Tobyhanna Army Depot is a military base from Coolbaugh Township, in the eastern part of Pennsylvania. It is mostly used as a logistics center and its primary mission is to deal with repairing, updating and integrating C4ISR systems for any field of the United States of America forces. The name is given after a nearby human community that barely counts 6000 inhabitants.
The general mission of this army depot is to entirely support a wide variety of electronic systems. This means it operates the manufacturing and design process, as well as repairing operations. Such systems include night vision, surveillance equipments, warfare, satellite parts, radar systems, guidance systems for missiles or telephones. The base is said to be the most important such center the Air Force and Army use. It has gained all these missions over the years, while taking in consideration the BRAC (Base Realignment And Closure) commissions from the past, starting with the 1988 one. At the same time, the facility is currently the most important civilian employer from the eastern side of Pennsylvania, with more than 5000 civilians employed on site. Aside from operating in the United States of America, some of the operations are conducted in Southeast Asia in a tight collaboration with the military bases located there. The site was also picked by George W. Bush for the Veterans Day in 2005. He thanked the workers there for their magnificent work. One year later, the place was awarded with the Shingo Prize and the Award of Excellence for its services.
At the beginning of the 20-th century, the area had a relatively high industrial importance due to the ice storage industry. At the same time, the authorities realized the importance of a military base, since there was basically no training range for the artillery troops in the eastern side of Wisconsin. The place was picked by Charles P. Summerall. By 1914, the construction was over. It was initially used as a training site for ambulance corps and tanks for 4 years. The upcoming 23 years were used for artillery training. From 1941, it dealt with the young recruits of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Over World War II, its importance dropped due to the limited training possibilities. The place was inhabited by ambulance trainees again, while the authorities decided to raise a hospital too. It was supposed to treat the injured men coming from Japan. Tobyhanna Army Depot also hosted close to 300 prisoners of war, most of them coming from Germany.
After World War II ended, Tobyhanna Army Depot was operated Army Corps of Engineers. By 1949, since its activity dropped, it was taken over by the local authorities, who decided to begin the actual construction of a depot around the ’50s. At the same time, the local coal mining industry almost died, resulting in more than 35000 unemployed people. The depot received not less than 600 applications every day for almost 2 years, before its official opening. These days, t is the largest employer in the area.