Team Tobyhanna is using Engineering models to refine overhaul procedures for systems that deliver network access to soldiers anywhere, anytime.
Tobyhanna Army Depot is developing repair and test capabilities to reduce the amount of time it takes to overhaul the AN/TTC-59 Joint Network Node (JNN).
The JNN is one of several Warfighter Information Network – Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 1 transportable network nodes used to establish a network backbone that provides the full range of data, voice and video communications to battalion and above echelons using satellite and line-of-sight communications nodes that can be set up quickly to meet operational requirements.
The Army began fielding WIN-T Increment 1, formerly known as the “Joint Network Node Network,” in 2004, and completed fielding in 2012.
Soldiers can simply pull over on the side of the road to communicate without setting up complicated infrastructure, according to the Army’s WIN-T website. The system includes communication equipment mounted in shelters on Humvees, called JNN shelters, satellite terminals mounted on trailers, and communication equipment mounted in transit cases.
“When a system comes in we do an inventory, pull items, perform a mechanical inspection, and clean all the line replaceable units. Team members also update the software and send items to other shops as required,” said Electronics Mechanic Dave Schrader, lead technician, adding that the team conducts a final performance check once the system is returned to an operational status.
Schrader and the rest of the team work in the C4ISR Directorate’s Tactical Satellite Systems Branch.
Spc. Jayla Sanders’ skills as an information technology specialist with the Army Guard are crucial to updating all the line replaceable units (LRUs) such as routers, switches and network applications on the JNN. Her career at Tobyhanna began two years ago.
“This a great team, we all work well together,” she said. “While I’m doing software upgrades, Dave is handling logistics and supply chain issues and [Electronics Mechanic Michael] Bilski does all the mechanical work.”
Team members said existing technical manuals were helpful when they started overhauling the systems, although not all-encompassing. Process changes or additions were documented with photo and instructions to maintain continuity.
“We discovered better ways to disassemble and reassemble the system,” Bilski said. “For instance, it’s easier to access the back of the components to connect everything together if we fill the racks from top to bottom.”
Electronics Mechanics Chris Sicurella and Tom Adams were introduced to the JNN project while serving a 120-day detail working alongside depot engineers tasked with charting a path forward to meet the customer’s mission requirements.
“The team wants to do everything possible to make the system the best for the warfighter,” Sicurella said. “The notes and papers Tom and I drew up in the early stages of the project, came in handy once the models arrived on the depot.”
The lead engineer for the JNN project, Phu Nguyen, noted that a top priority is to train shop personnel on the system. Other areas of interest include establishing supply sources for obsolete parts and develop in-house fabrication capabilities. Nguyen is an electronics engineer assigned to the Production Engineering Directorate’s C4 and Logistics Engineering Division.
“So far, the customer is happy with the work Tobyhanna is performing on these JNN systems,” Nguyen said. A first article test on the system will be conducted once the development phase is complete. Depot personnel are working on three of the six JNN variants, he added.