Kessler offers parting words

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

MCLB-ALBANY, Ga. -- After two years here, Maj. Gen. James Kessler is saying farewell to Albany.

Kessler is relinquishing command of Marine Corps Logistics Command to Brig. Gen. Chuck Hudson, who will be promoted to the rank of major general at the change-of-command ceremony at 9 a.m. today at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany.

As preparations were under way at Schmid Field in anticipation of today's ceremony, Kessler took some time on his last full day aboard the installation to reflect on his service in Southwest Georgia and the days ahead.

"There is always mixed feelings (about leaving an assignment)," the outgoing general said. "We'll will be sad to be leaving all the good people here."

Kessler's new assignment is at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., where he will serve as the commanding general of the new Marine Corps Installations Command.

When reflecting on his time with LOGCOM, Kessler said it is hard for him to pinpoint a favorite memory since there are so many good ones attached to the community itself as well as the work that is done within LOGCOM.

Although, he may end up missing the community the most.

"We've made some life-long friends," Kessler said.

LOGCOM's overall mission is to make sure the equipment being used by Marines gets to where it needs to go and is in working order.

While maintaining those operations, there have been accomplishments the command has had to its name in recent months such as the production of the mine roller, nine trauma bay vehicles and a new door for the Humvee.

"I would like to think I had a couple of good ideas here, but really, it's the work force," Kessler said. "There have been so many notable accomplishments within the work force."

When asked what his parting words would be, all he could really say was "Thank you."

"As I drive up I-95 to Washington, I will think of many words to say, but the most important are perhaps: 'thank you,'" Kessler said.

Hudson was previously the commanding general of 1st Marine Logistics Group in Camp Pendleton, Calif. He came to Albany last week, and up until today, has been taking advantage of that time to learn the ropes at LOGCOM.

"(The transition period has) given me an opportunity to look at what we are doing here to help determine what our focus will be going forward," Hudson said in a previous interview with The Herald.

Once the battle colors are transferred from Kessler to Hudson,

Kessler said he feels confident Hudson will be able to hit the ground running.

"He will be able to pick things up where I left off," Kessler said. "He'll make sure he provides the leadership LOGCOM needs."

LOGCOM, comprising four command elements, is the largest tenant organization aboard MCLB-Albany. Its headquarters element is in Albany, and it provides worldwide integrated logistics/supply chain and distribution management, strategic prepositioning of materiel and depot-level maintenance management.

Among the command elements are Maintenance Center Albany, also located aboard MCLB, and Maintenance Center Barstow in California.