November 20, 2014 --
A new roughly 60,000-square-foot Weapons Storage and Inspection Facility will be built on Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany to provide better storage for small arms weapons, classified publications, night vision and optics equipment as well as communication security and controlled cryptographic items.
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast, headquartered at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, recently awarded the contract, according to Nancy Hilliard, facilities planner, Installation and Environment Division’s Public Works, MCLB Albany.
The $16.3 million government construction estimate project is funded through military construction funding from Headquarters Marine Corps, Hilliard said.
Construction is slated to begin in mid-summer 2015 and take more than a year to complete, she said.
“The purpose of new building is to meet Marine Corps requirements for the receipt/issuance, storage, inspection, care-in-stores, security and distribution of small weapons,” Hilliard said. “Marine Corps Logistics Command’s Fleet Support Division is responsible, and they currently use three bays of a general purpose warehouse.”
The new building will be close to Marine Depot Maintenance Command where the weapons are repaired and tested, and its secure storage will be in compliance with antiterrorism force protection guidelines, she noted.
“The new building will be configured with humidity-controlling equipment designed to prevent degradation of materials and reduce cyclic maintenance of weapons,” Hilliard said. “Besides having a humidity control system, the new building will have a more efficient pallet racking system that will minimize the storage area needed.
“The configuration of the new building will also allow for more efficient receiving, inspecting, storing and processing all small arms maintained at or processed through MCLB Albany,” she continued. “The new building will include infrastructure for an intrusion detection system, closed circuit television security system and security fencing.”
Hilliard highlighted why the project is important to the base.
“We looked at every other alternative such as continuing to use the existing warehouse (inadequate security or environmental controls), renovating existing warehouse space (could not be converted to meet security requirements), leasing off base (weapons storage and inspection functions need to stay within the fence line for security),” she said. “Building new was the only long-term alternative to meet the unique requirements of storing and inspecting weapons.”
Hilliard discussed the deficiencies of the current weapons storage area, which will be returned to general purpose warehouse storage once the new facility is ready.
“The warehouse they use now for storing weapons lacks appropriate security measures (i.e. fencing, site lighting, stand-off distances), and lacks proper humidity/climate control,” she said. “Armed guard personnel are required 24/7. During the summer months, inside temperatures rise to unacceptable levels and adversely affect worker productivity. Because of the nature of their mission, they are not able to open all the warehouse doors for ventilation and to keep work areas comfortable.”
Mike Henderson, supervisory engineer, I&E Division, MCLB Albany, described the new facility’s state-of-the-art automated sort and retrieval system.
“(The system) will take the weapons and index them into this matrix that’s approximately 40 feet high and 100 feet long,” Henderson said, noting a computer will know where each weapon is stored in the matrix.
The new building will “save operating expenses because we will no longer have to have the guards because we’ll have a secure facility. It (will also) meet the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. The facility is designed ADA compliant so we can have an ADA employee or visitor.”
Henderson spoke about other benefits of the new facility.
“The weapons are repaired at (MDMC’s) Small Arms Repairs Shop and they must be transported from the warehouse where they are currently stored to (MDMC) to be repaired and then returned,” he said. “(It’s) approximately 1 mile each direction and we’ll be reducing that to about 1/4 mile because this new facility is as close as we could get to (MDMC). (There’s) less exposure to a safety accident or a security breach.”
Gulf Building Corporation and Hernandez Consultants, Joint Venture, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is the contractor who was awarded Nov. 3 for the project, according to George Paspalaris, project manager, NAVFAC Southeast.