MCLB-ALBANY -- The local Marine base will soon have a new voice.
A month after receiving his orders, Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany Public Affairs Officer 1st Lt. Caleb Eames will be set to leave the area next week to continue his service in Okinawa, Japan.
The official transition will take place a week from today, after which Eames will be preparing to assume his duties as the public affairs officer for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.
"It's a new challenge and new people to meet," Eames said.
A farewell luncheon is planned on base for Eames Thursday at noon, at which time 2nd Lt. Kyle Thomas will be relieving him of his duties at MCLB-Albany.
"It will be very difficult to leave Albany," Eames said. "I've learned how important relationships are, and you really see that when you look at the base and Albany."
Eames was born in Albany, N.Y, and enlisted in the Marine Corps in Virginia in 1995. In 2006, during his second deployment to Iraq, he received orders to report to Officer Candidate School under the Enlisted Commissioning Program. After commissioning and graduation, he was assigned to MCLB-Albany. He assumed his duties here in October 2007.
The incoming PAO is originally from Haughton, La. Before coming to Southwest Georgia, he lived in areas around the Washington, D.C., vicinity such as Fort Meade, Md., and Quantico, Va.
Since making the trip to Albany last month, he said he has felt as if he is home again.
"What I really like about this community is that it reminds me of home," Thomas said. "As far as duty assignments go, I got the best deal.
"I look forward to being a part of the community."
The role that MCLB-Albany has in the Corps is what will make working here an enjoyable experience for Thomas.
"The base is the linchpin of Marine Corps logistics," he said. "It is very important."
The outgoing PAO said it is the people he will likely miss the most.
"If the people didn't know us, they were willing to get to know us," Eames said.
The New York native also said he will miss the recreational
"People told me when I came here that there was nothing to do," Eames said. "I proved them wrong."
The outgoing PAO admits there is at least one thing he won't miss.
"The thing I definitely won't miss is the gnats," he quipped.
Eames' counsel to Thomas has been to continue to build onto the installation's connections.
"He brings a great amount of experience to Albany," Eames said of Thomas. "My advice to him is to continue to build on relationships."
Thomas said he intends to take that advice.
"The community is a big thing here; it has been huge while Eames has been here and I really want to continue that," he said. "(The community) really has a relationship with the base that most communities do not enjoy. They are a direct part of what happens at the base."