TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. -- Technicians overhauling a naval gun system component had to use a crane to install its 800-pound, retractable gun port shield (GPS).

Navy officials are working with Tobyhanna Army Depot to develop repair capability for hundreds of the oversized, dome-shaped weather shields protecting Mark 45 guns from the elements and detection. The gun systems are installed onboard ships in the U.S. Navy's fleet and other allied nations.

"This is a win for the United States Navy and Army," said Kevin Jackson, fleet support manager, Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS). "Tobyhanna is doing an excellent job of integrating this work into their core competency of business."

Challenges during the repair process became opportunities to excel for Team Tobyhanna. The goal is to spend $65,000 and six weeks repairing each weather shield. The first joint effort unfortunately missed the mark in both areas, according to Logistics Management Specialist Rob Fried, who is also the project manager for the new workload. He explained that initially a shorter repair cycle time for the weather shield lead to overtime costs. Then a number of challenges extended the project timeline, which led team members to discover new and better ways to meet customer requirements.

Once the first asset arrived, it became clear that small changes would reap big dividends, according to Brian Sivak, production controller on the project. For instance, the team's plan to paint parts simultaneously at multiple locations eliminates assembly delays, he explained. Other improvements include selecting a dedicated location on the depot, outfitted with the tools to support the mission.

Fried and Sivak work in the Production Management Directorate's Program Management and Materiel Management divisions, respectively. Fried works closely with the customer to plan and finance the weather shield workload, while Sivak monitors the day-to-day activities within the shops.

Communication with the customer has proved crucial to the success of this mission.

"We're able to work together to develop capability that meets customer requirements," Fried said. "Everyone is focused on fostering best practices to build a solid process for future workload."

Jackson is determined to streamline the complex processes so Tobyhanna can deliver sea power into the hands of the United States Sailor.

"As Tobyhanna continues to work more weather shields for the Navy, I am confident the price will come down and quality will remain high in overhaul, repair and modernization," Jackson said. "From day one, Tobyhanna Army Depot has been an excellent organization to work with. The employees and management understand Navy business as it relates to weather shield work for the fleet."