Haiti to receive more help from MCLB-Albany

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

MCLB-ALBANY -- Additional relief supplies are being shipped from Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany to Haiti to assist relief efforts for the earthquake ravaged country.

Tony Brooks, site manager for the Defense Distribution Center Albany, said Tuesday more than 914,000 meals ready-to-eat (MRE's) from the distribution center's warehouses at MCLB will be shipped to Haiti.

"We have more than 76,000 cases of MRE's that we are loading onto 42 truckloads," he said. "This is our second time that we have sent supplies to Haiti."

Brooks said the MRE's will be transported to Jacksonville, Fla., where they will then be carried by ship to Haitian ports.

"This is the largest shipment we have sent," he said. "Last time, we only shipped 50,000 cases Saturday and Sunday."

This will make the third time relief supplies to Haiti will be shipped from tenant agencies located at MCLB-Albany.

The initial shipment of 35 truckloads of MRE's from the HAP-EP facility was made Jan. 13.

Brooks said the MRE's housed in the climate-controlled warehouse had a very short stay before they were requested for relief aid.

"We got these (MRE's) two day ago and we are already sending them out," he said.

Ten Defense Logistics Agency employees worked steadily Monday and Tuesday to load the food onto the trucks that were lined up outside the warehouses.

"I've got a good crew," Brooks said. "I got a call last night (Monday) that we had an emergency request for these and three members of my crew were here at 8 o'clock at night prepping the pallets for loading."

The site manager said the crew worked until midnight to get the pallets in order.

The first truck to receive the first shipment of MRE's arrived at the Marine base at noon Tuesday. Brooks said tractor-trailers from Southern Ag carriers will be making the four-hour trip to Jacksonville.

George Dilworth, an Alabama truck driver for Southern Ag, said Tuesday that he was glad to make the trip a second time. "The first time I went, we dropped them off in Hollywood, Florida," he said.

Dilworth said his job is to get the supplies to Florida as quickly as he can.

"They need it. We are ready whenever they call us," he said. "I feel sorry for all the kids down there. If something like that happened here, I would want somebody to do the same for me and my family."

Each truckload of MRE's contains about 36 pallets of the foodstuff, with 48 cases on each pallet. Each case contains 12 individual meals.

Brooks said it is important to get the supplies to Haiti because he knows the food will save lives.

"It's a great opportunity for me personally because I get to be a part of the relief efforts and make a difference," he said. "We are trying to

save lives."