ALBANY, GA (WALB) - As wars continue in Iraq and Afghanistan, a lifesaving mission also continues here at home. Troops remain on the front lines and employees at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany continue to work to keep them safe.
Each year at the Maintenance Center, hundreds of humvees are repaired and armored to help protect the military from explosions and gunfire. The base celebrated a milestone in that safety mission.
It's the hard work of what you could never call idle hands that inspired an afternoon pep talk Monday. "It's our handprints. It's our sweat. Those Marines depend on it and it's a result of your efforts," said Colonel Daniel Gillan.
Colonel Gillan shared those words with the dozens of Maintenance Center Albany employees responsible for repairing humvees at the Marine Corps Logistics Base. "This is a great news story for the community and a great news story for Maintenance Center Albany," said Gillan.
The pep talk followed by a familiar Marine hoorah and applause is because production hit a milestone of 100 humvees in just 30 days. That's a big improvement from when production started in April of 2007.
"Where we started out only being able to produce about 20 a month and it was taking over 70 days to do that," said Gillan. MCA employees began applying a dedicated production process. The improvement approach helped them to gradually improve the production rate month by month.
"Our office has stuck together and we've pitched in where needed and it's been a lot of hard work," said Procurement Supervisor Amy Cox.
It's hard work that requires them stripping down humvees and getting them repaired and armored for those in the war zone. "Pictures we've seen coming back of how these vehicles have saved lives over there and saved those Marines is the best part," said Cox.
"Just the fact that we're providing vehicles to Marines all over the entire world. You get to save lives," said Production Shop Planner Cliff Farmer.
Employees are proud of the fact that they help to save lives overseas from all the way here in Albany. "And we're not stopping there," said Gillan, "we're continuing to grow because we recognize there is still a war going on."
So even though they're celebrating the 100 humvees in a month milestone, it wasn't too long before they were back to work to hammer and drill their way to the next.
The next goal for Maintenance Center Albany is 120 humvees in 30-days. They hope to reach that milestone in the next couple of months.