Department of Defense leadership assembles to share knowledge, best practices at Tobyhanna Army Depot

By Danielle Weinschenk and Nicolo ManzoMay 25, 2023

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Materiel Readiness Dr. Vic Ramdass addresses the audience.
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Materiel Readiness Dr. Vic Ramdass addresses the audience. (Photo Credit: Ryan Beilman) VIEW ORIGINAL
Attendees enjoyed an extensive tour of the depot and had the opportunity to learn from subject matter experts.
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Attendees enjoyed an extensive tour of the depot and had the opportunity to learn from subject matter experts. (Photo Credit: Ryan Beilman) VIEW ORIGINAL
Attendees sit at a table and discuss aspects of the presentations.
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Attendees sit at a table and discuss aspects of the presentations. (Photo Credit: Ryan Beilman) VIEW ORIGINAL

Leaders from Department of Defense ammunition plants, depots, and manufacturing arsenals gathered in Northeastern Pennsylvania this week to learn from one another.

Sixty leaders from across the joint services attended the Organic Industrial Base (OIB) Commanders & Leaders Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Meeting, held at Tobyhanna Army Depot from May 22-24. The event served as a unique opportunity for senior leadership to meet face-to-face as they navigate the changing landscape of the modern battlefield.

The Honorable Christopher Lowman, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment, participated in the event virtually and voiced his enduring support for the OIB. He also stressed the importance of modernizing the OIB to support the future force.

Dr. Vic Ramdass, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Materiel Readiness, kicked off the event with an address focused on the future of the OIB. In his remarks, he encouraged leadership to think outside the box and be confident about the opportunities within their own organizations.

“We have the capability; we just need to know we have the capability,” he said.

A highlight of the event was a presentation of best practices by different OIB entities. Letterkenny Army Depot briefed about their use of cold-spray technology for corrosion control; Program Executive Office Strategic Submarines shared their experiences with advanced manufacturing to streamline the maintenance process; and Warner Robbins Air Logistics Complex detailed their use of Reverse Engineering Avionics Redesign and Hybrid Manufacturing (also known as REARM), an effort that helps combat parts obsolescence.  In addition, Rock Island Arsenal outlined their organizational capabilities and Tobyhanna shared the organization’s innovative approach to the traditional depot maintenance process.

Attendees had the opportunity to see Tobyhanna Army Depot’s capabilities firsthand during an extensive tour of the organization’s expansive facilities, which have undergone nearly a billion dollars in renovations during recent years. The experiential learning opportunity earned rave reviews from those who participated.

Donald Olson made the cross-country trip from Sierra Army Depot in California, where he serves as the Deputy Commander. He had visited TYAD in the past and thoroughly enjoyed his visit.

“I’ve seen a lot of growth in the organization. The tours were fantastic, and the people were knowledgeable. I was impressed by both the facilities and the people,” said Olson. Col. Eric Quidley agreed.

“It [Tobyhanna] is amazing. We’ve been truly inspired by the workforce here.” Quidley hails from the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Materiel Readiness, where he serves as a military deputy.

Tom Ray, Acting Director of the Supply Chain Management Directorate, made the trip from Army Materiel Command (AMC) Headquarters at Redstone Arsenal. He said the event reinforces the importance of the OIB as a whole.

“The P2P Meeting shines a spotlight on the OIB’s critical role in warfighter readiness going forward.”

Attendees had another opportunity for professional development during a comprehensive tour of the Scranton Army Ammunition Plant (SAAP), which manufactures large caliber metal projectiles and mortar projectiles. SAAP has played a key role in the U.S.’s assistance to Ukraine; alongside its sibling plant in Wilkes-Barre, the organization is under contract to produce more than 20,000 artillery shells per month. According to reports by PBS, the U.S. has provided more than $35 billion in weapons and equipment to Ukraine.

Depot Commander Col. Daniel L. Horn says the event was a huge success.

“Tobyhanna Army Depot was honored to host this fantastic gathering of OIB leaders. I believe we all left the event more educated on the state of the OIB and the vast capabilities of each organization,” adding that he felt the strategic goals of the event were achieved.

“During the event, all attendees – especially Team Tobyhanna – expanded our networks and laid the groundwork for future partnerships within the OIB. Going forward, our collective intent is to share capabilities, reduce costs and schedules together, creating immediate operational readiness for the warfighter,” said Horn.

Senior leader engagements like the OIB P2P directly align with Tobyhanna’s long-range strategic plan, TOBY2035. The plan, which charts the organization’s course over the next 12 years, has four focus areas – Invest in Our People, C5ISR Readiness, Shape the Future and Strategic Communications – and 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 3,100 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.