Demand for Georgia armor increases production, jobs - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Demand for Georgia armor increases production, jobs

Marines in this destroyed Humvee walked away. Marines in this destroyed Humvee walked away.

June 29, 2004

Dougherty County-- The Albany Marine Base expands work that's saving lives in the Middle East. MCLB's armor kits for vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan have been a great success, and the demand for the armor is growing dramatically.

Now the Army has ordered Albany armor to protect their trucks and Humvees.

Ten million pounds of Armor are on order from the Albany Marine Base now. The Base added 100 new workers in the Armor All project, including welder W. Williams, who works twelve hour shifts, six days a week. "The end result is we are helping protect troops in the field. The war far outweighs the fatigue," he said.

Now the Base's Maintenance Center is producing armor for not only Marine vehicles, but Army Humvees and Trucks. Maintenance Center Commander Colonel Pete Underwood said, "Being an offensive association, just like the Third Infantry Division, they like that. They can carry the fight to the enemy with these kits. We're all in one fight here to accomplish the mission over in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Willie Jackson assembles a rear hatch for a Humvee. Long work days, but very satisfying work. "We're all on one mission here. That is to get the Marines the armor to protect themselves. And we understand that it is saving a lot of lives."

The first armor kits rolled out of Albany in January. Workers have produced more than ten thousand kits, but more are needed. Their biggest demand now, gunner's shields for the tops of trucks.

Colonel Underwood says they have no idea how long this rush production for armor will continue. But a fellow Marine told him how Albany armor saved his son two weeks ago.

Colonel Underwood said, "A mine went off, and his son would have been killed if not for these doors. That certainly brings it home, when you personally know someone's life who has been saved."

Life saving work, going on around the clock at the Albany Marine Base, supporting the troops in Iraq. The first truck load of armor for Army vehicles will leave for Fort Stewart Wednesday.

posted at 5:20PM by dave.miller@walb.com