The Tooele Army Depot is among 13 U.S. Army depots containing obsolete equipment and facilities that must be modernized to effectively support combat forces into the next century.

That is one finding from a recently completed strategic assessment conducted by researchers at Battelle's Pacific Northwest Laboratories for the Army at a cost of $700,000. The report also recommends a series of actions to modernize the depot system, ranging from upgrading technology to consolidating the Army's logistics functions into one organization.The assessment is the first phase of a program aimed at modernizing the depots' facilities, equipment, management practices and work force skills. The depots supply repair parts and ammunition to the Army's combat forces around the world. They also help maintain and repair major equipment and weapons systems such as tanks, aircraft, missiles and transport vehicles. In addition, the depots have manufacturing capabilities to produce specialized items.

According to the report, the depots should resolve key planning issues, such as their wartime mission requirements which are currently unclear. The depots should examine new management techniques and develop a strategy to train employees how to use new equipment and facilities.

Battelle researchers worked with the Army and a consultant from Arizona State University to interview nearly policy makers and technical experts within the U.S. Department of Defense and private industry.

Battelle's Pacific Northwest Division is part of Battelle Memorial Institute, the world's largest independent research institute.