Maintenance Center is key to MCLB - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Maintenance Center is key to MCLB

February 13, 2003

MCLB Albany-- The centerpiece of the Marine Corps Logistics Base is the Maintenance Center, where workers check out and repair tons of military equipment every day.

That work is vital to the readiness of American troops. Perhaps even more important now since some of this equipment could soon be on a battlefield.

Much of the equipment used by American Marines training in the Kuwaiti desert, just miles from the Iraqi border, passed through Albany's Marine base.

"I like the main part about doing something for the country," says AAV Team LeaderArthur Wright. Wright has worked for the country here for 20-years. Now, he leads a team that keeps these Amphibious Assault Vehicles in top shape.

"What we do is totally disassemble and rebuild the amphibious vehicles." Even small parts must be sanded, cleaned, and painted.

John Henderson is taking care of a gun turret that needs an overhaul after returning from a ship at sea. "We have a big problem with corrosion. Rust. Salt water eats them up."

High tech military vehicles aren't the only vehicles you'll see here at the Maintenance Center. The building is almost 1000 feet long, so something as simple as a tricycle is an easy and efficient way to get parts and people from one spot to another.

For MCLB to make it through future rounds of base closings, efficiency has to be priority.

"We started looking at ways to save steps." Mischa Sharpe oversees the AAV program. "I went around to the different shops and said what are your doing that doesn't make sense, how can we improve."

In two years, the base has dropped overall AAV repair time by a third. We give them a Cadillac for Volkswagen prices."

These dedicated workers take a lot of pride in their work, and getting these military Cadillacs to the troops on the front lines of a potential war is what they work for every day.

posted at 4:00PM by dave.miller@walb.com

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