communicate together. This effort is a prime example of CECOM enterprise working together to provide rapid solutions to dynamic world events."
CERDEC fabricated the first 50 assemblies, 40 of which were delivered to the ROK in February. Tobyhanna is fabricating 400 assemblies to support the initial requirement.
"We're building them from scratch from components fabricated here, such as the aluminum boxes, and commercial of--the--shelf products such as the circuit boards," said Lead Technician Bill Laury, Systems Integration and Support Directorate. "About six electronics technicians and four mechanical and electronics engineers are involved, plus of course Army Contracting Command for the commercial items."
Kelvin Spencer, chief of the directorate's Electronics Fabrication Division, said once the process is nailed down, there should be no problem getting the assemblies to Korea on time.
"Although some of the parts are new to us, Tobyhanna being assigned this mission is due to our ability to adapt to change and immediately move forward," he said. "It's a prime example of our reputation preceding us. The customer could have gone to another source, even a private company."
Logistics Management Specialist Joe Lynn, the project manager for this mission, noted that the teamwork between all organizations was key in getting the assembly to the warfighter as quickly as possible. Lynn works in the Production Management Directorate.
"It was concept to [fabrication] in less than four weeks," he said. "This team effort demonstrates how we work together to provide the best value to the warfighter so they are ready now and in the future."
Electronics Engineer Jason Evans, Production Engineering Directorate, recently traveled to the ROK to participate in testing the assemblies and said ROK army and 8th Army officials were satisfied that they could be used effectively on the battlefield.
"The ROK officers were pleased with the progress made on the RIC-K, from the initial prototype to the finalized capability," he said.
Evans noted that 8th Army personnel present at the testing were fluent in Korean.
"Having the communication lines open made working with the ROK officers fairly straightforward and seamless," he said. "Being able to work directly with U.S. and Allied warfighters in theater was something I've never done before. I honestly found this mission to be one of the more valuable and rewarding experiences in my career at Tobyhanna Army Depot."
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.