ALBANY, GA (WALB) - On his last day as commander, Colonel Don Davis says he believes MCLB will have an even greater impact on our economy in the future. The outgoing Commander of the Marine Corps Logistics Base says a new VA hospital could be built on the base.
Despite the war in Afghanistan winding down, and military downsizing, Davis believes there are growth opportunities for the base.
"I still call it home," Davis said. "You can take the Colonel out of Albany, but you can't take the Albany out of the Colonel. You understand?"
After three years as Albany's Base Commander, Colonel Davis says its mission keeping Marine equipment ready for the battlefield remains vital.
"The equipment we have in the Marine Corps has got to go through life cycle management. And the business that has to be done here, within LogCom and the other tenants aboard the base, that doesn't go away."
But Davis said the V.A. is considering improving the on base clinic to a bigger facility, that would keep veterans from having to drive across the state.
"For the first time I heard the VA publicly say something about building a VA , a Dublin like facility here aboard the base."
Colonel Davis said there are also opportunities to move National Guard facilities onto the base, as well as a FEMA emergency disaster response headquarters.
"I think GEMA and FEMA having a staging base here, in terms of any kind of catastrophes that could happen in the Southeast, that would be another opportunity for the area. For the base."
Colonel Davis said the Albany Marine Base leads the entire Department of Defense in energy portfolio, and by 2016 will generate more electricity from the base than they consume. He said that energy diversity will make officials more willing to grow the Marine Base with new missions, that could mean increased jobs and economic impact for South Georgia.
Colonel Davis will leave Albany tomorrow, and his next assignment will be with Marine Northern Command in Colorado Springs. Lt. Colonel James Carroll will be the new Albany Base Commander.