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Sharpe Facility, San Joaquin Depot

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 General Depot.

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 Command.

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 Area seaports.

Manteca lies approximately 14 miles south of Stockton and seven miles from Sharpe Facility. The northern route to Yosemite runs through the center of town, and the Mother Lode Gold Country is only minutes away. The Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers provide many opportunities for boaters and sports fisherman to enjoy. manteca was originally 1,000 acres of farm land purchased by a Mr. Joshua Cowell. With the construction of the Western pacific Railroad in 1870, Mr. Cowell saw an opportunity to build a community that would be strategically located for business and trade with the major market of the Bay area. The City of Manteca is a full service city, serving a population of 44,560 people in its eight and one-half square miles of city limits. Over the past several years, the city of manteca has completed construction on a new Senior Center, Waste Water Treatment Plant, Police Department, Civic Center complex, and three new parks (bringing the total number of city parks to 27).

San Joaquin County is the northernmost county in the San Joaquin Valley. San Joaquin County has an inland seaport in Stockton and more than a thousand miles of recreational waterways along the Delta. Riverboats used to carry grain and other goods from Stockton to San Francisco. In the 1920's, the Stockton Channel was widened and dredged to allow ocean-going vessels into the port of Stockton.



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