Leadership Albany tour base
By Sgt. Joshua Bozeman
| | April 15, 2003
MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- Several members of Leadership Albany Class 2003 braved the unseasonably cold air and chilling wind of April 10 to experience military life and to get a better perspective of the command's various business practices.
Leadership Albany is an annual program involving a group of individuals from throughout the area who represent various aspects of the community and serve in leadership positions. The program gives community members opportunities to attend activities at area industries and businesses for the purpose of learning more about the economic base and to create more productive relationships between the community and local business organizations based on firsthand knowledge and understanding.
Col. Arthur Sass, Materiel Command chief of staff and the command's Leadership Albany representative, arranged the one-day tour of the base.
"I had no idea this thing could go that fast," said one Leadership Albany student after a trip around the test track here in a Light Armored Vehicle.
Several students commented on their surprise at the LAV's speed and agility.
"That's what it's designed for," explained Sass. "Their [LAVs'] purpose is to get in and get out of any situation in a hurry."
According to Sass, tidbits of information, such as the speed of the LAV, that helped educate community leaders about the military's way of doing business is exactly what the visit was about.
After opening the tour with a brief about the overall mission, Leadership Albany students were given the opportunity to run the obstacle course here. After a few bumps and bruises, the majority of those who attempted the course made it through, although some required a few more tries at each obstacle than others.
After dividing the group in two, one watched a K-9 demonstration while the second fired M-16A2 service rifles or M-40 Gulfs in a simulated firing range. Then the groups switched activities.
Of approximately 1,000 simulated rounds expended, fewer than 100 found their intended targets.
Once the dogs stopped biting and the rifles were put down, Gunnery Sgt. Robert Wilson, nuclear-biological-chemical warfare specialist here, gave those touring an idea about what Marines do in case of a chemical attack.
During a Mexican style lunch at the Marine Corps Community Services Family Restaurant, Col. Joseph R. Wingard, base commanding officer, gave the Leadership Albany students a presentation about the base and current business practices. Those surprising LAV rides followed lunch.
Although a tour of MCLB Albany is not always included in the Leadership Albany itinerary of annual activities, it is among the most popular and is on the list more often than not.