Officials visit depot to discuss rail center move from Hill AFB

By Kathy Anderson, Tooele Army Depot Public AffairsMarch 12, 2009

Tooele Army Depot received a visit from the Assistant Deputy Undersecretary of Defense, Maintenance Policy and Programs on Jan. 22 to meet with depot leaders to discuss the possibility of relocating the Defense Generator and Rail Equipment Center from its current location at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

John Johns traveled to TEAD to gain an understanding of the Depot's current rail capabilities and support structure. The trip also included a site tour of the depot's engineering and ammunition areas to understand how TEAD currently supports various DoD missions.

Hill Air Force Base is taking part in the largest Enhanced Use Lease project in history for the U.S. Air Force and needs the location of the DGRC to further development of the area called Falcon Hill Research Park.

"This move is highly supported by the Utah Congressional delegation because it will retain operations within the state," said Colonel Yolanda Dennis-Lowman. "Relocation of this vital mission would gain direct support and service from Tooele Army Depot, while providing the local community is provided more advantages to doing business with the depot."

The visit by Johns focused on a tour of the proposed relocation site to include proximately to the Union Pacific and TEAD rail lines, ground and air accessibility, in-place utilities as well as unoccupied facilities that could be made available for use.

"This is a win-win for all parties concerned," said Tom Turner, chief of the Environmental Office. "There are operational and strategic benefits to relocating to TEAD. There will be a high retention of the existing workforce, continuation of the same personnel services, Interstate highway and airport access as well as a desert climate."

Johns explained that his goal was to maintain the maintenance capabilities of the rail shop and to make a relocation decision that was beneficial to both the Department of the Army and DGRC.

The visit also provided the TEAD staff an opportunity to highlight numerous accomplishments supporting America's warfighters, specifically logistics efforts to supply much-needed ammunition services that placed items at the right place and right time.

Should TEAD be chosen as the site for the DGRC, an environmental assessment will be conducted before the relocation can take place.

"I look forward to hearing the decision. Should the DGRC move to Tooele, we'll be ready to make the transition as smooth as possible," said COL Dennis-Lowman.