Overview of Department of Defense Maintenance Depots

January 5, 2023 7:35 AM

The following is the Dec. 30, 2022, Congressional Research Service’s In Focus report, Defense Primer: Department of Defense Maintenance Depots.

From the report

Title 10, United States Code (U.S.C.) §2464 requires the Department of Defense (DOD) to “maintain a core logistics capability that is government-owned and government-operated [GOGO]… to ensure a ready and controlled source of technical competence and resources necessary to ensure effective and timely response to a mobilization, national defense contingency situations, and other emergency requirements.” This capability resides in DOD maintenance depots, which perform depot-level maintenance and repair (defined by 10 U.S.C. §2460 as “material maintenance or repair requiring the overhaul, upgrading, or rebuilding of parts, assemblies, or subassemblies, and the testing and reclamation of equipment”). These GOGO facilities, together with certain government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO) facilities, are collectively referred to as the organic industrial base, or OIB. As the Government Accountability Office (GAO) states in a 2019 report (GAO-19-242), these depots “are crucial to maintaining military readiness by ensuring that the services can regularly repair critical weapon systems and return them to the warfighter for their use in training and operations.”

Although each military department (MILDEP) manages and resources the depots that service its weapon systems and equipment, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (USD (A&S)) is responsible for DOD-wide maintenance policy direction and oversight. In addition to repairing and maintaining military systems, each MILDEP’s depots also serve as repositories for technical data, testing equipment, and unique tooling and design capabilities. Depending on the types of activities supported, DOD may designate facilities performing depot functions as logistics complexes, shipyards, readiness centers, or logistics bases. Depot-level maintenance and repair activities also encompass certain types of software maintenance, but do not include major upgrades, the procurement of parts for safety modifications, or the nuclear refueling and defueling of aircraft carriers.

Organization and Management

Among OIB GOGO facilities, Congress has designated 21 “covered depots” for special oversight under 10 U.S.C. §2476 due to their importance in Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff strategic and contingency plans. Covered depots currently include 18 depots, logistics complexes, shipyards, readiness centers, and logistics bases, as well as 3 Army arsenals with depot maintenance capabilities. Together, they employ a workforce of over 80,000 government civilians.

Download the document here.

Get USNI News updates delivered to your inbox