MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- Less than a year ago, the Secretary of the Navy designated the Marine Corps Logistics Command's Maintenance Centers as Centers of Industrial and Technical Excellence. This designation provides authority under Title 10 U.S.C. 2474 to enter into various public-private partnerships.
On June 4 the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition authorized the Marine Corps Logistics Command to use the authority available under Title 10 U.S.C. 2563. This most recently delegated authorization, under what is known as the sales statute, expands the opportunities of the Albany and Barstow Maintenance Centers to enter into business relationships with private industry.
An example of this authority is the partnership between the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins, Ga., and the Boeing Company in Long Beach, Calif. In this partnership the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center provided technical services to Boeing to identify hidden defects, deteriorating conditions, corrosion, fatigue, overstress and other conditions that affect the structure of three C-17 aircraft. Boeing had previously conducted its own analytical condition inspections.
This partnership concluded in September 2000 and was deemed successful because all three aircraft were completed ahead of schedule and under budget. The success of this relationship generated a recurring partnership between the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center and Boeing that is renegotiated on a yearly basis.
The benefits of this kind of relationship include enhancing commercialization of military and commercial technologies, promotion of economic growth and the creation of jobs, increased use of defense assets to lower the Department of Defense's operating costs, and increased access of the private sector to defense-unique capabilities, according to a memo published by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition.
Roger German, LogCom Marketing Office, said the Marine Corps Logistics Command employs hundreds of military and civilian employees with critical skills many private industries seek. These are skills in areas such as manufacturing, testing, repair and fabrication of end items or components that have kept the depot thriving since it was first established in 1954. Those same skills keep the depot thriving today.
Col. Peter Underwood, commander at Albany's Maintenance Center, added that the depot's personnel prove their value to the Department of Defense daily, as evidenced by the many benchmarking visits the Maintenance Center has recently hosted.
The requirement to maintain core skills is mandated under Title 10 U.S.C. 2464, which states, "It is essential that the DoD maintain a core logistics capability that is government-owned and government-operated to ensure a ready and controlled source of technical competence and resources necessary for an effective and timely response to mobilization, national defense contingency situations and other emergency requirements."
Under 10 U.S.C 2563, a component that has both commercial and military application may be a candidate for organic repair or support if it sustains a core skill. Having the designated authority of 10 U.S.C 2563 enhances the ability of LogCom to comply with this essential requirement by expanding its authority to provide industrial support to the commercial sector.
"The Maintenance Center has become a much more viable asset to the national defense of this country," Underwood said. "This special authority allows us to partner with private industry as a means to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of operations.'
With 1,100 production lines and more than 1,500 skilled employees, Albany's Maintenance Center has just the right combination of tools, equipment and highly trained people to meet the needs of the Department of Defense and the private sector.