Letterkenny is located near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and comprises 17,500 acres. The depot is a top three employer in Franklin County, PA. First it was created to be an ammunition depot, but today it is the Army’s Capabilities Depot. In 1941, it was decided that the township of Letterkenny would become the site of a new depot. It came just 11 days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It was chosen as a site by the US Department of War to join 12 other ordnance depots. Over 20,000 acres would be set aside to build the new army depot in Pennsylvania. The first shipment would arrive later in 1942 and over 3 million tons of supplies would filter through Letterkenny during World War II.
Today, Letterkenny has over 2,800 Army civilians, military personnel and contractors. he depot also has “change agents,” which work as facilitators and offer permanent, temporary and rotational work to contribute to a lean office employment model. It would become a permanent military installation on July 1, 1954, but it would be renamed and would fall under the control of the US Army Materiel Command.
Even though at first the depot had a very large number of missions, activity would decrease until the Vietnam War when it would pick up once more. In the 1970s, the Savanna Army Depot Activity would merge with Letterkenny. At this time, an ammunition demilitarization facility would be built and the Northeast Area Flight Detachment would also be moved to Letterkenny.
Several modernization projects would evolve Letterkenny to a better facility. The Automatic Storage and Retrieval System-Plus were also built to join the current buildings. Paladin, HAWK and PATRIOT would combine to create the Center for Technical Excellence.
Recently, the depot enjoyed a celebration of 60 years supporting the US Army and its soldiers. Letterkenny continues to be one of the most popular Army depots for the United States and supports multiple branches of the Joint Forces in addition to other administrative functions.
Mission and History
Letterkenny Army Depot upholds its mission to provide the best in heath care and safety to the troops, its employees and contractors, as well as all visitors through a system of solid management and hands on involvement of employees. It is their commitment to provide an unparalleled occupational safety and health care system. Their philosophy is based on a firm belief in the value of the Voluntary Protection Program. They maintain a focus on reducing injuries and illness in the workplace, in order to protect their most valuable resource, which is their employees, military families and the communities that support them.
Established in 1942, the Center for Industrial Technical Excellence (CITE) at Letterkenny Army Depot is under the command structure of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM). Maintenance, storage, modification, as well as the demilitarization of tactical missiles and ammunition, are some of the operations that Letterkenny is in charge of.
A large number of ammunition and supplies was being moved back from overseas, and some of it had to be destroyed because it could no longer be used. In addition,
Letterkenny was still the largest depot of its kind.
During the Korean War, Letterkenny was still in good condition to meet the emergency of he war. This was also a great period of growth as the 1950s allowed for new technologies in guided missiles and other technologies. Employees were trained to begin working on Project Nike missiles in 1953 leading to the depot becoming a pilot depot for training under the Depot Command Management System and SPEEDEX.
In 1955, Major Item Supply Management Agency (MISMA) provided more control functions on a global basis and became another permanent resident of Letterkenny. Many other installations and posts would merge to join the depot throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
Letterkenny Depot consists of nearly 18,000 acres (71 km) on a site located primarily in Letterkenny Township, Pennsylvania. The site also extends into Greene Township and Hamilton Township, all of which are located in the County of Franklin, Pennsylvania. As the largest employer in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, Letterkenny Depot adds over a quarter of a billion dollars to the regions annual income. Letterkenny has unique capabilities when it comes to repairing tactical missiles, including a variety of Defense Department missile systems, notably the MIM-104 PATRIOT Surface-to-Air (SAM) missiles along with their radar and ground support equipment. In recent years, Letterkenny has included designation for the CITE make overhauls for the Power Generation of the Army, including modifications to tactical wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs), equipment for the handling of materials (7.5 ton cranes) and Mobile Kitchen Trailers.
In the midst of the Iraq conflict in 2007, Letterkenny began manufacturing new Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armor vehicles. This was done in partnership with BAE systems. Later on, in 2010, they were designated the Joint Depot Source of Repair (JDSOR) for Route Clearance Vehicles for the Department of Defense.
Letterkenny was recently the center of controversy after the depot laid off 244 workers in response to the government sequester. The depot has a capacity to employ 4,000 people but is understaffed in response to the economic downturn that started in 2010. The decrease in military spending has placed some constraints on the operations at Letterkenny as well.
Multiple memorial services and events are held at Letterkenny. In 9/11 memorial services, soldiers and their families are honored with parades, feasts and other events. The time capsule was opened in a ceremony for September 11th in September 2013. The ceremony honored all the people who lost their lives in the attack as well as soldiers who went to aid at Ground Zero.
The Letterkenny Army Depot has also earned awards and decorations such as the ninth Shingo medallion for excellence in manufacturing in 2013. Military spending continued to decrease, but in spite of that, Letterkenny Depot continued to deliver and rise above the constraints placed upon it. In addition, Letterkenny Army Depot also won the Army Superior Unit Award in 2007.