The flag for the Marine Depot Maintenance Command flies following the uncasing of the colors at the command’s activation ceremony Thursday. The command will consolidate the maintenance centers in Albany and Barstow, Calif. under a single headquarters with two operating plants under the command of Col. Stephen Medeiros of Albany.
MCLB-ALBANY -- In a move officials say will help control costs, Marine Corps Logistics Command (LOGCOM) officially activated Marine Depot Maintenance Command on Thursday.
The new organization will combine the maintenance centers in Albany and Barstow, Calif., under a single headquarters with two operating plant locations.
"This is a momentous occasion," said Maj. Gen. Chuck Hudson, commanding general of LOGCOM, at the activation ceremony. "This adventure began in October 2010, and what we see today is the cultivation of the hard work of many people over the last 12-14 months.
"This is just a milestone. There is still much work to be done to bring this operation (to its end state)."
Hudson went on to discuss the role Maintenance Center Albany and Maintenance Center Barstow has had in making sure Marines engaged in overseas conflict over the last several decades have been using equipment that is in proper working order.
"For nearly 60 years, two organizations have been doing the job the Commandant had asked them to do," he said. "They have made a difference for 60 years to make sure the Marines in harm's way (have equipment that is working properly)."
The ceremony that took place Thursday was not only an activation of the command, but also a deactivation of the two maintenance centers.
During the course of the event, flags for both maintenance centers were covered up, or "cased." A new flag was unveiled, or "uncased," for the command as was a new insignia which has a globe and anchor in the center of a bolt resting on top of a gear.
Engraved on the outer rim is the new command's name, as well as the two cities in which its plants are located, along with three smaller bolts.
The new command, officials say, is expected to reduce overhead functions associated with two separate commands and is expected to significantly reduce costs, standardize processes between industrial plants and increase efficiency.
Col. Stephen Medeiros, the commanding officer of the organization, said that personnel reductions resulting from the activation of the command will be about 120 -- which are expected to be handled by early retirement incentives, normal attrition and other management strategies over time.
The majority of workers will not be impacted by the consolidation, he said.
"In the end, the people who will be here will work and have a job here," Medeiros said.
By consolidating the two maintenance centers, the Corps anticipates cutting its depot overhead costs by 9 to 13 percent over the next several years. Officials say this will enable the right balance between fiscal efficiency and meeting the requirements to remain an expeditionary force in readiness.
Prior to the command's activation, Medeiros had been commanding both maintenance centers separately.
The headquarters for the command will be located aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany. There are approximately 2,858 federal and contracted employees attached to the command including 305 within the headquarters, 1,583 at the Albany production plant and 970 at the plant in Barstow.
Both production plants will have a civilian manager that reports to Medeiros, who in turn will report to Hudson.
Marine Depot Maintenance Command repairs and refurbishes over 400 kinds of ground combat and support equipment. Approximately 50,000 pieces of equipment are repaired by the plants within a year.
By standardizing and streamlining processes between the Albany and Barstow plants, and by consolidating the headquarters staff, officials say the command will save the Marine Corps $40-$60 million over the next several years.
"I couldn't be any happier today to do this," Medeiros said of the new venture. "It is my privilege to work with the people here.
"It's awesome, and I'm extremely happy to do this."