Depot begins work on biological detectors for soldiers

Employees of the Tobyhanna Army Depot in Pennsylvania have begun fabricating and populating over 1,700 kits that will enable soldiers worldwide to test water samples for biological and chemical threats as well as radiation.

Fabrication of the components for the kit began in August, which will include radiac meters and detectors. The Tobyhanna personel will also check sources of the kits, which include commercial items and government-furnished equipment, to ensure the equipment is in working condition.

Soldiers use the kits by evaporating water through a heating source and testing the residue that is left behind.

The Army will receive 1,058 of the kits and the Navy will receive 645. The hope is to begin populating and delivering the kits by the end of the year. Following that, the depot intends to produce 100 of the kits each month. Tobyhanna is currently the only installation working on the kits.

"This is slightly different workload than the large systems Tobyhanna is used to working on," Russ Burnett, logistics management specialist, told Army.Mil. Burnett described the kits as a "small, standalone, self-sufficient end item being used in the field."

The Tobyhanna Army Depot is the largest Defense Department center for the repair, overhaul and fabrication of a wide variety of electronic systems and components and employees approximately 5,600 personnel.