Chamber visits MCLB;
By Cpl. Joshua Bozeman
| | October 24, 2002
MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- Eighteen Albany Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors visited the base Oct. 17.
The tour group first saw a military working dog demonstration to learn how the Marine Corps uses the dogs to detect drugs and explosives.
The ambassadors visited the base's Indian Lake Wildlife Refuge nature trail where they learned about Environmental Branch's work on the Installation Restoration Program and the Natural Resources Branch's work to preserve the wildlife refuge as a habitat for protected species.
Maj. Gen. Bradley M. Lott, commander of the U.S. Marine Corps Materiel Command, welcomed the group to the base and provided an overall brief on operations here.
The ambassadors were welcomed to the Maintenance Center by Trent Blalock, the center's deputy commander. After boarding the center's open trolley or tram, the group toured the craneway and several outside work areas to gain perspective on the kinds of work performed there. Jackie Pantone, Maintenance Center customer representative, accompanied the tour, explaining the kind of work being done and answering questions.
The ambassadors also learned about the Maintenance Center's implementation of the Theory of Constraints and the principles of several better business practices.
Following the tour at the Maintenance Center, the group went to the test track where several of them rode in a Light Armored Vehicle, a highlight of the visit.
Several ambassadors entered the vehicle apprehensively, but their expressions of uncertainty became smiles once the vehicle began its journey around the track.
Lou Johnson, ambassador and Chamber of Commerce coordinator for the visit, said as she hopped from the LAV's turret that she could now cross one more item off her 'to do' list. She said she has a list of several things she wants to do now that she has the freedom, and riding an LAV was one of them.
"Everybody loved this visit," Johnson said at the end of the tour. "The Military Affairs Committee comes out here fairly regularly, but this was the first time several of our ambassadors have ever been to the base, and I can't say enough about how impressed they are with the work you do here and with the people. Thanks so much for having us."
Following the LAV experience, the group loaded the bus and went to the Marine Corps Community Services Family Restaurant for lunch.
Each month, the Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors visit various businesses to learn more about better business practices and the surrounding community. The tours improve the ambassadors' knowledge of local business and industry, thereby providing them with more information when they take the "Good Life City message" elsewhere.