Alliance fights for logistics base - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Alliance fights for logistics base

Albany- Nearly a thousand military personnel and 3,000 civilians work at Albany's Marine Corps Logistics Base. But if it closed, many more people throughout southwest Georgia would be hurt.

"We've had economic developers tell us that we really don't have the infrastructure or the workforce in our small county to have a manufacturing plant or a big industry," said Suzanna MacIntosh, of Baker County.

Macintosh came to the alliance meeting. She says the four thousand residents in her county rely on the military for job opportunities. That's why the Southwest Georgia Alliance for Progress is working to keep the logistics base off closure list to be released May sixteenth.

Community leaders are rallying together to get the message out that the MCLB Albany is the 911 center of the military's 911 force.

"We are the point of the spear protecting the war fighter, and that war fighter's ability to get out there and protect our national interests," said Tim Martin, Alliance Secretary.

Because there are lots of unknowns, the group says the region as a whole needs to pull together to show community support for the base.

"We're not just looking at the tax base we're looking at the people, we're looking at the hearts, we're looking at the children, we're looking at the families, we're looking at everybody, so just pray and that with the closure that's coming about, that our marine corps logistics base here in Albany will be safe," said Brenda Robinson Cutler, Dougherty County Commissioner.

The alliance hopes the base could pick up new missions, but if it ends up on the closure list there is a Plan B.

"It will involve, the attraction of private sector companies, to locate on that industrial complex," said Martin.

Under BRAC rules, the base itself can't make a case to remain open. So, the alliance is coming up with Tiger teams. They're looking for anyone with prior military experience to help out their effort.

"The more you can work as a region or as different entities the stronger case you make for support," said MacIntosh.

As the communities come together to support the base, the alliance hopes that support will be enough to make the government think twice about placing Albany on the list.

posted by jennifer.emert@walb.com

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