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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

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Federal budget cuts may target commissary stores

By Verda L. Parker | | August 30, 2013


There is nothing to indicate that the Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany Commissary is on any closure list, however the future of commissaries, and possible closures, continue to come up in public discussions about federal budget cuts.

According to Richard A. Brink, public affairs specialist, Defense Commissary Agency headquarters, comments in the news about possibly changing the commissary benefit or eliminating its annual appropriation, in order to save money, have recently sparked concerns and complaints from patrons.

MCLB Albany officials said they are not aware of any definitive plans for change, which leads them to believe this base’s Commissary is not on any potential, upcoming closure listing.

“I have heard nothing that would indicate (Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany Commissary) is scheduled to close,” Col. Don Davis, commanding officer, MCLB Albany, said. “However, with budget cuts in the upcoming fiscal cycle due to sequestration, it is difficult to predict what the future may hold for us.”

Commissary staff here concurred with the base commanding officer in neither having knowledge nor having heard any discussions on the potential decision to add MCLB Albany’s Commissary to any closure list.

According to Gloria Robinson, secretary, MCLB Albany Commissary, the impact on patrons would be devastating, particularly to retired service members, if the base commissary closed.

“We have retirees who travel from as far away as Tallahassee, Florida,” Robinson said. “It would create a tremendous hardship for them if they were forced to travel farther due to our commissary closing. And, as a retiree spouse, my family would be affected as well.

“Not only would our patrons be affected if this commissary were to close, but also our 35 employees, who would lose their jobs, would suffer as well,” she said.

Ernest Beckwith, assistant manager, MCLB Albany Commissary, said he was not aware of any commissary closing discussion for this base.

“I am not aware of any closing (here), but if (the commissary) did close, it would be a tremendous impact on this entire community,” Beckwith said, noting that 85 percent of the commissary’s patrons are retirees and on fixed incomes.

In his opinion, active duty as well as retired service members would “be deeply impacted” if the MCLB Albany Commissary closed.

For questions or concerns about possible commissary closures, visit the website http://www.commissaries.com, or call 804-734-8000.