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News | May 17, 2018

New Cumberland installation celebrates 100 years

By Emily Tsambiras DLA Distribution Public Affairs

The Defense Distribution Center, Susquehanna installation celebrated its 100-year history with a flag raising ceremony and time capsule dedication on May 11.

During the ceremony, keynote speaker Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Mike Stack called the installation a “national treasure” and said, “It’s a distinct honor to be here for this incredible milestone.  Today’s military must be faster and more agile than any other time in our history, and this is one of the most valuable facilities in our arsenal.”

Other speakers included Defense Logistics Agency Distribution commanding general Brig. Gen. John S. Laskodi, and Defense Distribution Center, Susquehanna installation commander Army Col. Brad Eungard.

The official party placed items into a time capsule which is slated to be reopened in 25 years.  The time capsule was created from one of the actual material totes used in the installation’s current warehousing operations. 

Items placed included: a copy of the DLA Distribution Susquehanna command brief; a commander’s coin; a personal note from Eungard; a copy of the installation’s centennial video; a wooden pallet; an Army 1-star note from Laskodi; a brick from 1918 used in the construction of one of the installation’s warehouses; and a piece of steel from the water tower currently under construction on the installation.

Following the time capsule dedication, a congratulatory letter from Senator Pat Toomey was read, as well as a certificate from Congressman Lou Barletta and the official Congressional Record statement as submitted by Congressman Scott Perry acknowledging the installation’s rich history.

Finally, the installation’s original flag raising ceremony from 1918 was recreated by members of the installation’s military as well as the installation’s longest serving employees.

The installation’s history stems back to 1917, when the United States government purchased 832 acres of farmland and began the construction of the marsh run storage depot.  A ribbon cutting for the depot followed in November of 1918. 

During that first year, the installation was a receiving point for supplies returning from overseas. The next few years, the depot provided engineer and chemical warfare support and then from 1921 to 1941, the base was a quartermaster, ordnance, signal and medical inactive storage area.

From 1941 to 1946, the depot served as a WWII reception center and recruit processing center. Then from 1945 to 1949, it was a German and Italian prisoner of war camp.  

For the 30-year span of 1955 through 1985, Chinook helicopters were repaired and maintained on the depot.  The depot also provided an air maintenance mission from 1958 through 1983.  During that timeframe, in 1962, the name changed to New Cumberland Army Depot.

In 1991, the depot changed from an Army to a Defense Logistics Agency site and is now known as Defense Distribution Center, Susquehanna.