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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

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Pollution prevention workshop helps MCLB stay smog free

By Lance Cpl. Rose A. Muth | | June 21, 2005

For many years, environmentalists have been finding different ways to help protect the environment and developing new technology to help cut down on chemicals and pollutants in the environment.

On June 8-9, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany hosted a Pollution Prevention Ground Vehicle workshop in conjunction with the U.S. Army to work on a newly established project for the joint group on a pollution prevention program.

“In the beginning of the year we had a conference at the National Defense Center for Environmental Excellence in Crystal City, Md.,” said Mischa Sharpe, supervisor industrial engineer, Engineering Division, Maintenance Directorate, Logistics Command.

The purpose of the workshop was to establish an effective communication and engage appropriate Marine Corps and Army organizations and identify project partnership opportunities and qualification test requirements. The groups also created a list of collaborative projects to be submitted to JG-PP and developed a planning guide to map out high potential projects,
Sharpe explained.

“The Army was here from several facilities around the United States,” said Greg Russell, program manager, Engineering Division, LogCom. “It was nice to see everyone come out and realize that we need to work together. If everyone works together it brings more credibility to a project and saves time and money.”

The workshop was brought about by the workshop in Crystal City to help solve environmental issues, Sharpe explained.

“The JJ-PP called us together to figure out how to spend the $6.1 million dollar budget to help the environment,” Sharpe said. “The Marine Corps was the only one prepared to present issues and cost.”

Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany walked out with $750,000 out of the meeting for research and development.  The goal was to develop new methods to help reduce blast media and cut down on solvents polluting the environment. 

“In March we (Marine Corps and Army) started planning the workshop on-and-off for a couple months,” said Liliana M. DiAngelo, contractor, Army Research Development Command, in Baltimore, Md. “We came up with a list of who to invite, an agenda and we designed the workshop.”

The two-day workshop started with a tour of the Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany Maintenance Center with different on-site demonstrations such as the different painting techniques for the armor kits getting placed on tactical vehicles.

“I enjoyed the tour of the maintenance center,” DiAngelo said. “I also enjoyed the demonstration of the paint stripping.”

After the tour and lunch, the group saw demonstrations on surface finishing operations, corrosion prevention and control and the different vehicle systems.

“After all the demonstrations, we held an open discussion and question and answer
session before the day was over,” Sharpe said. “Before the day was over, the Army saw a lot of things implemented by the Marine Corps that they want to start using for their selves also.”

On the second day, the group of 28 recapped the first days events and held a meeting for setting up future projects and figuring out the next steps to plan for the inter-service projects.

“We had a project matrix to help weave our discussions,” DiAngelo said. “We assigned different initiatives for what needs to be done for the future. The matrix was like an outline to help us prioritize our long and short term needs.”

After the workshop was over, the group will start initiating needed action items into a plan and set up monthly teleconferences.

“Every month we are trying to have a teleconference to see the progress of the different projects to be prepared to present the products to the JJ-PP for funding,” Sharpe said.

“We are trying to get ourselves listed as a ground vehicle repair shop breaking through the forefront of military technology,” Russell said. “The more players we have to get into the projects, the easier it is to get the funding we need.  It also helps cut on duplication of effort, time and of course money.”

Although the workshop is over, many who attended are happy with the results and the future projects that lay ahead.

“I think the workshop went very well,” DiAngelo said. “It was very productive and I hope that the follow on group after this workshop will also bring in good results as well.”