By Ms. Danielle E. Weinschenk
| 335th Signal Command (Theater) | Sept. 11, 2020
Tobyhanna Army Depot team members pose with Soldiers from the 392nd Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 359th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade after the conclusion of their "side-by-side" training in August 2020. (Photo by Thomas Robbins)
Anthony Brandi, Chief of Tobyhanna's SATCOM System Division, briefs Soldiers on the Satellite Transportable Terminal. (Photo by Thomas Robbins)
A chance encounter resulted in an exciting training partnership between Tobyhanna Army Depot and a military unit the organization supports.
Chief Warrant Officer Lance Henderson attended the depot’s Phase II Warrant Officer Advance course in 2016. As a member of the 392nd Expeditionary Signal Battalion, he knew the Satellite Transportable Terminal (STT) his team used every day was repaired on the same base. As luck would have it, representatives from the STT shop visited Henderson’s training, allowing user and his support staff the opportunity to meet face-to-face.
Henderson quickly bonded with STT technicians and leadership, recognizing that each party had valuable knowledge the other needed. When the training was over, Henderson vowed to return to the depot with his unit. He recently made good on the promise for a one-of-a-kind, cooperative training experience.
Twelve Soldiers from the 392nd Expeditionary Signal Battalion attended the inaugural “side-by-side” repair training at Tobyhanna late last month. During the training exercise, the battalion’s own STT was repaired, with depot employees providing step-by-step instruction and guidance as the Soldiers performed hands-on work overhauling the asset. By week’s end, the STT was fully mission capable and the Soldiers had completed all repairs with their own hands.
The training was hosted by Tobyhanna’s SATCOM System Division, part of the C4ISR Directorate. Attendees raved about the benefits of the unique training session.
“This experience has been enlightening. It enabled me to learn troubleshooting and operational skills I can definitely use in the future,” said Spc. Leobardo Carrasco. “The Tobyhanna team was very welcoming.”
Depot employees also benefitted from the training, according to Chase Chervenak, an electronics worker in the C4ISR Directorate’s TACSAT Systems Branch.
“Having the Soldiers here allowed us to put a face to our customer – the Warfighter. It was very rewarding.” Electronics Mechanic Helper David Drobnicki agreed.
“I appreciated the opportunity to hone my instructional skills while helping the Soldiers,” he said.
STT leadership praised the training and Henderson’s willingness to think outside of the box when it came to educating his team.
“Doing the side-by-side training was a first for us,” said John Scott, chief of the Tactical Satellite Systems Branch. “Now, these Soldiers can do minor repairs in the field, heightening their skill sets and ensuring better operational readiness in the field. In addition, our team now knows the people affected by their important work and understands the user experience, increasing our ability to provide superior support to the warfighter.”
Henderson says the “side-by-side” model was so successful that he’s eager to replicate it in the future.
“It’s not a matter of if we come back – it’s a matter of when. Other units now know this is a possibility and I’m sure they will take advantage of it.”
Tobyhanna provides over thirty command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C5ISR) training programs for the Joint Warfighter, averaging 1,700 soldier training days per year. For information on training with Tobyhanna, contact the depot's Reserve Training Coordinator at 570-615-6492.
Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for 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 4,000 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.