November 23, 2015 --
Base officials welcomed Brig. Gen. Thomas Weidley, commanding general, Marine Corps Installations EAST, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, for his first visit to Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany since taking command of the MCI East installations earlier this year.
Col. James C. Carroll III, commanding officer, MCLB Albany, the base’s leadership team as well as Maj. Gen. Craig Crenshaw, Marine Corps Logistics Command, met with the general during his day-long briefings aboard the base, Nov. 23.
Bob James, director, Operations and Training Division, MCLB Albany, outlined several of the details related to Weidley’s agenda and visit here, which also included a Town Hall meeting.
“Brig. Gen. Thomas Weidley took over the Marine Corps Installations EAST, located in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and we are one of the installations that fall under his command,” James said.
“This is his first visit to MCLB Albany so, this is more of a familiarization for him,” he added. “It’s more for him to understand the base, to meet some of the people here – the employees and the staff – and to help him gain more of an appreciation of what this base does in support of our tenants.
“The general (attended) scheduled meetings with Maj. Gen. Crenshaw and certainly with the base CO, Col. Carroll and some of us who work for the base,” James pointed out. “LOGCOM is our major tenant here and, of course, his meeting with the general is more of a courtesy call. We also participated in a groundbreaking ceremony, which had previously been planned.”
In addition to the today’s events, the base was the recipient of the Ground Safety Excellence Award, which Weidley presented to the commanding officer on behalf of MCLB Albany’s workforce at a Town Hall meeting held at the Base Theater.
Merrill Dickinson, installation safety manager, MCLB Albany, shared comments on the safety award and its significance to the base.
“The award is the fiscal year 2014 Commanding General’s Marine Corps Installations EAST Ground Safety Excellence Award,” Dickinson said. “The commanding general will give the award to Col. Carroll; he will receive it on behalf of the workforce. They actually earned the award for the role they play in the ownership of our command safety program.
“We rely on every employee, our active-duty Marines and our contractors to make sure that we have a safe and healthful work area,” Dickinson explained. “Our tenants have a different award chain; they don’t fall under our region and this is a regional award. We compete with the five other installations in the MCI EAST region.
According to Dickinson, some of the criteria, which helped the workforce to gain the award for MCLB Albany, was the review of on-duty and off-duty mishap rates for Marines; civilian workplace injuries, our civilian loss-time injuries and how we deliver the installation’s core safety services.
“We are required by Marine Corps Order 5129B to provide 10 specific services to our subordinate and our tenant commands,” Dickinson continued. “They check to see how well we are using our resources; how well we are innovating – developing new programs and new ways to deliver training.
“We gained a lot of traction when we developed our VPP Passports,” he concluded. “I want to emphasize that the award is really for the workforce and not for the safety staff.”
Prior to his presentation of the safety award to the MCLB Albany, Weidley addressed the Marines as well as the civilian-Marines workforce.
“It is a pleasure to be here with you today,” he said. “Before we get started on taking a few questions and talking to you a little bit, I want to do one thing up front. I want to say, ‘Thank you,’ and then give you an award.
“Congratulations on a job extremely well done,” Weidley emphasized. “If you look at the safety statistics between 2010 and 2014, (there have been) so many monumental achievements by this organization in that timeframe.
“You got the Marine Corps Installation’s EAST first ever Star Award for a VPP organization, Weidley noted. “You got a 71 percent reduction in OHSA referrals." You got a 75 percent loss workdays over that timeframe; just go on, and on and on.
“Every time someone came to do a site visit or assessment, your safety programs and the work that you’re doing in the safety realm were always exceptional,” he added. “You always had the model program and that doesn’t come very easily.
“There’s an awful lot of hard work that goes into that,” the general concluded. “So, I’m here to give you a small token of our appreciation. From all of us at Marine Corps Installations (EAST), our hat’s off for a job extremely well done.”
After presenting the safety award to the base commanding officer, Weidley briefed the personnel on some of his “challenges;” the interests and concerns of the future of the installations under his command and opened the floor for questions from the workforce in attendance.