Sew, what’s new?


Tobyhanna, PA – Greentown resident Bill Butts, fabric worker, uses one of the 18 sewing machines in the Woodworking/Fabric Application Branch to stitch together pieces of a pole bag for the Tactical Satellite Communications system. The branch boasts 19 fabric workers who repair, modify and fabricate carrying cases and protective covers for communications, electronic and photographic equipment. Workers also recover, reline and replace hardware, fittings, and trimmings on all types of carrying cases for defense communications equipment. Employees create items such as tarpaulins, air conditioner covers, tie down straps and blackout curtains out of various materials, including vinyl, canvas, rubber and foam. Items requiring blackout capability are fabricated using a hot air welding machine in lieu of a conventional sewing machine. The branch also employs 11 carpenters who fabricate multiple compartment cabinets, countertops and displays, which involves cutting, shaping and assembling parts and making complex patterns.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is the Defense Department’s largest center for the repair, overhaul and fabrication of a wide variety of electronics systems and components, from tactical field radios to the ground terminals for the defense satellite communications network. Tobyhanna’s missions support all branches of the Armed Forces.

About 5,600 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 CECOM Life Cycle Management Command. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., 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 by Steve Grzezdzinski)