MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
A group of 45 Marines, civilian-Marines and contractors here know they make a difference each day.
They are the workforce that makes up Fleet Support Division.
Located near the back gate in a large, blocks-long warehouse, FSD is the Marine Corps’ funnel by which consumable and secondary repairable items flow from operations in Iraq to the rest of the fleet.
The items could be anything from a circuit board to a tank engine, and FSD methodically unloads, identifies and itemizes all the equipment for future use.
Brian Kelly, branch head, Fleet Support Division, Distribution Management Center, Marine Corps Logistics Command, said in the last year alone the contents of 1,800 shipping containers have been emptied and processed at FSD.
“The workers here have put in a lot of work and overtime hours to get to where we are today,” he said.
Kelly said the process of how FSD operates is simple. Marines in remote locations throughout the world ship their used equipment to FSD.
FSD then unpacks the items, inspects the equipment and either shelves it for future use or ships it off for repair. If the item is beyond repair, or is no longer relevant for use in the Marine Corps supply chain, it can be resold to the manufacturer to recoup costs or sent to Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services as a last resort.
Once an item reaches DLA Disposition Services, the equipment can be moved to another government agency, auctioned or recycled.
Kelly said the most cost effective process for the taxpayer is to re-shelf an item at FSD and have it entered into the supply chain for reuse by another unit.
“If I have a particular item on hand, my guys find it, pull it, pack it and ship it off to the unit that needs the equipment,” he said.
Since 2007, Kelly said more than $183 million in assets have moved through FSD’s warehouse. Of that, nearly $33 million in repaired or shelved items have flowed back to service in the fleet.
Kelly said his team of Marines, civilian-Marines and contractors has worked hard to ensure items returning to the fleet are in good condition before they are entered into the supply chain again.
In addition to processing thousands of pieces of equipment returning from operations in Iraq, FSD also acts as the main supply chain for Marine Forces Reserves.
It maintains about 800 different items on the shelves ready for shipment to needy units at any time.
An example of a normal day in the warehouse has a group of Marines restocking the shelves for issue to Marine Forces Reserve, while another group on the other side of the warehouse pours through a crate of medical kits that came from a newly opened container.
For the two Marines unpacking medical kits, their task this day is to remove expired iodine topical cream packages by hand from each of the hundreds of medical kits. It’s a job that saves the Marine Corps money.
Cpl. Timothy Martinez, supply clerk, FSD, said that removing and replacing one item from the kit saves money and resources for the Marine Corps in the long run.
“Instead of us spending more tax dollars on new kits, these get recycled and another organization gets what we cannot use,” he said.