Tobyhanna, L3Harris Technologies form partnership to maintain Air Force equipment
Representatives from the U.S. Air Force, L3Harris Technologies, and Tobyhanna Army Depot participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new MQ-9 Reaper workload. (Photo Credit: Thomas Robbins) VIEW ORIGINAL

Tobyhanna Army Depot recently celebrated a moment six years in the making.

Depot personnel and partner L3Harris Technologies marked the arrival of the MQ-9 Reaper workload with a ribbon-cutting ceremony late last month.

The Reaper, part of a remotely piloted aircraft system, performs strike, coordination, and reconnaissance missions. The asset is designed for long-endurance and high-altitude surveillance and can carry 15 times more ordnance payload than its predecessor. The Ground Control Station (GCS) serves as the hub for the aircrew, who monitor and control the asset remotely.

The ribbon-cutting was attended by senior depot leadership, personnel from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and L3Harris Technologies - Salt Lake City, UT, as well as members of the depot workforce who supported the project.

Representatives from Tobyhanna’s Strategic Initiatives Office (SIO) have been working with Air Force personnel and L3Harris Technologies since 2016 to bring the workload to fruition. According to Christopher Volch, the endeavor has been worthwhile.

“The project has been fulfilling in many ways for each of the organizations and all personnel involved. Establishing this repair capability at Tobyhanna maintains a proficiency within the workforce and evolves our electronics test, troubleshoot and repair skill sets.” Volch is a logistics management specialist in the SIO.

Personnel from L3Harris Technologies also lauded the effort.

“The partnership between L3Harris and Tobyhanna Army Depot focuses on providing quick and proficient repairs to vital electronic equipment for the MQ-9 Reaper platform. These repairs will help keep the unmanned vehicle available and ready to keep our Country and Warfighters safe from enemy threats,” said Bill Pendleton, Senior Associate Program Manager in the L3Harris Program Management Office.

Tobyhanna will repair two types of line repairable units for the MQ-9 Reaper GCS under a public-private partnership (P3) agreement between the organizations. While the hands-on work for Reaper assets is handled by artisans in the C4ISR Directorate, supporting this critical mission takes a village. Personnel from the Production Engineering, and Production Management all play a key role in ensuring mission success – in addition, of course, to the support provided by L3Harris Technologies and U.S. Air Force partner representatives.

Michael Gerrity, Chief of the C4ISR Directorate’s Aircraft Survivability Equipment Branch says his team is excited for the new mission.

“Our team welcomes the opportunity to gain new capabilities – we believe this is how Tobyhanna stays relevant.”

In his remarks at the ribbon-cutting event, Depot Commander Colonel Daniel L. Horn noted the importance of collaboration when it comes to Tobyhanna’s mission of supporting the joint warfighter.

“We could not execute our mission without the support of partners like L3Harris Technologies.”

According to SIO personnel, P3s enable the Department of Defense (DoD) to leverage the best capabilities currently available, allowing the DoD to provide weapon system support and achieve affordable operational readiness for the warfighter. To date, the depot has executed over 540 partnerships since the P3 program started in 1996. SIO is currently pursuing more than 60 new projected partnering opportunities.

The new workload is directly aligned with Tobyhanna’s long-range strategic plan, TOBY2028. The plan, which focuses on posturing the depot to be competitive in the future, has lines of effort dedicated to expanding Tobyhanna’s portfolio through securing new workload and connecting with the community. The MQ-9 Reaper effort represents growth for the depot’s already-vast support of U.S. Air Force assets.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C5ISR) systems across the Department of Defense. Tobyhanna’s Corporate Philosophy, dedicated work force and electronics expertise ensure the depot is the Joint C5ISR 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 3,500 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 empower the Soldier with winning C5ISR capabilities.