Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany Provides Fiscally Responsive Support

Barbara Kieker

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

One of the largest employers in the Albany area, the Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) faces a number of issues related to cuts in defense spending from the sequester and the end of U.S. engagement in Afghanistan.  MCLB has more than 4,000 civilian and contract employees and approximately 400 Marines on station.  Marine Corps Logistics Command (MCLC) – whose motto is "Logistics Solutions for the Warfighter" – is based at MCLB Albany.  The MCLC depot maintenance facility in Albany is one of only two such facilities; the other is located at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Barstow, Calif.

The MCLB provided the following answers by email to questions posed by AlbanyCEO.  Their response has been edited for length.

How has sequestration impacted MCLB operations?

Sequestration has impacted readiness across the entire Department of Defense (DoD), according to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Current readiness, as well as future readiness, across all branches of the military will be affected if the dramatic budget reductions continue on the course they are on. Currently, furloughs of permanent civilian employees have been instituted to achieve the savings necessary to meet budgetary cuts by the end of the fiscal year. 

MCLB Albany and MCLC regularly re-evaluate their workloads and operational requirements to optimize resources while still providing the Marine Corps with the most effective depot maintenance approach; meeting the mission while adhering to budgetary constraints and remaining fiscally responsible. Bottom line, resources in areas not in direct support of warfighting operations will be cut as necessary.

Albany has the second-highest civilian worker population of any Marine Corps installation.   How does the MCLB work with the Albany community and business leaders?

MCLB Albany is the largest employer in Southwest Georgia with an economic impact of $1.4 billion.  It is also home to MCLC Headquarters, and uniquely integrates the core competencies of supply, maintenance, distribution and prepositioning to provide worldwide logistics support to the Operating Forces. MCLC is geographically dispersed in Albany, Ga., Barstow, Calif., Jacksonville, Fla., Afghanistan and other global locations closely aligned to provide enhanced support to the Operating Forces.   

Nearly 4,500 active-duty military, civilians and contractors work here and contribute significantly to the local economy.  Base personnel spend several hours of their personal time by volunteering with local schools, nonprofit organizations and at community events.  For the past several years, MCLB Albany has had the largest number of volunteers in events like the United Way's Day of Caring.  This type of relationship is a win-win for us and the community as a whole.

MCLC celebrated its 10-year anniversary in May. How has the MCLC mission evolved in recent years - especially with the end of engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan? How do you see the mission changing in the future?

As the Marine Corps' lead agency for the retrograde and reset of equipment returning from Afghanistan, MCLC is fully engaged in expediting, tracking, and processing principle end items and other classes of supply from Operation Enduring Freedom. Restoring the right equipment to the best maintenance condition and getting it back in the hands of the operating forces is vital to the Marine Corps' transition from a sustained land combat force back to our mission as the nation's expeditionary force in readiness. The Marine Corps' reset is being conducted in-stride with reconstitution and its maintenance strategies are synchronized with acquisition plans and force structure requirements. 

In Afghanistan, additive to the retrograde and reset mission, MCLC-Forward manages several efforts designed to sustain the readiness of combat forces and allow them to focus on their tactical missions.  It provides a forward-in-stores (FIS) capability, an inventory of critical equipment that is used to replace damaged or destroyed items immediately instead of waiting for them to be shipped from the United States.  MCLC-Forward works very closely with tactical Marine units deployed in theater and Marine Forces Central Command to identify, account for, and ship returning equipment to its destination.  Based on the condition of the equipment and the Marine Corps' reset strategy, the Marine Corps' organic depot facilities at Albany, Ga., and Barstow, Calif., are major sources of repair for U.S. Marine Corps depot maintenance reset requirements.  

As DoD and the Marine Corps have positioned themselves for limited fiscal resources over the next several budget cycles, the role of depot maintenance has become vital to sustained readiness.   MCLC and its depot maintenance management and production capabilities demonstrate the Marine Corps' continued commitment to remaining the fiscally responsive force of choice.  

What one or two key messages would you like to leave with our readers - mostly local business leaders - about the MCLB?

MCLC is a key component for worldwide Marine Corps logistics, so their continued presence at MCLB Albany will be critical in years to come.  MCLB Albany is a supporting command with nearly 40 tenant commands that work day in and day out to ensure the mission of the Marine Corps is carried out.  

Our relationship with Dougherty County gives us the resources we need to move closer to our goal of becoming the first net-zero military installation in the Department of the Navy.  [Editor's note: A net-zero military installation is one that produces as much energy and water as it consumes, while sending no solid waste to landfills.]  Along with other energy projects in the works or planned, we are well on our way to achieving "Best in Class" for energy security and efficiency.

The leadership at MCLB Albany continues to work tirelessly to be good neighbors in the community we serve, and as public servants, we will continue to not only focus on the mission of the Marine Corps and uniformed service members, but serve as role models and volunteers in the schools, neighborhoods and wherever we can be of service.

About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.