Albany machines serve U. S. military worldwide

April 19, 2007 03:06 PM

Dougherty County -- The Maintenance Center at Albany Marine Corps Logistics Base continues to develop new vehicles and products to protect American Marines and soldiers.

MCLB Albany Commanders say the South Georgia community helps the entire base support the troops in Iraq, and around the world.

Light armored vehicles roll off the Maintenance Center Albany line everyday for testing, then are shipped on to Marines who need the fighting machine.

The Logistics Command headquarters for the Marines is also at the Albany base, controlling where and how these LAVs and all their other supplies and equipment will be deployed to Marines around the world.

Base Commander Colonel Christian Haliday said, "What is done here is crucial to sustaining the force in what our leaders have termed the long war to counter terrorism."

The Maintenance Center Albany is well known for leading the way in the Marines armoring program that has been so vital in Iraq. The first HumVee's sent to Iraq had canvas doors. Albany Maintenance Center workers helped design and develop armor protection that is on almost all military vehicles now, and they continue to come up with new ideas to meet new enemy challenges.

Maintenance Center Albany Commander Colonel Kevin McCutcheon said, "We're trying to think as quickly as the insurgency, and counter every threat as quickly as we can."

One of the latest products Albany workers developed is the mine roller. Pushed in front of trucks, the roller can detonate explosive devices while protecting the Marines in the vehicle. Former Albany base commander Colonel John Lopez sent proof that it works. One of the first Albany rollers in Iraq took a blast, and not the three Marines inside. Base employees can see what their work meant.

"The folks have risen up to a challenge that they know is bigger than themselves, and they have become selfless as a result," Colonel McCutcheon said.

The Marine Base in Albany is more than 50 years old, but Commanders say it is meeting a vital new global mission.

"The work load has increased out here, and the type of work is more focused on the forward deployed warrior, than perhaps it used to be," Colonel Haliday said.

The mine roller uses new suspension technology developed by the Joe Gibbs Nascar Racing team. Base commanders say that cooperation between base workers and businesses across the country is saving troop's lives.