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"Letterkenny Army Depot won a top international manufacturing award for the second straight year.     
"The Letterkenny workforce is very happy and I am proud to command the Army's first two-time winner of the prestigious Shingo Award (for) Public Service," Letterkenny commander Robert Swenson said.
Letterkenny won a silver medal for rebuilding and modifying Humvees...."
Depot wins international award by Jim Hook, Senior writer, Public Opinion, August 2, 2006 (Click here to read entire article)

"...Letterkenny has won its second Shingo Award, which recognizes "the best in manufacturing," according to North American Shingo Prize Director Ross Robson. "The 2006 recipients are not only saving American taxpayers money, but increasing the quality and availability of military weapons that protect Americans at home and soldiers abroad, Robson said...  Our View: Depot awards are sign of progress by Kathy Leedy, Editorial Page Editor, Public Opinion, August 2, 2006 (Click to read)
Learn about protecting Letterkenny Army Depot - Franklin County, PA's largest employer.  (Click)

"...About 30 defense contractors attended the Letterkenny Business Opportunity Showcase on Thursday to improve existing business partnerships with the Army or to strike up new ones....  
...Once known for fixing trucks and howitzers, Letterkenny in recent years established itself as the military center of excellence for the repair of tactical missile systems, such as Patriot. In recent months Letterkenny's mission has changed again.
 "If we'd stuck with just missile work, we'd be a sleepy place," said Col. Robert Swenson, Letterkenny commander.
Letterkenny's new moniker is "capabilities depot." The depot does missile work and more. Crews repair Humvees and assemble tent cities. They are doing odds and ends for the Army Tank Automotive Command.
The depot has been named the military's center of excellence for portable generators. Letterkenny will increase its generator production 900 percent with just a 10 percent increase in the number of workers, according to Swenson...."

Depot shines for visiting business VIPs By Jim Hook, Senior writer, Public Opinion, June 9, 2006 

RE: Letterkenny Army Depot - Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority Land:

Maj. Gen. James Pillsbury interrupted his introduction at the podium. His voice boomed across cavernous Building 370 at Letterkenny Army Depot and beyond the 200 people gathered for the recognition ceremony.

"Let me tell you something," Pillsbury told the men and women who work on the Patriot missile system. "This is a big deal. This is a big deal. This is the first time a public sector Army depot has won a Shingo Award...."
Army brass lauds depot manufacturing by Jim Hook, Public Opinion, February 15, 2006

"Business Week has called the Shingo Prize "the Nobel prize of manufacturing."
Letterkenny wins top manufacturing award by Jim Hook, Public Opinion, February 13, 2006

February 6, 2006
  Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority (LIDA) Board unanimously voted to grant a request by Letterkenny Army Depot (LEAD) for a long-term lease to the Army of approximately 260 acres for the creation of a Defense Support District at no cost to LEAD and no expense to LIDA.   LEAD intends to construct new facilities on part of the leased land.
  See the following articles about LEAD's long-term plans.

Citizens for a Quality Environment Board (C4aQE) voted to support Letterkenny Army Depot's request for reconveyance of needed land back to the Army.  (Click to read the January 26, 2006 letter to the Charles Myers, Chairman of the LIDA Board) 

"...I'm at a loss why there is any discussion," said L. Michael Ross, chairman of Opportunity '05, a community group founded to strengthen Letterkenny. "It's a natural to me that it should be made available to them."  

Ross, a former LIDA officer and president of the Franklin County Area Development Corp., said the land is "crucial to the future of the installation...."

Planners looking to grow Depot by Jim Hook, Public Opinion, February 4, 2006 (Click to read the entire article)

“...After BRAC 1995, we never expected 911 to happen, so we surrendered some land (to LIDA) that is needed for a buffer,” he said, referring to the potential for attack by terrorists. “ ... We did not anticipate the growth or opportunities we have today....”  Depot’s long-term plan calls for expansion; additional acreage sought from LIDA by Terry Talbert, TheGazetteNews.com, February 2, 2006 (Click) 

BRAC 2015  According to the Base Realignment and Closure Commission Report to the President (Click to go to the entire Report) TIMELINE OF PROPOSED FUTURE BRAC PROCESS (Click to see TIMELINE) the BRAC 2015 decision-making process will begin on September 30, 2013.  The leadership of Letterkenny Army Depot (LEAD) (the largest employer in Franklin County) worked diligently to assure LEAD was not BRACed in the 05 round.  They are now very wisely planning to further strengthen their position in the Defense community by expanding their Depot operations near the Cumberland Valley Business Park (CVBP).

The Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority (LIDA) has the responsibility to develop the CVBP land the Army transferred through BRAC95 for the benefit of the entire Franklin County community.  LIDA should work with the Depot leadership to assure LEAD is not targeted in the BRAC 2015 round for closure by making the land they are requesting available to them now.  This is what planning is all about--looking forward and taking actions that will assure Franklin County's future is secure and prosperous.  Indeed, such an action by the LIDA Board would fulfill their mandate to use the land in a manner that will benefit the entire Franklin County community.
DeEtta Antoun

Does the Army agree with Van Horn's recommendation?

Is it patriotic to try to site an ethanol distillery next the United States' Patriot Missile testing and Iraq mission-critical vehicle and ammunition facilities ?

Dr. John Gray, Deputy Commander of LEAD testified at the September 19th Hearing in Franklin County Court  Letterkenny: Plant raises concerns  Deputy commander has 'long term' issues with ethanol facility by Jim Hook, Public Opinion, September 20, 2005  (Click to read entire article)  From his article:

Gray said he did not know what the evacuation procedures would be, should there be an accident or leak at the ethanol plant. About 95% to 98% of Letterkenny's 2,800 employees work within a 2.5-mile radius of the plant. The shops are accessed through a single gate.  

Evacuating the shops would disrupt work vital to the nation's defense, according to Gray. Letterkenny is the only place that works on the Patriot missile system, the world's only proven missile defense system.
Letterkenny Fire Department, which responds to fires on the depot, will not be available for an accident at the plant, he said.

"We are not trained for that," Gray said. "We will not be responding to anything at the ethanol plant."

Gray spoke of other concerns:

•  Train tracks run through Army property, and during times of national crisis Letterkenny officers must inspect everything coming in. How does Letterkenny inspect train cars of corn and ethanol?
•  Gasoline and ethanol trucks would pass within 75 feet of Letterkenny shops.
•  Rail tankers would transport the ethanol. The tracks in the business park have had four derailments since 1999. Trains hauling ethanol derailed in California, Indiana and Kansas in the first week of September.

The Army had been prepared to build a vehicle maintenance shop within 100 yards of the ethanol plant if Red River Army Depot had been ordered closed and its Humvee repair operations moved to Letterkenny. The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission did not close Red River.

•  Letterkenny is authorized to store temporarily as much as 2 million pounds of missiles and bombs at a rail yard within 75 feet of the proposed ethanol plant.

"They're ready to go bang?" Antoun asked.

"Pretty much," Gray said...."

"...Anyone with common sense can deduce this distillery is bad for the Army's mission at Letterkenny, bad for Greene Township and bad for Franklin County. Mr. Welch and his investors seem more concerned about their investments and potential profits, and gaining 35-plus jobs. As self-proclaimed patriots, they should be more concerned for the potential loss of thousands of jobs at the Letterkenny Army Depot. ..."
Ethanol plant would harm depot's mission by Carl McAfee, Letter to the Editor of the Public Opinion, March 31, 2006  (Click here)

"Col. Robert A. Swenson wants to move Letterkenny Army Depot headquarters and Army computer operations inside the depot's main fence.  

Letterkenny commander Swenson and deputy commander John Gray asked the Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority for permanent use of 241 acres where the Army would build new office buildings...."
Depot seeks land for new offices inside main fence
by Jim Hook, Public Opinion, January 10, 2006 (Click to read article

From Guest essay: Don't let ethanol plant endanger jobs at depot By Mary Burkholder

"...the Penn Mar group has already sent an appeal to a higher court to overrule the judge in Franklin County. Secondly, Penn Mar can reapply in Greene Township for another permit.

I think my main concern is with the future of Letterkenny, as far as continuing to plan for the future because of "long-term issues" that concern the deputy commander of Letterkenny, in the event that the ethanol facility was to be built. (source: Public Opinion, Sept. 20)....
...That is why each of you in Franklin County should be writing or calling Rep. Shuster and telling him of the concerns of the citizens but also of the concerns of our largest employer, of whom he helped represent at the last BRAC.
Call Rep. Shuster at the Chambersburg office, 264-8308, or fax at 264-0269. If no one gets on board about this critical issue, we may become the county with the highest unemployment rate, rather than the lowest!"    published in
The Public Opinion, January 3, 2006   See Dr. Gray testimony information - click

Congressman Bill Shuster                         
United States Congress
Chambersburg Office
100 Lincoln Way East, Suite B
Chambersburg , PA 17201

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