Dougherty County -- An award of excellence for MCLB Albany's maintenance depot. It's the second in three years from the Department of Defense. One of their employees was honored as the Logistics Civilian Marine of the Year.
The Maintenance Center was honored for developing new life saving equipment, protecting Marines in Iraq.
20 year old Lance Corporal Christopher Mayrand was one of the Marines from Albany Maintenance Center who helped put together the prototype Mine Roller in Iraq in August 2006. It was blown up days later, protecting a truck convoy. And the Marines leading that convoy gave their approval. Mayrand said "they said, hey man, Thanks. These things save lives." Soon engineers and workers at Albany's Maintenance Center were improving on the Mine Roller design, and building them to protect the troops in the war.
It's that ability to design and build equipment that war fighters request that earned the Albany Maintenance Center the Robert T. Mason Depot Maintenance Excellence Award. It's the second time Albany's workers have won the award in it's three years in existence.
Center Commander Colonel Daniel Gillan says the men and women employees in Albany deserve honors for it's armor program and other new equipment dreamed up and manufactured to protect the war fighter. Colonel Gillan said "there is no doubt when you talk with them, you know who their customer is. It's that Marine, forward deployed in harm's way."
Mechanical Engineer Supervisor Christopher Tipper was named the Civilian Marine Logistician of the Year. He led the production of the HEAT trainer, a device that teaches Marines how to get out of a rolled over HUMVEE under attack. Tipper said "I take a great pride in being able to provide useful products to the service men serving out country overseas, helping to provide them the equipment they need."
Tipper and the rest of the Albany Maintenance Center employees earn the top awards for logistics bases, for new equipment like the Mine Roller, which is counted on now. Lance Corporal Mayrand said "they would not go on a convoy unless the mine roller was in front of it. Marines as far as I know love it. It saves lives and it brings people home."
Tipper and Mayrand and the other Maintenance Center employees say that is the most important honor to them.
The Marine Corps Ground Board also named Maintenance Center Albany the Marine Logistics Unit of the Year for 2006.