MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
“The Marine Corps has not had a Marine killed due to enemy action in Iraq since Oct. 19, nearly four months. You don’t hear a lot about that in the press. But things are going very well in Al Anbar (province),” said Brig. Gen. Michael Brogan, commanding general, Marine Corps Systems Command, as he addressed a Town Hall meeting for MarCorSysCom employees here Jan. 10.
“The whole mood in Al Anbar is now one of hope. They’re beginning to reinvigorate their industry, the sheiks have decided they’re going to take back their country, and they’re going to turn in Al Qaeda in Iraq,” he added.
Brogan shared stories told to him by other generals whose forces are in Iraq.
“They tell me how when their forces go on patrol now, they get multiple tips about the location of Improvised Explosive Devices -- some places we would have never discovered them. A spray painted circle on the ground, indicating where (an IED) is hidden, because it was tunneled from inside a building, (to a point) underneath the road, that’s the kind of information that’s being given to our folks. So, there should be no doubt in your mind that we’re winning,” he said.
Brogan’s comments at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany came on the heels of a Pentagon briefing held a few days earlier by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who said the Iraqi military has played a crucial and indispensable role in building the new security environment in the country.
Speaking to a crowded Base Theater at MCLB Albany, Brogan outlined the top priorities for Systems Command: “Muscle Movements” as supporting The Long War, Grow(ing) the Force, Reset(ing) the Force, and Modernization and Recapitalization.
He also discussed the significant impact of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle Program on MarCorSysCom.
As the Department of Defense’s number one acquisition priority, this vast, complex program has tapped resources and brought the command to levels of interest by many stakeholders previously not experienced by any other acquisition program.
He continued his brief with discussion of the changing requirements of this dynamic vehicle program.
Brogan also assessed the size of Systems Command’s work force and how moving Systems Command civilian employees into the National Security Personnel System has been accomplished effectively.
“I was really impressed with what he had to say. It sounds like we’re having a lot of success over in Iraq that you just don’t hear about, so it’s exciting to hear about it and that means we’re doing a lot of good over there,” said Kathy McCauley, logistics management specialist, Raids and Reconnaissance, MarCorSysCom, MCLB Albany.
Other MarCorSysCom employees came away from the Town Hall with a better understanding of various issues within the command.
“I have a more relaxed feeling now about what’s happening within the command. There are a lot of things going on and it’s complex, but people are looking at different ways when it comes to building equipment, the hiring process and the competency as far as paying people for their performance,” said Ike Hopkins, equipment specialist, Motor Transport Section, who’s been with MarCorSysCom since 2000.
Brogan left Sunday for another trip to Iraq to consult with Army officials.