The Sierra Army Depot is an army storage facility carrying vehicles, fuel, first aid supplies, maintenance equipment, and other army supplies. Located in a remote area of northeastern California, the arid great basin climate makes for ideal storage conditions. The dry conditions allow for outdoor storage of many supplies and equipment which saves space and money. However, if you plan on making a visit, bring layers—daytime and nighttime temperatures fluctuate dramatically. The Sierra Army Depot doesn’t have the traditional community atmosphere of most bases, but when it comes carrying and shipping equipment and supplies, Sierra Army Depot is a global leader.
Built in 1942 to keep bombs and ammunition during World War II, the Sierra Army Depot’s role in military operations has not changed much. It was strategically placed toward the inlands of the west coast so that it would be protected from possible Japanese invasion (hence its highly secluded location), but also accessible by United States military personnel in need of supplies. The Depot was built adjacent to two major rail lines: The Southern Pacific and Union Pacific railroads. After World War II, the Depot began carrying munitions to aid those involved in the Korean, Vietnam, and later, Iraq wars.
Because the Depot is surrounded by wilderness and engulfs the 60,000-acre Honey Lake, the state of California agreed to accept the land for environmental restoration in 1996. Lawsuits have been filed against the Depot for its disrespect toward nature by burning detonations and munitions, but the depot has since shown compliance with the Standards for Hazardous Waste Pollutants.
The Sierra Army Depot is now known primarily as a rapid deployment center for the Department of the Army and logistical support/sustainment management for expeditionary Army and Joint Force Personnel worldwide. The Depot is the largest Army facility to date, with equipment reutilization, retrograde, and redistribution. It also is home to the Center for Industrial Technical Excellence for all water and petroleum distribution centers.
While there are technically no exclusive military units stationed at Sierra Army Depot, the town of Herlong, CA houses SIAD employees who mainly work for the petroleum distribution centers at the Depot.
You can usually use your BAH to obtain housing either on-post or off, but in this case, off-post is the only option. Visit SierraArmyDepotHousing.com to browse options. There are also plenty of off-post single-family rentals available if you do not plan on buying.
In addition, you may wish to purchase a home and seek education opportunities in a surrounding city, such as:
- Patton Village (2.1 mi): (530) 827-2129 for school info
- Doyle (11.7 mi): (530) 827-2129 for school info
- Wendel (22.6 mi): (530)-254-6577 for school info grade k-8 or (530)-257-5134 for grade 9-12
If you wish to visit on site, contact the Sierra Army Depot Skedaddle Inn Lodging Services at (530) 827-4152. Otherwise, if you are up for a bit of a ride, there are higher-end options available in Susanville, CA, about 31 miles away:
- Super 8 Motel: (530) 257-4152
- Red Lion Inn and Suites: (530) 257-3450
- Best Western Trailside Inn: (530) 257-4123
Public access is extremely limited due to both the nature of the base and its location. Non-military personnel can fill out a visitor request form at http:www.sierra.army/mil.Public/files/Visitor-Request_form.pdf and can fax to (530) 827-4675. There must be 48-hour prior notice before the visit.