Employees of Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD) know training and personal development rank amongst some of the highest of priorities for members of depot leadership. Recently, depot employees Mark Baron and Tracy Kraftchisin of the Strategic Initiatives Office (SIO) and Paul Hoban of the Production Management Directorate volunteered for temporary assignments off-post to develop new skills and gain experiences that would allow them to better support our nation’s warfighters.
Baron, who works as an Electronics Engineer in SIO, traveled to Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland and spent 10 months working in various organizations connected to TYAD’s overall mission. His first assignment was with Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical (PEOC3T) from September 2021 to December 2021. Baron then spent time learning from CECOM teammates in the G3-5 Acquisition Lifecycle Cell from January 2022 to March 2022 and then the CECOM Integrated Logistics Support Center from April 2022 to June 2022.
Among Baron’s responsibilities were helping to procure, field and ultimately develop sustainment strategies for fielding new equipment to the Army. Baron also worked through processes to develop maintenance, supply and funding strategies, all with the goal of gaining more insight into everything else a program office is responsible for in addition to transition to sustainment.
From May 2021 to April 2022, Kraftchisin, who serves as a Logistics Management Specialist in SIO, worked at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. While there, she served as Headquarters, United States Department of the Army’s (HQDA) Communications and Electronics Depot Maintenance hardware Management Decision Package (MDEP) Manager in the Army G4 Directorate for Maintenance Policy, Plans and Programming.
In her role, she led efforts to execute build and prioritization reviews for all Army communications and electronics hardware depot maintenance requirements.
Kraftchisin said volunteering to work at the Pentagon for nearly a year was a prestigious opportunity to gain knowledge at a higher level.
“I am always willing to accept new and challenging responsibilities and opportunities,” said Kraftchisin. “I make a conscious effort to seek career developmental opportunities to expand responsibilities in my current role in addition to seeking opportunities in a new role.”
From March 2022 to July 2022, Hoban, who currently serves as the Chief of Mobile Maintenance Production Management at TYAD, also traveled to Aberdeen Proving Ground for his developmental assignment. While there, he worked with PEOC3T and was able to see the beginning stages of how some systems that go on to be worked on at TYAD are developed.
Hoban said he believes his assignment helped spread the word of TYAD’s mission.
“It was a benefit just for me that Tobyhanna allowed me to go and expand my knowledge,” said Hoban. “If we didn't have people from Tobyhanna that were so engaged with these offices, they really wouldn’t know that we are capable of being involved at the beginning of development processes instead of just at the end providing sustainment support.”
A common idea that was shared across their three different assignments was that of gaining new perspectives and bringing it back to TYAD.
“I strive to always grasp the ‘big picture’ and this assignment provided a new perspective of the Army’s Strategy, the opportunity to learn from others and a greater appreciation of the efforts involved,” said Kraftchisin. “The ability to share the acquisition of knowledge to bring back to the organization as a whole is great. Some examples are the invaluable components of receiving, sharing, giving knowledge and providing guidance.”
Hoban echoed her sentiments while also adding that he hopes PEOC3T gained some of Tobyhanna’s perspective as well.
“The office I was assigned to works with Tobyhanna a lot so I was really able to see how we’re all intertwined and even build some relationships,” said Hoban. “I left the office with the perspective that Tobyhanna has a lot to offer, so it can help them do things such as better develop systems and transition them to sustainment.”
Organizational Development Specialist at TYAD Heather Fiedler said she believes these types of experiences for depot employees serve as great catalysts for personal and professional development.
“Off-post developmental assignments enable high-performing Tobyhanna employees an opportunity to develop interpersonal relationships outside the gates to foster strategic Tobyhanna champions that will positively impact our future missions and workload,” said Fiedler. “Our candidates benefit from holistic, process life-cycle perspectives that inform strategic thinking and vision competencies.”
Ultimately, Baron said he highly encourages anyone to take opportunities that may give them new insights into how the business works.
“Go do it. Take advantage because you gain valuable insights on Army enterprise operations and it is information that you're going to take back with you and use to be much more effective in your position,” said Baron.
These developmental training assignments directly align with Tobyhanna’s long-range strategic plan, TOBY2028, which has four focus areas: Investing in Our People, C5ISR Readiness, Shape the Future and Strategic Communications. TOBY2028 aims to posture the depot for success in the coming years as the Department of Defense's premier worldwide C5ISR readiness provider.
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, 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.