By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Firm will open Manteca center for distribution
511 2
5.11 Tactical President Francisco Morales, left, and Manteca Mayor Steve DeBrum with a rendering of the 404,657-square-foot distribution center.

Manteca is ready to boom.
And if the ground “breaching” ceremony conducted by 5.11 Tactical for their new 404,657-square-foot distribution center is any indication it’ll be an economic blast.
5.11 Tactical President Francisco Morales pushed the plunger detonator Monday morning to set off fireworks to celebrate the start of construction that will being the firm’s Lathrop and Modesto distribution centers together under one roof in northwest Manteca at the CenterPoint Properties business park at Airport Way and Roth Road.
Morales said the firm looked at the Midwest but was “thrilled” they were able to find a suitable location in the San Joaquin Valley close to critical transportation infrastructure to support the firm’s global clientele that need gear immediately.
“We love the Central Valley,” Morales said.
By staying in the 209 it will preserve 217 existing jobs and open the door for possible new employment positions.
Manteca Mayor Steve DeBrum said it is part of a one-two economic punch — the other is a 600,000-square-foot distribution center that is moving through the planning process — that represents a $45 million investment by CenterPoint.
The fireworks explosion touched off by Morales along with Navy SEAL Command Master Chief Steven Van Horn, and DeBrum among others and witnessed by more than 150 employees of 5.11 Tactical, and various dignitaries means the firm will be able to shave as much as a day off deliveries for gear that is vital for not just police and firefighters to perform their missions but military around the globe.
5.11 Tactical Senior Vice President of Sales Matthew Sinclair noted that besides combining existing warehouses under one roof to streamline logistics the Manteca location has a second phase that will allow for 134,500 square feet of expansion.
“Every place we have been we quickly outgrow the space and have had to expand,” Sinclair said.
That growth looks to continue.

First started 13 years
ago with 5 workers
The firm had just 5 employees 13 years ago. Today there are 551 employees worldwide. Their foray back into the company’s roots several years ago of supplying recreation enthusiasts is helping send their annual global sales past the $300 million mark. They have started expanding into retail locations with 13 stores so far with an aggressive game plan to open one to two stores a month over the next few years.
They offer more than 900 products with more than 13,000 distinct types of items for sale.  The firm’s products run the gamut from clothing, gloves, boots, holsters, knives, watches, and slings, to packs. Their products are used by law enforcement, private military contractors, the Armed Forces, and civilian customers ranging from shooters and hunters to hikers and backpackers.
Command Master Chief SEAL Van Horn addressed the gathering, praising 5.11 Tactical and its employees for promptly filing vital equipment needs “that we needed yesterday.”
He recall how quickly 5.11 Tactical responded in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 when a team was put together on short notice and needed to be outfitted to protect Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai from the Taliban
Van Horn told of a SEAL mission two years ago to go after a terrorist target that prompted a call for gear to 5.11 Tactical that arrived for the team within 48 hours, Seventy-two hours after that first call to 5.11 Tactical they were on their mission.
“We got the guy,” Van Horn said.
Van Horn went on to thank the 5.11 Tactical employees for helping make sure freighters, police “and my brothers in arms” have the gear they need on time.
CenterPoint Properties working in conjunction with the City of Manteca has committed to a “tight schedule” to have the distribution center completed by October.
At the same time CenterPoint is processing plans through the city for the “Laurie Project” for another yet to be named client that reportedly is among the nation’s top 50 firms. The 1,199,997-square-foot building is being proposed in two phases on a 63.29-acre parcel. The first phase consists of 551,475 square feet eclipsing the 550,000-square-foot Ford Small Parts Distribution Center on Spreckels Avenue that is currently the city’s largest distribution center.
The roots of 5.11 Tactical run deep in the 209. The firm traces its name and mission back to 1968 to an enterprise founded by mountain climber Royal Robbins of Modesto. During a climb in Yosemite National Park he realized the pants he was wearing were not suitable for climbing. So he deiced to come up with his own pants that had better function and durability and added them to a company he owned that was producing booths and clothing.

How 5.11 Tactical
got its name
Robbins also is credited with devising the Yosemite Decimal System that is familiar to serious hikers, rock scramblers and mountain climbers.
Class 1n is basic hiking were hiking boots are a good idea and the odds of injury are low.
Class 2 involves some simple rock scrambling with some hands needed occasionally to cover terrain. The danger level is low and hiking boots ate highly recommended.
Class 3 involves scrambling with handholds necessary. Falls can be fatal.
Class 4 is simple climbing often with rope. Falls may be fatal.
Class 5 covers technical roped free climbing. Un-roped falls can result in severe injury or death. The class is further broken down from 5.0 to 5.15c to describe free moves that become more difficult,
Class 6 is reserved for aid climbing.
Class 5.11 is the highest rock climbing difficulty in Yosemite National Park hence the 5.11 Tactical name.
By 1999 Robins’ pants were becoming popular at the FBI Academy in Quantico.
Robbins sold the company in 2002 to Dan Costa who elevated 5.11 Tactical brand to the company’s name as he started shaping the firm into the go-to place for those needing specialized equipment for first responder and military tasks.

CenterPoint is
national concern
CenterPoint Properties nationwide owns 326 buildings with 351 tenants in 56.6 million square feet along with 3,360 acres.
It has already built a 65,000-square-foot structure at the Manteca business park that houses Crothall Laundry Services.
The 191-acre Manteca property is approved for up to 3.1 million square feet of buildings. It offers direct access to the Union Pacific Railroad intermodal facility on its western flank and is within 10 minutes of Stockton Metro Airport, Interstate 5 and Highway 99.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email