Marine armor made in Albany - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Marine armor made in Albany

March 8, 2004

Dougherty County --  Roadside bombs and snipers are dangers U.S. forces face daily in Iraq. The Marine Corps ordered armor put on the side of all it's support vehicles to protect the Marines from shrapnel or bullets.

The armor kits were designed and are being made at Albany's Marine Base.

 For the last month workers at the Albany Marine Corps Logistic Base have been grinding steel, to safeguard Marines under fire. These men and women are making armor kits, to be put on trucks and humvees like these.

When the Marines said they needed side armor to protect the drivers and passengers in Iraq, MCLB engineers got the challenge done in a week. Mechanical Engineer Bill Baker said "We probably could have done it quicker than a week, but we had to wait for the Marines to come in and approve of the designs. We wanted them to look at them and make sure they liked them."

The three sixteeths inch blend of steel armor plate was tested with live rounds from an AK-47. They barely made a dent. 

The call for the armor was made January 28th. By February 9th full production of the kits was underway. The first shipment of armor arrived in Kuwait 28 days after first ordered. They are flown to Kuwait, and installed there. MCLB Deputy Commander R. Ken Trammell said "There is no doubt about the capabilities of this base, this command, in stepping up to the plate."

The armor plate is molded and cut to fit at the Maintenance Center. Each plate weighs 180 pounds. They are heated to 600 degrees in powder coating paint.

The men and women who are making the armor are all volunteers, working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, to get these life saving materials to combat zones as quickly as possible.

 Debbie Fullerton, one of the workers making the armor, said "It wasn't about the money or the extra time, it was definitely to save our Marines."

Carlos Cruz said "Without this armor, some of them are not going to make it back. To me, I feel it is going to protect them very much."

So far more than 18-hundred armor kits have been made in Albany, and hundreds more are rolling out everyday.

 They are not sure how many more armor kits in all will be needed, but M.C.L.B. officials feel they will stay busy for quite a while making them.

posted at 4:06 PM by jimw@walb.com

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