1970's Depot History

By the 1970s, Letterkenny’s growth seemed to slow; however, the Depot still played a vital role. An ammunition washout facility was built and the Northeast Area Flight Detachment moved to Letterkenny. The U.S. Army Depot System Command (DESCOM), a major subordinate element of U.S. Army Materiel Development and Readiness Command (DARCOM) was established in 1976 and headquartered at Letterkenny. This Two-star command remained at Letterkenny until 1995 when it became the Industrial Operations Command at Rock Island, IL—today’s Operations System Command.


Environmental hazards became a concern as the decision was made to begin the air pollution abatement program in 1969 and by 1972 all coal burning heating systems were converted over to fuel oil.


In 1974, Letterkenny acquired the mission for long-term storage of war reserve stock packaged petroleum, oil and lubricants, as well as a variety of chemicals and acids. Letterkenny was also assigned the maintenance mission for the Air Tow Missile.


The Micom Automated Test Equipment (MATE) was used to test circuit boards on the improved HAWK Missile Systems. Letterkenny became one of five installations in the United States to activate the Automated Multi-Media Exchange (AMME), which provided a more effective communication service in the late 1970s.


Letterkenny solidified its place in the Army and was the largest installation in Pennsylvania, employing over 5,400 workers.