Soldiers Ready to Make Field Repairs Thanks to Tobyhanna Army Depot

Tobyhanna Army Depot has renewed a partnership that ensures warfighters can access repair facilities on the battlefield.

The depot and Product Manager for Sets, Kits, Outfits and Tools (PdM SKOT) will work together to produce new versions of the Armament Repair Shop Set, dubbed the “ARSS V2.”  The workload remains at Tobyhanna after an extremely successful partnership that began with the original ARSS in 2015.

The ARSS is a transportable shelter that serves as a place for Soldiers to repair anything from small arms to field artillery.  It comes equipped with a generator for mobile power, an environmental control unit (ECU), and a wide variety of tools to keep military equipment battle-ready. 

Michael Cook, a logistics management specialist in the Production Management Directorate, said the new iteration of the ARSS incorporates several important process improvements. 

“The asset is no longer mounted on a trailer, and ARSS V2 has eliminated the need for ramps or ramp boxes.  In addition, a smaller ECU replaces the larger, more cumbersome unit from ARSS V1.”

Research, design and development for the ARSS V2 took several years, according to Brian Thomas, an engineer in the Production Engineering Directorate.  Depot personnel worked closely with PdM SKOT as well as representatives from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center to create a prototype based upon Soldier feedback as well as depot “lessons learned.”  Depot personnel fast-tracked completion of the prototype shelter over six months in early 2019.  Once complete, the prototype was subjected to two months of rigorous transportability testing at the Aberdeen Test Center in Aberdeen, Maryland.  Since testing concluded, pre-production planning has continued on the endeavor.  Those involved say the new asset will be a big success.

“The final ARSS V2 is easier and cheaper to produce – a win for both Tobyhanna and our customer, PdM SKOT,” Thomas said.  “In addition, it is more user-friendly for the Soldier.”  Donald Vozzi agreed.

“We are extremely proud of ARSS V2 – especially because we’ve been able to cut the asset’s production time in half.  That means Soldiers in the field are getting the equipment they need quicker.”  Vozzi is the chief of the Systems Integration and Support (SIS) Directorate’s Electronic Shelter Systems Branch.

David Graham is the Assistant Product Manager for ARSS V1 and V2 at PdM SKOT.  He says the partnership has been a great experience.

“Tobyhanna has done a great job with ARSS V1 and we are excited to begin building ARSS V2. We are pleased to have a partner in identifying manufacturing efficiencies.”

The completed ARSS V2 is the culmination of collaboration across many depot organizations.  Necessary cabling is built in SIS’s Strategic Systems Cable Branch, while other SIS artisans fabricate brackets, raceways, and work benches.  SIS also supports vital testing operations for the ARSS V2 internal generator and ECU to ensure proper operation as well as refinishing requirements such as metal deburring and painting.  Overarching project support comes from the Production Engineering, Production Management and Quality Management Directorates. 

“Like many projects at Tobyhanna, ARSS V2 is a team effort.  We [SIS] couldn’t do it without our teammates,” said Vozzi.

The continued partnership between Tobyhanna and PdM SKOT is directly aligned with the depot’s long-range strategic plan, TOBY2028 – specifically the C5ISR Readiness and Shape the Future lines of effort.  Heather Fiedler, the overall lead for TOBY2028, says partnerships are key to a successful future for Tobyhanna.

“Tobyhanna Army Depot is actively engaged in over 100 current and prospective partnerships, which provide numerous benefits to both parties.  These co-operative efforts allow us to best meet mission requirements for America’s warfighters.”

The ARSS workload is funded as a multi-million dollar program over the coming years – with growth potential.

 “PdM SKOT is very happy with our support,” said Therese Paxton, the project manager for ARSS V2. “I believe we will have many opportunities to partner with them in the future in support of warfighter readiness.”