Viewpoint: MCLB machines save lives

Once again, workers at Maintenance Center Albany at MCLB have shown how vital they are, not only to our community and economy, but to our national security.

They designed and built an incredible piece of military equipment that is saving lives on the battlefields of Afghanistan. The Mobile Trauma Bay is an armored, fully-stocked, intensive care unit and emergency room on wheels that can be deployed a coupled of hundred yards from the front lines.

A Navy doctor came up with the idea. The Commandant of the Marine Corps ordered the team in Albany to build it. It was a complex project that experts say should normally take at least 13 months to complete. The Albany workers had the first MTB out the door in 79 days.

The project manager from Marine Corps Headquarters in Virginia says no other group of workers at any industrial facility in the country could have done that. And a Navy doctor who has used the MTB in the field says because of it, troops are now surviving wounds that have never been survivable.

Many Albany employees worked 12 to 14 hour days, 7 days a week, for more than 50 straight days to get the job done and support our troops. The troops now making it home alive appreciate their dedication, and so do we.