MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga -- Military and local civic leaders turned out in force Monday to welcome Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as he came to visit Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany.
During the visit, which was part of a statewide trip to tour several military installations, the governor made sure to let the servicemembers and employees aboard the installation know how important their unique contribution was to the operations overseas and to the citizens of Georgia.
"The leadership of Maj. Gen. Mashburn and his troops is really making a difference in the war effort," Perdue said. "The impact of the work being done here is tremendous. On behalf of the people of Georgia, I want to say 'thank you.'"
While visiting the base for the first time since assuming office, the governor witnessed firsthand evidence of improved logistics support generated by relationships the base has forged with industry.
When questioned about Base Realignment and Closure issues, the governor said, "the defense program is much like a large company. In order to be successful, it must maintain good business practices."
"From what I've seen, this is a very well run business," Perdue said. I'm convinced that we're getting the best bang for our buck here. What I'm concerned with is what we can do outside the fence to help the military men and women here accomplish their mission."
Maj. Gen. Harold Mashburn, commanding general, Marine Corps Logistics Command, and Col. Joseph Wingard, base commander, accompanied the governor on a tour of Maintenance Center Albany and various other base facilities. The tour was aimed at highlighting the logistics support LogCom provides to the Marine Corps, other military branches and the Department of Defense as a whole.
During his tour of the maintenance center, the governor was shown several recent innovations, to include the Armor-All hardening project and new Stryker steel gunner shields.
According to Col. Sue Schuler, program manager, Marine Corps Systems Command, the latter is the most recent accomplishment in Maintenance Center Albany's long chain of military vehicle improvements, and is a top-priority project aimed at improving the safety and effectiveness of deployed troops.
"In his efforts to provide protection for our forward-deployed Marines and Soldiers, Rep. Duncan Hunter directed that plates of Stryker steel be set aside," Schuler said. "The Marine Corps opted to have five Stryker steel boxes fabricated and shipped to Iraq for evaluation by the troops. The remainder of the Marine Corps' share of the Stryker steel was shipped to Albany to expedite our fabrication of gunners' shields. The almost immediate turnaround with these resources greatly accelerated our fabrication process.
The 263-pound shields provide gunners with nearly 360 degrees of topside protection from small arms fire, and are being tested for their effectiveness against other threats including improvised explosive devices.
MCA will complete shipment of new gunner shield kits to units in the Middle East by mid-June.