MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- A Marine Corps Maintenance Management and Supply Conference began Monday at the Stonebridge Country Club in Albany, Ga, and will end Friday.
In the past, supply and maintenance conferences were held independently, but key personnel felt more could be accomplished if Marines from both ends of the logistical spectrum met together.
A message from Headquarters Marine Corps called for 126 supply and maintenance personnel from various Marine commands to attend the conference, including the Marine Reserves. However, the topics of discussion generated more interest than expected and more than 200 Marines and Department of Defense civilian employees attended.
The conference was held at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany because it is the center of life cycle management, said Master Gunnery Sgt. Kenneth Carter, materiel coordinator for the conference.
"We wanted the conference to be held here to allow these folks [conference attendees] the opportunity to speak to their counterparts who support them," said Carter. "All the weapons systems managers and item managers are here in Albany."
According to Carter, one of the highlights of the conference was when attendees visited MCLB Albany and were able to see the Marines and civilians behind the scenes. Some of the attendees were Marines who frequently request support from Marine Corps Logistics Bases here. Being able to "put a face with the voice" fostered friendly relations and will promote teamwork.
What makes the conference unique is the conglomeration of Marines from a variety of occupational fields, said Carter.
"We are bringing the supply and maintenance community together as one; as logisticians," said Carter. "Everybody in this room has one mission, to support the war-fighter."
Being a reliable and successful expeditionary fighting force and having the ability to deploy to foreign soil at a moment's notice have given the Marine Corps a good reputation. To continue this tradition the Corps must keep up with the ever-changing technological world. As technology advances, weapons become bigger and better, sometimes outdating old ways of transporting ordnance. For instance, the crates that currently transport many of Marine Corps supplies to Navy ships are not efficient, said Nicholas Linkowitz, who is in charge of logistics vision team, Headquarters Marine Corps.
Another problem that the Corps is working with the Navy to fix is the re-supplying of Naval vessels. The way the ships are re-supplied is time-consuming and takes too many men to accomplish, so a more efficient manner of re-supplying ships must be devised, said Linkowitz.
Communicating with deployed Marines on the frontlines and supplying them with the necessary items is vital to accomplishing the mission. The topics discussed at the conference will keep Marine Corps logisticians informed about ways their business might change to make the Corps more effective, said Carter.
"We are starting to do things a lot smarter," said Carter. "We can't continue to do maintenance and supply the way we've done it in the past. We've got to be able to get our supplies from point A to point B a lot quicker."
The value of this combined initiative is for Marines from the maintenance and supply sides of the Corps to share their ideas and recommendations with each other. By having this joint meeting, some of goals of the Commandant's Integrated Logistics Campaign Plan are met, by increasing the operational availability and readiness of the Corps. The goal that is hoped to be met by Friday, the conclusion of the conference, is to have a force of logisticians who will have the knowledge, skills and tools to improve and enhance the Corps' logistics processes, said Carter.