MARINE CORPS LOGISTIC BASE ALBANY, Ga -- The commander of Marine Corps Logistics Bases recently addressed more than 60 attendees at a local civic association meeting.
BGen. Richard S. Kramlich shared his thoughts and other information regarding the present-day Marine Corps with members of the Albany Golden Key Kiwanis Club July 25 at the Saint Patrick's Episcopal Church.
The Kiwanis members sang 'America the Beautiful' and recited the Pledge of Allegiance before Kramlich went to the lectern.
The commander discussed MCLB Albany's role in the Marine Corps strategy and touched upon the Corps' strategy in prepping for the current administration's approach to America's national defense. He also provided some interesting statistics for Kiwanis members to think about.
"Recent congressional debates lamented that the national defense is not high on the list of the people's [Americans] concerns," Kramlich revealed.
"Realizing that the world is different today than in times past, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is taking today's military through a total strategic review for the 21st century," Kramlich said. "Being the world's single super power, America is realizing threats other than a showdown with Russia.
"Regional instability, terrorism, small scale contingencies and the spread of technology clearly indicate a need for the United States to take a new approach toward national defense," Kramlich said.
The LogBases general said Secretary Rumsfeld stressed speed, stealth and responsiveness for today's military. Kramlich added that Rumsfeld wants an agile force, and assured Kiwanis Club members that today's Marine Corps fits this description.
According to the general, today's all-volunteer Marine Corps is sustainable, expeditionary and remains self-sufficient. He added that the Corps operates on 6 percent of the DoD budget.
"If the administration is looking for innovation, the Marine Corps is in their 225th year of innovation," Kramlich pointed out.
"There are 172,000 active duty Marines in our Corps today. Two-thirds of our operating forces are in the Fleet, and of those, 20 percent are forward deployed."
Forward deployed forces are afloat in Marine Expeditionary Units serving as a force in readiness in case of contingencies.
"Although woefully underfunded for the past eight years, the Corps continues to provide America the most bang for their buck," Kramlich said. "Tradition and leadership are the strengths the Corps continues to emphasize. Amidst the constant transformations, we have remained focused on maintaining readiness to meet the country's strategic needs.
"LogBases has a solid mission, are in a good location which is integrated with maritime prepositioning, are business minded and our techniques apply to what we do," Kramlich said.
He added that the command has a loyal work force of Marines and civilian-Marines who work together to improve business practices, evidenced by the command's ISO 9000 qualification.
Kramlich concluded by lauding the command's relationship with the local community.
"The relationship between the base and the community is very important, and I couldn't be happier with the relationship and attention the community gives MCLB," Kramlich stressed.
Following Kramlich's address, he opened the floor for questions and comments from Kiwanis Club members. Each response was favorable and in full support of Marine Corps Logistics Bases.