MCLB base works during deployments - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

MCLB base works during deployments

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January 13, 2003

Dougherty County--The Albany Marine Base has increased activity as more troops are deployed to the Persian Gulf and the threat of war looms. Workers at the base's Maintenance Center were called back during the Christmas holidays to prepare vehicle's for action.

This D-8 bulldozer has been rebuilt, and now has a special armor kit to protect the driver from gunfire, and is ready for shipment today. It was part of a special order the Marine Corps made to the Albany Maintenance Center just before Christmas.

December 26th 20 civilians at Albany's Marine Base started work to provide armored bulldozers, mine sweepers, and bridges that could be used in the Persian Gulf. Some D-7 dozers have been fitted with a mine plow.

Base Program Manager Gary McAllister said "It's used to sweep the area for mines, so the Marines can go in and reach their area. This idea came up during Desert Storm and they were originally mounted on M-60 tanks. And now we're modifying them to fit on the D-7 bulldozer."

100 Workers at Albany's Marine Base readied seven of the mine sweeping bulldozers, four of the bigger dozers, and ten armor kits in the rush order. They also refurbished six portable bridges that tanks can use to clear obstacles.

Maintenance Center Commander Colonel Steve Foreman said "We basically had to jump through the hoops and get stuff ready in a hurry just in case the Marines need it when they deploy."

Now the work load at Albany's Marine maintenance center has slowed back to normal. But with the growing possibility of war, they know their work load could increase again soon.

Trades Department Manager Don Jensen said "A big share of people are veterans, retired personnel. They know what the troops are going into. They don't want anyone going out there with bum gear."

Some of the equipment in the Marine Corps special order has already been shipped out. The rest is ready, waiting for orders.

The Albany Marine Base Maintenance Center has 720 civilian workers. The center did 84 million dollars in repairs to equipment last year.

posted at 4:12 by jimw@walb.com