MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Maj. Gen. Robert C. Dickerson Jr., commanding general, Marine Corps Installations East, visited Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany on Thursday and Friday, meeting with base and Marine Corps Logistics Command personnel during the two days.
Dickerson’s conclusion: “The community is a great community. They are all very supportive.” He called MCLB Albany a “tight-knit organization down here … and the community loves the Marines and the civilians who work here.”
Dickerson said that he’s never been stationed at MCLB Albany, but that he’s visited many times along his 36-year career.
During his stay, Dickerson met with numerous base and LOGCOM leaders including Maj. Gen. Willie J. Williams, commanding general, LOGCOM; Col. C.N. Haliday, commanding officer, MCLB Albany; Janet Haviland, executive director, MCLB Albany and several directors or leaders of various other units including the Public Safety Division, Logistics Support Division, Installation and Environment Division and Fire Protection.
Dickerson said the purpose of his visit was “to get out every six months to each one of the installations. It’s good to get visuals,” he said, “visual knowledge of what’s going on at the time.”
“At the same time, you get to talk to each of the commanders, the people who work the issues every day,” Dickerson added. “This gives you a better understanding so you can go back and energize the staff to make certain the projects get accomplished.”
Dickerson acknowledged, “Albany is doing very well.” He did say, though, “We still need to work with the tenants. There are still some friction points along the way on what we can do to help provide the support and supporting relationships with LOGCOM and other organizations.”
Dickerson said they are getting ready to sign a memorandum of understanding with LOGCOM better identifying who supports whom, and building the relationships to make certain “we can eliminate those friction points.”
Dickerson said he is focusing on relationships throughout the command.
He noted that there have been some obstacles to certain changes throughout MCIEast. “Everybody resists change,” he said. “So, everybody wants to go back to their comfort zone. They like to do things the way they did it last week.” What he said he is trying to do throughout MCIEast, is to “learn how to do things smarter.”
Dickerson spoke at length about making things better for the uniformed and civilian Marines. “If I could pass a magic wand overnight, I would like to put in new facilities and new barracks immediately in order to increase the quality of life for the Marines, sailors and civilians who work down here.”
Specifically, Dickerson talked about new military housing, new barracks, the new satellite fire station and the renovation of Bldg. 3700. Concerning Bldg. 3700, Dickerson said, “When they finish at 3700, it will be a huge quality of life issue because they will be going to a facility by today’s standards. When you take a facility that was built in the early 1970s, technology has changed over time and we can now give those people who work there a better environment.”
About the people at MCLB Albany, Dickerson said, “”There are a lot of people who are dedicated to Albany, dedicated to the Marine Corps both in uniform and civilian attire.” He said he was impressed by the energy and enthusiasm in everyone’s eyes. “It is what gets you energized to be able to go back to work and see if you can push the projects forward.”
In a private interview, Dickerson commented on recent changes at MCIEast.
He said he thought that, overall, regionalism—the separation of MCIEast and MCIWest—has been very positive. He said that they are contracting a private organization to study MCIEast this spring “and do a self-evaluation of what is and is not working.”
“As a result of this, we are going to look throughout the Marine Corps and see how the regionalization process is going. … Every once in a while, you have to stand back and see what works and what doesn’t work,” he added.
Haliday said he hoped they accomplished three things with Dickerson’s visit. “Number one, we got the general down here … to meet with and talk with his Marines and civilian Marines.” Haliday said it’s good for both Dickerson to hear what the people have to say and it’s good for the Marines and others to see “the commanding general for whom we all work, and to get some insights from him.”
Second, Haliday said, he and others got to brief Dickerson on “very topical issues” such as the transition into the national personnel system, updates to the base facilities, and improvements in methods.
The third accomplishment Haliday mentioned is that “some of the executive leadership on the base got one-on-one time with the general to get his insights into things which helps us do our jobs.”
Haliday said, “I get a better understanding of him every time I meet with him. … I’ve known General Dickerson ever since I was a captain and he was a lieutenant colonel.”
“I think he left with a very positive impression of the base and a high degree of comfort knowing we will get the mission done,” Haliday said. “I think we are both on the same track.”
Haliday summed up the one thing he hoped that Dickerson took back with him was that “he has, down here, a dedicated group of Marines, sailors and civil servants who are proud of what they do. They’re proud and they strive to get the mission done.”