Modification kits await their turn at the OCONUS location. Letterkenny Army Depot personnel applied modifications to the 35th ADA Brigade from January through September 2017
Letterkenny Workforce Provides Exceptional Support to 35th ADA
By: Janet S. Gardner, Letterkenny Public Affairs
Ready. Willing. Able.
Three words synonymous with Letterkenny Army Depot (LEAD) for more than 75 years. Three words that describe the Depot workforce’s dedication to Soldier support. Three words that produce successful outcomes.
The depot stood ready to support a directive from the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army to reduce stress and modernize forward-stationed Patriot forces as soon as possible. LEAD’s workforce was more than willing to support this priority effort to upgrade and modernize the 35th Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Brigade Patriot missile system equipment to the latest configuration, C3+. And, not only was Letterkenny able to complete the mission by the target date of September, it pulled out all the stops and accomplished the mission two weeks ahead of schedule.
The major modification effort included two Patriot Battalions’ major end items and one Operational Readiness Float asset. This seven-month effort was comprised of a total of nine Engagement Control Stations (ECS), nine Radar Sets (RS), two Information Control Centrals (ICC), six Communications Relay Groups (CRG), and eight Battery Maintenance Centers (BMC).
Raytheon, the Lower Tier Project Office (LTPO), and Letterkenny understood the magnitude of this effort and the fact that any single one of these modifications would be a major mission in itself, but installing all of these simultaneously was a ginormous undertaking. A modernization of this size had not been accomplished since the 1990s.
This was a depot-level modernization effort, where teams actually brought Patriot systems into a large building and tore them down to nothing and basically rebuilt them with new components according to Col. Mark Holler, commander of the 35th ADA during the time of this modernization.
At the helm of that effort was LEAD, the Department of Defense’s Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence for Air Defense and Tactical Missile Ground Support Equipment. The Directorate of Industrial Operations’ (DIO) Jim Woolf and Tom Gagahan were instrumental in the planning and coordination efforts with Raytheon and LTPO that produced and executed an aggressive, mission-focused schedule to accomplish the objectives set forth. “It wasn't a matter of whether or not we could do it, it was how and when to execute,” said Woolf.
He referred to Gahagan as being the ‘master mind’ behind the operation as Gahagan led the coordination of the depot’s teams. The team of highly skilled electronic integrated systems mechanics, augmented by other depot personnel, basically set up an entire Depot operation. This team was the ‘hands-on’ artisans in the field who applied the modifications, validated hardware, ensured test requirements were met and, ultimately, provided the Soldier a fully mission-capable air defense system.
Four continuous rotations of 10-14 depot personnel began the modernization effort late in January. The depot’s fielding teams performed the modifications in an airplane hangar outside the continental United States (OCONUS). This was the only facility available that had the size and work space to accommodate four shelters and two radars in addition to having room to spread out modification kits and tooling necessary to meet this very large and combined upgrade effort. Twelve-hour workdays were many times necessary to maintain schedule.
|Depot employee Josh Gahagan removes the high volt power supply from the radar. Letterkenny provided highly skilled technicians to apply the latest Configuration C3+ to the 35th ADA Battalion stationed OCONUS.|
|Depot employee Chad Ramsey removes DSP2/DSP3 chassis mounting points as part of the modifications to the Patriot system for the OCONUS based 35th ADA Battalion.||Letterkenny’s Fern Naugle, one of the electronic integrated systems mechanics providing support to the 35th ADA Battalion, scrapes and sands the interior walls of a shelter.|