New equipment enriches student experience at High Tech facility

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Story by Justin Eimers on 10/13/2017
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. A Soldier training site here is now able to conduct hands-on satellite communications operations and maintenance simulations thanks to the donation of an AN/TSC-156 Phoenix Multi-Channel Tactical SATCOM Terminal.

The U.S. Army High Tech Regional Training Site (HTRTS) received the equipment with help from Tobyhanna's SATCOM Branch earlier this year. Maj. Bobby Webb, HTRTS commandant, said the system fills a long-standing gap in the site's curriculum.

"The Phoenix was a shortfall in the High Tech for the last five years. Now we can provide realistic training on the system so that when the Soldiers return to their respective units they will have at least a working knowledge of the equipment," he said.

The system came from the Bravo Company, 53rd Signal Battalion, 1st Space Brigade at Fort Meade, Maryland after it was identified as a B-model an old version and was no longer needed. Personnel in the SATCOM Branch's Tactical Satellite (TACSAT) Systems Section coordinated the transfer with Program Executive Office Command, Control, and Communications-Tactical.

Prior to receiving the terminal, Soldiers trained on the Phoenix via a computer-based simulation lab. Eleven Soldiers completed the 25S course recently with help from the new enhanced training capability.

During the training, students learn to install, operate, maintain and repair the tactical terminal while also performing quality control tests, and preventative checks and services on assigned communications equipment, vehicles and generators. Soldiers of the 25S Military Occupational Specialty Satellite Communication Systems Operator/Maintainers are responsible for ensuring lines of communication remain up and running at all times.

Michael Burke, HTRTS training instructor, said the new equipment is complemented by the technical proficiency of depot employees.

"A great advantage of our location is that the centers of maintenance expertise are essentially across the street from us," he said. "We have been able to rely on Tobyhanna personnel countless times to help us keep up with equipment and new training requirements."

"Depot technicians played a vital role in getting the system up and running, providing assistance during the initial power-up and a post inspection after the system was delivered," added Webb.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems across the Department of Defense. Tobyhanna's Corporate Philosophy, dedicated work force and electronics expertise ensure the depot is the Joint C4ISR 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 3,200 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 research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the Armed Forces.

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