Change of Command, Mission stays the same - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Change of Command, Mission stays the same

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July 10, 2007

Albany - It's arguably the most important mission of the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany: Workers at the maintenance center repair and re-enforce vehicles with tough armour then send them back to Iraq.

On Tuesday, A new commander took control of that post. He says it will be his goal to make sure more lives are saved by the work done here in Albany.  

It may seem like a lot of Pomp and Circumstance, but this Change of Command ceremony represents much more than a simple change of post.

"Truthfully, these people are quite humble. They know what they are supporting is bigger than themselves," said Col. Kevin McCutcheon, who is turning over the reigns of the Maintenance Center after two years.

He says the Marines and civilian Marines who work here save lives. "They know that they are really contributing," he said.

People like Blase Goodman. He says the motto at the center is something everyone here believes.  "What you do is important, everyday a Marine's life will depend on it."

This land mine roller attaches to the front of a truck, so that an IED or mine goes off before it reaches the cab, keeping people inside safe. Since these modifications were made, not one Marine has died in a vehicle like this.

In his brief Marine career of only 26 months, Cpl. Cash Burthold, not only works on these vehicles here, but in Iraq.  He's been there three times already.

"The driver, passengers, whoever is in it is safe in it and that is saving lives right and left over there," said Burthold.

That's a mission new Maintenance Commander Col. Daniel Gillan plans to continue.  He said, "These vehicles are life preservers.  With every upgrade these vehicles have, that saves more lives.  To see Marines, soldiers come home to rejoin their families, there's nothing like it." And he wants to make sure he can bring as many of those troops home as possible.

Through a parternship with Albany Technical College, MCLB has hired trained professionals skilled in welding for the armour upgrades.  

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