CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (August 28, 2020) - The Training With Industry (TWI) program is a one year internship that embeds a selected warrant officer into the Organic Industrial Base. The goal of the TWI program is to develop the Warrant Officer’s experience in advanced managerial techniques and provide insight into the relationship between the warrant officer’s industry and specific functions in the Army and Air Defense Artillery (ADA) community. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jesus Gonzalez was selected to participate in the TWI program and has spent the past year immersed in operations at Letterkenny Army Depot (LEAD).
As a 140L Air and Missile Defense (AMD) Systems Technician, Gonzalez had a unique partnership with the depot. “This is our first iteration of TWI, which will help us close the gap in regard to the relationship between the depot and the warfighter,” said Gonzalez when asked about his involvement in the program. The Army has multiple opportunities for Military Occupation Specialties (MOS) TWI programs within the civilian sector, but Gonzalez saw a disparity in the availability of internships within the ADA community. “Our Warrant Officer Branch leadership and Fires Center of Excellence (FCoE) worked relentlessly to establish this position at Letterkenny,” said Gonzalez. “For us, Letterkenny was the ideal host for the Air Defense TWI internship as it will help us develop practices on both sides by amplifying our shared understanding between industry practices and our unit’s Soldiers.”
Gonzalez spent much of the internship embedding himself into the daily operations at LEAD and exploring the capabilities the depot has to offer. “My main focus was to learn as much as I could about the equipment, processes and identify the capabilities of the depot,” said Gonzalez. “I had constant discussions with the artisans and subject matter experts here at Letterkenny to collect as much data as I could to take back to the force.” A key feature of the TWI program is allowing the intern to focus on areas within the depot that directly correlate to one’s MOS. “I learned how the depot operates under an Army Working Capital Fund, program management, the complex synchronization and planning with Program Executive Office Missiles and Space (PEO M&S), Army Capability Manager (ACM) and Army Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to ensure successful execution of Depot maintenance support activities,” said Gonzalez in regard to how the experience contributed to his own professional development.
The TWI program offers multiple benefits to the depot through the intern’s experience, skills and qualifications. “Serving as the Battalion Readiness Officer and Brigade Support Operations Officer greatly helped me while performing my duties here at Letterkenny. Those skills I brought with me came in to use when explaining the areas of operations where our equipment is used in the field,” said Gonzalez. Gonzalez also highlights the benefits he encountered by staying connected within the Air Defense community while participating in the internship. “I was able to not only work and learn from the subject matter experts here at the depot, but was also able to assist other warrant officers within the branch when it came to maintenance operations,” said Gonzalez. “It was great being able to provide information about the ADA units and shed light on how [the units] operate, which is something unique I was able to offer to Letterkenny.”
As Chief Warrant Officer 3 Gonzalez departs from Letterkenny, taking a wealth of knowledge and experience with him, LEAD prepares to welcome the next TWI intern, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Robert Brower. “Chief Warrant Officer 3 Brower is a great Warrant Officer; he will bring his own strengths and will continue to develop the program. His experiences in ADA are not identical to mine, but this diverse perspective will benefit the program,” said Gonzalez. “The advice I gave to Chief Warrant Officer 3 Brower was to stay involved. I challenged him to maintain the relationships that I have established and to grow additional ones that will benefit our branch and the depot. I encouraged him to learn as much as he could and to share his experiences as the end user. Finally, I reminded him to stay focused, motivated and to remember the lessons learned and experiences so he can share them with the operational force and improve our entire 140L and ADA community.”
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Gonzalez enlisted in the Army as a 14E PATRIOT Fire control Enhanced Operator/Maintainer in March, 2000. Gonzalez has served on multiple assignments within the Air Defense community including Systems Analyst/Instructor at the Officer Training Division (OTD) at Fort Bliss, Texas and Fort Sill, Okla. His most recent assignment was as the Brigade Support Operations Officer at 31st Brigade, Fort Sill, Okla. Deployments include Operation Desert Sprint, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Spartan Shield.
Letterkenny Army Depot is the Army’s premier professional organic maintenance facility that provides overhaul, repair and modifications for tactical missile air defense and space systems, electric power generation equipment and various military vehicles, support systems and protection programs. Letterkenny Army Depot was established in 1942 and is a government-owned and operated industrial installation located in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.