The San Joaquin Depot is made up of distribution
facilities at three separate locations -- Tracy, Sharpe [Lathrop]
and Stockton's Rough & Ready Island. The depot receives,
stores and ships supplies to military customers located mainly
in the western U.S. and the Pacific Theater of operations, and
in some cases worldwide. The San Joaquin Depot is one of two
Primary Distribution Sites that belong to a 22-depot Defense
Distribution Center headquartered in New Cumberland, PA. Overall
management is provided by the Defense Logistics Agency.
Sharpe Facility is approximately 65 miles
south of Sacramento with easy access from Interstate 5 (I-5)
and Highway 99. From I-5, take the Roth Road exit. Go east on
Roth Road to the main gate of Sharpe Facility. From Highway 99,
take the French Camp exit. Go west on French Camp Road, turn
left on Airport, then right on Roth Road and proceed to Sharpe.
The San Joaquin Depot maintains a Consolidation
and Containerization Point that operates much like a cross-docking,
freight forwarding business. Items from other depots, independent
vendors and other government agencies are shipped to a warehouse
at the Lathrop facility where they are consolidated into vans
or on special air pallets for shipment to the customer overseas.
On a monthly average 490 sea-going vans and 360 air pallets will
be shipped from the Consolidation and Containerization Point.
The efficient cube utilization of this operation nets millions
of dollars in transportation savings for taxpayers.
There has been a recent surge in inventory
at the San Joaquin Depot. As a result of the 1995 Base Realignment
and Closure proceedings, stock from depots in Ogden, Utah; McClellan
AFB, California; and Kelly AFB, Texas, approximately 728,500
items were relocated to the San Joaquin Depot.
In 1942, Sharpe was officially dedicated
as the Lathrop Holding and Reconsignment
Point. What was once a Central California sheep ranch was
transformed into a major military supply installation capable
of loading 6,000 rail cars per month with supplies and equipment
at its wartime peak. Often up to 450 rail cars were loaded or
unloaded within 24 hours.
Following World War II, the depot underwent
administrative and supply mission changes and assumed a new name
in 1948. In honor of Major General Henry G. Sharpe, Quartermaster
General of the Army from 1905 to 1918, the depot was named Sharpe
The lull after World War II was jolted
by fighting in Korea. Sharpe's level of activity rebounded to
its earlier high as manpower, shipments, and missions doubled
during this 3-year effort. Supply operations were gradually curtailed
when the Korean War ended and by 1959, significant changes affecting
Sharpe's future role were taking place. The Department of Defense
instituted the "Single Manager Concept." This put the
depot into the business of providing medical supplies and subsistence
items on a larger scale. The Sharpe site became Sharpe Army Depot
in 1962 when the depot was assigned to the Army Supply and Maintenance
In 1965, the nation called upon Sharpe
during the Southeast Asia conflict. Hundreds of Army aircraft,
both fixed-wing and helicopters were arriving at Sharpe to get
ready for shipment overseas. Twenty-four hour operations began
and Sharpe became the major pipeline for supplies moving westward
to Southeast Asia.
The Sharpe facility served as Headquarters
of Defense Distribution Region West (DDRW). As of October 1997,
with the disestablishment of DDRW, DDJC became one of 22 Defense
Distribution Center (DDC) depots. It is located in Central California's
San Joaquin Valley, approximately 65 miles south of Sacramento,
providing easy access to Interstate 5 to the west and California
Highway 99 to the east. It is approximately 13 miles northeast
of the Tracy facility, Defense Distribution Depot San Joaquin's
other facility. Several major airports are within 75 miles from
Sharpe: Oakland International and San Francisco International
to the west and Sacramento Metropolitan Airport to the North.
In March 1999 the Defense Distribution
Center announced it would reconfigure operations at Defense Distribution
Depot San Joaquin, Calif., which comprises distribution facilities
at the Sharpe site in Lathrop and the site in Tracy. The reconfiguration
called for an internal shift in workload from Sharpe to Tracy
beginning October 1999 targeted for completion by September 2000.
Tracy will focus on the receipt, storage, and distribution of
fast-moving, high-demand items; Sharpe will store slow-moving,
low-demand bulk items. Approximately 700 of Sharpe's 800 employees
will transfer to Tracy, located 15 miles southwest of the Sharpe
facility. Roughly 100 employees will remain at Sharpe. The reconfiguration
will eventually reduce personnel requirements at DDJC, but few
involuntary separations are expected. However, any adversely
affected employees will be eligible for buyouts and early retirement
offers. Individuals not accepting or not eligible for such offers
may register in a Department of Defense job-placement program.
The initiative is the result of a business-case analysis revealing
that the reconfiguration would boost DDJC productivity by 30
percent. As a result, more than 90 percent of DDJC's daily requisitions
will be processed at Tracy, which is 15 miles closer to the Bay
Record Article: Changes, But Not Closure, for Sharpe Army Depot
(26 March 2014)
By Joe Goldeen
LATHROP - Change is coming again to Sharpe
Army Depot, the large slice of central San Joaquin County that
is known mostly for supplying military outposts throughout the
Pacific region with everything imaginable going back to the early
days of World War II.
Activity at the 724-acre facility off
Roth Road on Lathrop's eastern edge has ebbed and flowed over
the years, just as America's wars have ramped up and scaled back.
It's also served other government agencies. But put to rest the
rumor that the entire base is closing down.
The largest single employer at the depot
today is the West Coast Distribution Center of the Army &
Air Force Exchange Service.
"It is remaining open. It supports
all the Army and Air Force exchanges in the western U.S. and
Pacific region," exchange spokesman Judd Anstey said Tuesday.
The 850,000-square-foot distribution center employs 348 workers,
and no change is anticipated, he said.
The Defense Logistics Agency that operates
DLA Distribution San Joaquin terminated its lease effective in
September 2013 to continue operations at the Army-owned depot,
having chosen to consolidate all its regional operations at its
larger depot on Chrisman Road east of Tracy, according to spokeswoman
For the past decade or more, the Defense
Logistics Agency was transferring workload and employees - approximately
700 of Sharpe's 800 workers at its most recent peak - to the
Tracy depot, according to the website GlobalSecurity.org (see
The U.S. General Services Administration
that also operates at Sharpe recently issued a timeline for closing
its Western Distribution Center there. In a statement, it cited
"the drawdown of U.S. military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan
and the federal budget climate" affecting the agency's supply
business. In the future, it will use a combination of commercial
vendor partners and the Defense Logistics Agency to fill supply
The final shipments to GSA customers will
leave Sharpe on May 1. The final day for that distribution center
will be Sept. 30, according to its statement.
Lathrop Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal was aware
that the depot is scaling back, but he did not know specific
"There are people from the city who
are working at Sharpe Depot, and those jobs will be moved to
Tracy. That's what I heard, and I hope that is the case,"
Lathrop City Manager Steve Salvatore said
the city has had an initial meeting with representatives from
the General Services Administration about the future of Sharpe.
"If businesses continue out there,
we are all for it. Obviously, the base has been important for
the region. It's too early to tell what our options are,"
Salvatore said. "We are in the information-gathering stage."
One anticipated future use of the depot
has been a partnership with the National Guard and the San Joaquin
County Office of Education - spearheaded by Assemblywoman Susan
Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton - to place a ChalleNGe Youth Academy
at Sharpe Depot.
Eggman has authored legislation - AB1518
- along with co-authors Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto,
and state Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, that would provide
$1.5 million toward operation of the academy, a military-themed
boot camp/residential school for 16- to 18-year-old high school
dropouts or those on the brink. The federal government would
provide a $3 million match, should the legislation pass.
The National Guard operates 34 ChalleNGe
programs nationwide, including two California sites - the Grizzly
Academy in San Luis Obispo and the Sunburst Youth Academy in
Contact reporter Joe Goldeen at (209)
546-8278 or email@example.com. Follow him at recordnet.com/goldeenblog
and on Twitter @JoeGoldeen.