Tobyhanna Army Depot

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Coordinates: 41°11′36.0558″N 75°25′57.36″W / 41.193348833°N 75.4326000°W / 41.193348833; -75.4326000 Tobyhanna Army Depot, is a logistics center for the United States Department of Defense (DoD), specializing in electronic systems. It is located in Coolbaugh Township, Monroe County, near Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania. Established February 1, 1953, as Tobyhanna Signal Depot, today it is a facility for the repair, upgrade and integration of Command, Control, Computer, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems for all branches of the Armed Forces.

Current activities[edit]

The depot's mission is total sustainment, including design, manufacture, repair and overhaul, of hundreds of electronic systems. They include satellite terminals, radio and radar systems, telephones, electro-optics, night vision and anti-intrusion devices, airborne surveillance equipment, navigational instruments, electronic warfare, and guidance and control systems for tactical missiles.

The U.S. Army has designated Tobyhanna as its Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence for C4ISR and Electronics, Avionics, and Missile Guidance and Control. The Air Force has designated Tobyhanna as its "Technical Source of Repair for command, control, communications and intelligence systems". Tobyhanna has gained new missions and workload in each of the five rounds of Defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) between 1988 and 2005.

The depot also is the largest employer in northeastern Pennsylvania, with more than 5,000 personnel working at the installation. The depot's regional economic impact approaches $2 billion annually. The depot also operates 30 Forward Repair Activities at major U.S. installations and overseas, including in Southwest Asia.

In 2005, President George W. Bush delivered his Veterans Day address at Tobyhanna Army Depot, commending the installation as a "facility that has provided critical services for our armed forces" and applauded the depot workers as men and women who have been "carrying out dangerous missions with bravery and skill". In 2006, the depot earned the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing as well as the 2006 Best Manufacturing Practices Award of Excellence.

In late 2016, it was reported that the depot now uses an anechoic chamber to test radars by simulating signals and targets. The initial cost of the chamber was recouped in around eight months because the systems did not have to be shipped to the Yuma Proving Ground.[1]


From 1900–1936, Tobyhanna Lake, and nearby lakes at Gouldsboro and Klondike, were sites of ice collection and storage, producing up to 150 boxcar loads per day between them that was shipped as far as Florida.

In 1912, Tobyhanna had a railway station, telegraph, and post office. At that time the U.S. Army had no artillery training range east of Wisconsin, and Major Charles P. Summerall, commander of the 3rd Field Artillery at Fort Myer, Virginia chose the site as a suitable training range. After leasing land for $300 in 1912 and 1913, Summerall persuaded Congress to authorize the purchase of 18,000 acres (73 km²) for $50,000; eventually the military reservation was expanded to 22,000 acres (89 km²) (according to the Tobyhanna Army Depot) or 26,000 acres (105 km²) (according to Pennsylvania DCNR).

The land was used as a tank and ambulance corps training center from 1914–1918, for artillery training from 1918–1931 and 1937–1941, and to house Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees 1931–1937.[2]

During World War II, initial plans for use of the site as a training site for anti-aircraft artillery were dropped, due to the long range of more modern weapons—some shells strayed onto private land, and "the Scranton Times reported that crews could only fire one or two shells during each pass of a target, and guns were limited to a 65-degree firing arc".[3] Subsequently, the camp became the base of an all-black segregated ambulance corps, and a military hospital (19 single-story structures) was constructed in expectation of casualties from the invasion of Japan. At the end of World War II the military reservation became one of 138 sites around the United States[4] holding German prisoners of war (a maximum of 300 POWs), and was used for storage of gliders used in the D-Day invasion.[5] From 1946 to 1948 it was used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In April 1949, most of the military reservation was returned to Pennsylvania, and converted into Game Land 127, Gouldsboro State Park, and Tobyhanna State Park, while 1,400 acres (5.7 km²), after briefly being transferred to Pennsylvania, were reacquired by the Army Signal Corps in 1951 as the Tobyhanna Army Depot. This site was selected as having access to East Coast shipping and manufacturers while being outside of possible nuclear blast radii surrounding New York City and Scranton. At that time, the decline of anthracite coal mining in the region had led to the unemployment of 35,000 workers in the region, and the new Depot received 600 job applications a day two years in advance of its opening. Tobyhanna is Northeastern Pennsylvania's largest employer.[3]


  1. ^ Unique Chamber Saves US Military in Repair Cycle Costs, Mark Pomerleau,, 22 November 2016
  2. ^ "Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and National Resources". "A Recreational Guide to Tobyhanna and Gouldsboro State Parks" (PDF).
  3. ^ a b Archived 2013-05-09 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ [1] Archived April 23, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD)

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