Tobyhanna Army Depot specialists cut hours from procedure with innovation

Times Leader Staff | September 20th, 2017 6:14 pm - updated: 6:18 pm.

TOBYHANNA TWP. — Out-of-the-box thinking helped three Tobyhanna Army Depot visionaries realize a goal of minimizing human errors by reducing human participation in a testing process.

It was an innovative idea made real by information technology specialists Brian Medwetz, of Mountain Top, John Kostiak, of Avoca, and Patrick Noel, of Waymart, who work in the Production Engineering Directorate’s Cyber Security Services Branch.

The employees were able to automate the functional testing of the Tactical Ground Reporting system. TIGR provides soldiers with the means to digitally capture, report and retrieve patrol data such as common incidents, residents and leaders of a village.

Automating the process also cut costs by reducing the number of hours personnel spend manually performing the test. A demonstration confirmed the functional test duration for the TIGR system was reduced from eight hours to 30 minutes. The test is conducted about four times a month, which adds up to 30 hours saved.

“… Tobyhanna continues to look for opportunities to improve processes,” said West Pittston resident Donna Askew, chief of the Production Engineering Directorate’s Cyber Security Services. “The efficiency gained will improve Army readiness allowing for shorter timelines to mitigate cyber vulnerabilities in the field.”

Kostiak created the virtual space that gave Medwetz and Noel the freedom to bring their idea to fruition.

“John set up the environment that allowed us to virtualize all the test systems and create automated tests that can almost run independently,” Noel said. “The computerized test is doing the exact same thing a person does during the manual test.”

About 3,200 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, located in the Pocono Mountains. The depot is part of the Army Communications — Electronics Command.

Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor, commander of the Army Communications — Electronics Command, recognizes Patrick Noel, Brian Medwetz and John Kostiak of Tobyhanna Army Depot for their recent innovations.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/web1_Tobyhanna-IT-1.jpgMaj. Gen. Randy Taylor, commander of the Army Communications — Electronics Command, recognizes Patrick Noel, Brian Medwetz and John Kostiak of Tobyhanna Army Depot for their recent innovations. Submitted photo by Jim Lentz

Times Leader Staff


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