MCLB equipment is vital in war zones - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

MCLB equipment is vital in war zones

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Albany's Marine Corps Logistics Base continues to develop and build new lifesaving equipment for troops in war zones.

As the war front changes from Iraq to Afghanistan, Albany's Base is helping Marines get the latest gear to protect them in combat.

Albany's Marine Base Maintenance Center is ramping up production of the equipment that Marines most want for the fighting in Afghanistan. It's equipment that will save lives, protecting the troops from roadside bombs and mines.

It starts out in the metal fabrication shop, where 400 pounds of steel are welded to a frame and tire system. More than 110 Maintenance Center workers will be involved when the new Panama City Mine Roller is completed.

It is pushed in front of Marine vehicles, to protect them from roadside bombs.

"As they travel from station to station or front to front, it gives them some added protection for the IED's that may be in the roadside," said Project leader Larry Lairsey.

The old Albany mine roller used in Iraq was bigger and could only be pushed by larger vehicles. It was too big to go through Afghan mountain passes and villages. This newest mine roller is smaller, and can be used to protect many more type vehicles.

 "We got return info that gives us good heads up, and the guys like the mine roller. And it is saving lives," Lairsey said.

The most wanted vehicle by the Marines in Afghanistan is the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement, or MTVR. It replaced the old style five ton truck used in Iraq. Albany workers are adding three thousand pounds of new armor on the truck to protect the driver and Marines often transported in the back.

 "The fuel tanks needs to be protected at any given time. They were having a lot of problems with the tanks being blown off," said Project leader Tim Davis.

And they know these trucks do the job, by studying the ones blown up in Afghanistan.

"We've had a lot of trucks that came through here with the front axles blown completely out from under it. Good news is, the Marines that were in that truck good to go," Davis said.

The Albany base is pushing work on the MTVR's, and will soon be refitting 20 a month. They have 197 more ready to refit. 

The Albany Marine Base is ramping up to produce 40 of the new Panama City mine rollers every month. That's vital, because right now in Afghanistan the Marines are losing 30 a month, blown up by IED's.

The new mine rollers are called Panama City's, because they were developed by the engineers at the Naval Service Warfare research center in Panama City, Florida, and they called on Albany's Maintenance Center to make them.


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