Florida marines evacuate to Albany - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Florida marines evacuate to Albany

August 29, 2005

Albany - Albany's marine base is once again a safe haven for military personnel from the Pensacola Naval Air Station. 2,400 Marines, sailors, and Air Force personnel arrived at MCLB Sunday night. They'll stay here until the threat of severe weather is over and the damage is assessed at Pensacola NAS.

"We came here to make sure all the marines and other students are safe," said Corporal Justin Leishman.

Safe at MCLB, the military students pass the time with baseball, work-outs, color guard practice, and some R&R. It's a break from the hectic training schedule, but a lot of work for Corporal Valentina Daniels. She's basically a mother to this huge group.

"I try to make sure they clean up after themselves, get enough sleep, and make sure drink plenty of water," said Corporal Daniels.

It's the second time in two months hurricanes have forced the evacuation of Pensacola NAS, each time interrupting training.

"We all have a training schedule that we're supposed to stay on," said Sgt. Peter LaFrancois, Jr.. "With us being here, we can't stay on that schedule. So what they do is push the schedule back so we get the same amount of training."

The marines, sailors, and air force personnel are getting a lot of unwelcome training in avoiding weather emergencies, as the tropical storm season throws punch after punch at their base near the gulf coast.

Right now, the military personnel hope to head back to Pensacola Wednesday, but those plans could change at any time.

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