TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. — Five Army chief warrant officers from across the country recently spent two weeks at Tobyhanna Army Depot participating in Phase II of the Warrant Officer Advanced Course, or WOAC.
The two-week course gave the officers an opportunity to broaden their experiences and knowledge of Tobyhanna’s organizational structure and business processes for the purpose of developing and increasing technical competency.
The course material focused on sustainment maintenance operations and capabilities, Lean Six Sigma practices, production, planning, budgeting execution and Army Working Capital Fund. The program combined classroom training and shop floor shadowing assignments to explain the depot’s role in the material enterprise.
Prior to coming to Tobyhanna for Phase II, the officers attended a seven-week academic instruction course at Fort Lee, Virginia, for Phase I, laying the groundwork for Phase II and, eventually, for the 11-week technical session (Phase III) at Fort Gordon, Georgia.
“Phase I gives us the basics, but when we came here we got to see the implementation of various processes and the improvements they produce,” said CW2 Keith Graham, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia.
According to the Memorandum of Agreement between the Army Materiel Command and the Combined Arms Support Command, the courses are designed to produce warrant officers that are fully competent in technical, tactical and leadership skills, and are creative problem solvers able to function in highly complex and dynamic environments.
“The concept is to make us well-rounded so we can apply all of this new knowledge once we get back to our organizations,” said CW2 Kelshall Williams, 325th Brigade Support Battalion, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Brian McLeod, 642nd Aviation Support Battalion, New York National Guard, said the training here provided insight into depot processes that can be applied directly to his organization.
“I’ve learned several management and Lean processes that would dramatically increase our productivity,” he said. Graham added there are benefits he can also bring back to his command.
“We have many small work orders that come in with quick turnarounds, so the scheduling aspects learned from this training would help us a great deal. We have also found better ways to communicate with our employees and subordinates,” he said.
Each officer commended depot personnel for their enthusiasm in teaching the course and for their ability to easily relay information at all levels.
“I initially thought this was going to be way above my level and that the instructors wouldn’t be able to relate the information to me, but when I got here and realized that I was able to understand everything and could quickly turn around and relay it to my Soldiers, it was really eye-opening,” said Graham.
Tobyhanna Army Depot has been authorized 12 slots for each of iteration of Phase II and is scheduled to host the WOAC four times per fiscal year. The next course is slated for April 2016.
Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for C4ISR 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 3,100 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 research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the armed forces.
Photo credit: Mike McKeefery (right), chief of the Systems Integration and Support Directorate’s Fabrication and Assembly Division, shows an aluminum signal entrance panel formed in the Sheet Metal Fabrication Branch to (from left) CW2 Brian McLeod, CW2 David Hammel, CW2 Keith Graham, CW2 Kelshall Williams and CW4 Shelton Mickel during a tour of the depot’s mission areas. (U.S. Army photo by Steve Grzezdzinski)