Acquired in 1942, the Sierra Army Depot is now part of the six Army installations in the United States of America. Prior to its acquisition by the American government, the barren semi-desert site was uninhabited. It was primarily utilized by the locals as a range land. In truth, as early as 1933, the US Army had already purchased a 60,523 acre-segment of the total land area of the Sierra. Due to funding shortage, however, construction and development within the area did not materialize. By the early part of 1943, however, buildings intended for combat equipment and ammunition storage, maintenance facilities, and administrative functions, were almost in full completion. Apart from these military utility structures, Herlong, a town situated at sites south end and intended to house depot personnel, was also fully developed between the year 1942 and 1944.

Map of Sierra Army Depot

Impact of the Korean War

A couple of years after the end of World War II, the mission to expand the Sierra Army Depot include the ammunition demilitarization as well as the renovation of the site. The outbreak of the Korean War during the 1950s, however, pushed the workload of the Sierra Army Depot into its peak. The whole area buzzed with activity to accommodate the demands for ammunition and other military supply needed to sustain the war raging in Korea.

The Stockpile Program and the Establishment of the Defense Material Service

As the result of its all-time high workload during the Korean War, the Sierra Army Depot regained its earlier momentum. It amalgamated with the US Armys efforts of creating a stockpile program. In September 7, 1956, the General Service Administration or GSA assigned the program to the Emergency Procure Service which, during that time, was newly created. The offshoot of this was the establishment of the Defense Materials Service. The Defence Materials Service was responsible in the stockpile management, Civil Defense Emergency Program, and the program dedicated for the  National Industrial Equipment Reserve. Starting from 1949 until 1988, The GSA as well as the agency responsible for Federal Emergency Management were exclusively responsible for the particular program.

The Secretary of Defense Delegation and the Nuclear Weapons Management

The responsibility for the particular program was carried over by the Secretary of Defense who in turn delegated it to the Defense Logistics Agency or DLA. Under the DLA, the Defense National Stockpile Center or DNSC was founded to fully manage the program with more focus. The Sierra Military Depot also becomes an official storage area of unarmed nuclear armaments between the 1970s and the 1980s. This move was protected and authorized as part of DARCOM under the 980th Military Police Companys mandate.

Early 1990s Expansion of Function

In 1993, Sierra Army Depot was designated as the US Militarys Center of Technical Excellence for Operational Project stocks. The Sierra Army Depot became home to the triumvirate of the biggest Operational Project Stocks in the United States Army. These are: the Water Support System, the Force Provider, and the Inland Petroleum Distribution System. In addition to the three, Sierra Military Depot also became for various Operational Project Stocks such as the Army Field Feeding Systems, the Non-Medical Equipment section of the Deployable Medical Systems, Landing Mat Sets, Bridging, and even the Large Area Maintenance Shelters.

The New Millennium

During the 2000s, the Sierra Depot, again, face various major changes. In 2001, for instance, the ammunition demilitarization campaign was implemented at the military post. In support of the OEF, 900 ships of armaments and military equipment were shipped by Sierra Army Depot. In 2002, Sierra Army Depot was integrated with the Ground System Industrial Enterprise or GSIE. The construction of Non-Army Items, on the other hand, began in 2003. A year later, tactical tracked vehicles began coming in to the post. By mid-2000, the SWA return mission in Sierra Army Depot escalated. A significant increase in the establishment of fuel systems, hospitals, ROWPU, and tactical vehicles became the highlight of the year 2005.

Continuing Transformation

From its basic genesis in the early part of the 1940s, Sierra Army Depot has definitely transformed and is still continuously developing. Aside from this, the mission of the post is also continuously changing based on current national security needs. And though the highlights of the existence of Sierra Depot can be somewhat difficult to sum up in just a few paragraphs, below are some of the milestones that defined and redefined Sierra Army Depots role in the whole United States military complex.

Sierra Army Depot Chief Milestones

  • Amedee Army Airfield Construction
  • Amedee Army Airfield Approval courtesy of the Military Air Transport Service
  • Water and petroleum stocks relocation to the Depot
  • The establishment of USAMMA Mission
  • The arrival of the Class 5 medical supply mission
  • The granting of the Drug Enforcement Agency or DEA permit for the storage, issuance, and requisition of pharmaceuticals
  • Leadership assumption of Tank-automotive and Armaments Command

In spite of the changes that have occured to the Depot, it still continues to function as the storage of Joint Munitions Command conventional ammunitions until this day.  Sierra Depot is a very important military post that has a huge and integral role in the whole US defense complex.

Always Ready and Prepared

The motto of the Sierra Army Depot is Readiness Since 1942. Its more than six decades of existence and history can back this up. Since the establishment of the Depot under General Order No. 9 approved by Gen. George C. Marshall on February 2, 1942, the Sierra Army Depot still reflects its original missions, namely supply storage and ammunition demilitarization and renovation. There is no doubt that this complex of military structures is a living testament on the efficiency and the organization of the giant United States defense complex that, until this day, is still unrivalled in terms of competence. Acquiring general and unclassified knowledge about this historic military Depot is the right of every American citizen. If you want to learn more about the Sierra Army Depot, feel free to check out more information online by visiting

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