Sierra Army Depot

Welcome to the Atlas Obscura Community discussion of Sierra Army Depot in Doyle, California. Ask questions or share travel tips, experiences, pictures, or general comments with the community. For the story behind this place, check out the Atlas Obscura entry:

In fact, Sierra Army Depot is not the result of a congressional boondoggle; we are an 'End of First Life Center", something unique for the military. Here vehicles come from theater, or from training, and are either sold or used to rebuild vehicles to go back to the field, rather than just manufacturing new vehicles. And there are far more than just Abrams tanks. This of us as a 'Pick and Pull" for heavy equipment! It is called ‘saving the taxpayers money’, through reuse and rebuilding.

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Thanks for the clarification, @ukulelemike! We’ve edited the text a bit in response to your comment, and thanks again for commenting on the place!

My sister was assigned to Herlong as Civil Service psychologist counseling Army personnel with substance abuse problems. From what she described the installation nearby was just an explosive ordnance disposal depot done in open pits by a civilian contractor. I knew that he did a brisk business in shell casings and other salvaged metal but I didn’t connect it to the Sierra Depot until I ran across that photo in the article. This guy was facing legal problems from folks in Nevada down wind from the toxic dust clouds. My sister found government living quarters in Herlong unlivable and elected to do a 70 mile commute from Reno, Nevada. Paiutes from the Susanville Indian Rancheria voiced similar issues with the 120 units alloted to them in Herlong. Ghastly mineral stains on the stucco buildings, undrinkable water from local sources, explosions and clouds of toxic dust may have accounted for why nobody in Civil Service wanted to take the assignment. My sister was closing out her career and thought “How bad could it get for a shortimer like me?” They didn’t even glance at her qualifications before they signed her up and shipped her out there. It didn’t take her too long to find out just how awful it could get. So awful that I couldn’t resist her invitation to visit her in Reno but she strongly discouraged me from visiting her job site which was what I wanted to see. Just before I could arrange to get out there, they closed out her assignment at the beginning of the Big Downsize by the DoD and didn’t reopen it. They compensated her with an assignment to a remote outpost in Wyoming that nobody wanted either.
There’s another place near Texarkana called Red River Army Depot where they repair MRAPs and HUMVEEs by cannibalizing freshly demolished ones straight from some slam bang theater of operations overseas. Sounds like Sierra Depot only more moist. They’ve tried to close down Red River Depot twice but business is so brisk they just keep on trucking even today. I’ve somehow managed to stifle any impulse to drive over there and do any site seeing. Good post ukulelemike.