By Jacqueline BoucherMarch 17, 2008
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. -The first field Reset of eight AN/ASM-189 electronics vans completed by Team Tobyhanna ensured a Georgia-based Army unit was able to deploy to Iraq.
Two electricians and a sheet metal mechanic traveled to Hunter Army Airfield to repair damages resulting from two previous deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Work was completed in 10 days and the Soldiers were able to meet mission requirements for their third deployment to Southwest Asia.
The depot shipped 2,614 pounds of parts and materials to Georgia to repair the vans, which are assigned to the Avionics Repair Section, Bravo Company, 603d Aviation Support Battalion stationed at Hunter.
"The team spent about two weeks upgrading, testing, repairing and replacing the critical components in our electronics shelters," said Chief Warrant Officer Joe Sylvester, Avionics Maintenance Officer. "We really appreciate the coordinated effort from the professional team at Tobyhanna."
The avionics unit uses the vans to repair all types of avionics systems, including night vision goggles, airborne radios and communication systems, navigation and flight control equipment, aircraft survivability systems, aviation electrical systems, and also ground communication equipment.
Within the past 10 months, the Soldiers have completed more than 4,000 work orders, scheduled inspections and other services while operating three shifts daily.
"Because of the time constraints and the amount of work needed, the unit couldn't ship the vans here for repairs, so we went to them," said John Cramer, [East Stroudsburg resident] production control clerk in the Production Management Directorate's Command Control Guidance and Support Scheduling Division. "I was thrilled with the outcome of this job. We were able to help the warfighter by getting them what they needed, when they needed it."
In 2004, the vans were restored to like-new condition via one of Tobyhanna's recapitalization programs, according to Cramer. However, the desert environment and heavy workload have taken a toll on the equipment, he explained. The 189s showed signs of wear after the consecutive 12-month deployments to Southwest Asia.
The repair team also realized some standard amenities were missing or needed upgrading. For instance, upgrade kits for the electrical systems needed to be installed. In addition, new wires were run, and environmental control unit cables and damaged or broken terminals were replaced.
"Our team installed the 70-amp upgrade kit for the electrical systems," Cramer said. "Now they can test higher amp equipment on all the trailers."
The depot also replaced all the surge suppressors after the repair team found they weren't functioning properly during their initial assessment. Furthermore, the team replaced 15 alternating current and one direct current power supply.
Edward Emelett [Nanticoke resident] remembered the vans were all in pretty rough shape.
"This was one of most productive temporary duty assignments I've ever been on," said Emelett, electrical worker, Systems Integration and Support Directorate's Electronic Services Division. "The cooperation between the Soldiers and the depot was outstanding. They all helped get the job done on time."
Emelett, Richard Onofrey and George Berdak [Drums resident] worked 10-hour days, six days a week to bring the vans back to mission capable status. Berdak is a sheet metal worker, Refinishing Services Division, and Onofrey is retired.
Sylvester said everyone contributed to the success of the mission, from the management coordination that made it all happen to the supply personnel who pulled and shipped the parts, and the field team that performed the work.
"[John] Cramer coordinated the effort to put the right team together and worked out the logistics required to make this work in the short amount of time we had," Sylvester said, adding that the team quickly appraised the work that needed to be accomplished and prepared supply requests on a daily basis to have the critical parts expedited out of the depot stock."
Cramer quickly pointed out that John Teliho [Hazleton resident] also played a pivotal role in the process, explaining that the Electrical Recap Support Branch electrician coordinated all the parts for the vans. "Whenever we needed parts to ship, he gathered, packaged and made sure that they shipped quickly," he said.
The repair team completed all of the work with only about 10 days to spare before we were to load up our equipment and take the vans to the port for shipment to Iraq, according to Sylvester.
"Tobyhanna was right on target with the right technicians and logistical support to ensure we were mission ready for our deployment. We are in our tenth month of deployment and the vans are working great," Sylvester said. "They are our workshops and shelter from the heat and the cold."
Tobyhanna Army Depot is the Defense Department's largest center for the repair, overhaul and fabrication of a wide variety of electronics systems and components, from tactical field radios to the ground terminals for the defense satellite communications network. Tobyhanna's missions support all branches of the Armed Forces.
About 5,500 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 Life Cycle Management Command. Headquartered at Fort Monmouth, N.J., the command's mission is to research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control, computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the Armed Forces.