Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Marine Corps Logistics Command and Marine Depot Maintenance Command leaders held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new $25.6 million welding and body shop, June 16.
“I am extremely proud of the team effort to bring this dream to reality,” Leonard Housley, executive director, MCLB Albany, said.
The construction of this new facility will support Production Plant Albany and provide both large and small open bays for repairs to military tactical vehicles. This includes assault amphibious vehicles and light armored vehicles.
Col. Wilfred Rivera, commander, MDMC, said the work to bring the project to fruition goes back several years and aligns the Marine Corps with the goal of maintaining pertinence in future generations.
“This will open seeds at MARCORLOGCOM and MDMC to make sure a tree grows that takes us to 2030 and beyond,” Rivera said. “It will make us relevant not just to the local community, but to our nation.”
Facilities Engineering and Acquisitions Division Director Lt. Delroy McEwan said, due to the introduction of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected family of vehicles, the service life extension of the amphibious assault vehicle and overseas contingency operations has increased the demand for welding, fabrication and light/heavy body repairs.
“As a result, we have exceeded the capacity of the existing facilities,” McEwan said. “This new facility will meet and exceed the demand for current and future welding fabrication. The fabrication, welding and body repair shops will (now) be able to meet production commitments for essential warfighting equipment.
McEwan noted that other MDMC PPA production functions will be able to move out of temporary spaces and back into areas designed for those functions, allowing other production facilities to complete their essential functions.
“Production Plant Albany plays a critical role in production and fabrication of armor systems for a variety of vehicles. Without adequate facilities production, these systems will not meet the demands of the Marine Corps,” he added.
The project was funded during the Fiscal Year 2019 military construction process and is expected to be complete by May 2022. The new building will house support spaces such as administrative offices, break areas and shower facilities for personnel.
“Today, a manufacturing and defense industrial base milestone takes shape,” Maj. Gen. Joseph F. Shrader, commanding general, MARCORLOGCOM, said at the groundbreaking. “The rich and vibrant red Georgia clay you see behind us will soon be the bedrock supporting a new building. Not just any building, but the welding and body shop facilities that will globally support the United States Marines well into the 21st century.”
Executive Order 13806 was signed on July 21, 2017 directing the assessment and strengthening of the nation’s manufacturing and defense industrial base and chain resiliency. Leaders of the defense industrial base made a commitment to Congress and the American people after the assessment’s completion in 2018.
“It was a promise to maintain readiness and the ability to surge in response to crisis or conflict,” Shrader said. “This construction project demonstrates progress towards fulfilling that promise and directly relates to the capacity, capabilities and resiliency of the defense industrial base.”
Gen. David H. Berger, commandant of the Marine Corps, made force design his top priority across the Corps when he released his planning guidance in 2019. In March 2020, he released Force Design 2030 and identified his vision for the future.
Marine Corps Logistics Command remains dedicated to that strategic vision.
“Fast forward to 2021 and Albany, Georgia where a piece of the Commandant’s strategic vision - to have a Marine Corps that is the best organized, trained and equipped – is becoming a reality,” Shrader said in concluding his remarks.
Some of the special equipment in the facility will include overhead cranes, jib cranes and exhaust systems in support of industrial production activity.