MCLB-ALBANY -- After nearly three years in Albany, the time has come to move on.
Col. Terry Williams, the top commander at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, will be leaving with his family on May 25 to assume a position with the Marine Corps Installations and Logistics Division at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
"It's bittersweet," Williams said of his pending departure. "We (Willams and his family) have had a great time. The community is great, and we've done great things.
"The people we have met (out in the town) have been just some great people. The toughest immediate part will be moving, but we will settle into the new job and the new home -- and life will go on."
The colonel said he did not have any expectations of the installation or the Albany area coming in, but that the experience of working here has been good to him.
"This is one of the warmest communities I've been in," he said. "Whether I'm at the mall or at a social meeting with leaders, (I've interacted with) the warmest folks I've had to deal with.
"You can't beat the warmth."
Williams also commended the professionals he has worked with to ensure the Corps' mission is fulfilled while doing more with less.
"I couldn't ask for a better organization to be a part of," he said.
While he didn't care so much for the gnats, there will be some positive memories aside from the hospitality that the base's outgoing commander will take with him -- such as the launch of the landfill gas project.
The landfill gas project, which was turned on last year, is a $20 million generator plant that was expected to produce 1.9 megawatts of renewable electric power and steam by burning landfill gas collected from the Dougherty County Landfill.
It was made possible by a partnership with Dougherty County and Chevron Energy Solutions.
"It was the first in the Department of the Navy," Williams said. "It epitomized the (hard work) of everyone involved.
"It was a success. It was a highlight, no doubt about that."
A graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles, Williams was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps in 1986 and attended the Basic School the following year.
In 1988, after attending the Marine Corps Basic Engineer Course, he was assigned to 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa, Japan. During this period, he served as a platoon and company commander. In 1989, Williams was reassigned as a series officer at Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, where he also served as a battalion adjutant and personnel officer. He was promoted to captain in 1991.
From 1997-98, Williams attended the Naval Command and General Staff College in Newport, R.I. Upon graduation, he attended the Joint Staff College in Norfolk, Va., and subsequently reported to the Engineering Division, U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) where he was assigned the duties of Engineer Action Officer and deployed to Australia and East Timor as part of International Forces East Timor (INTERFET). In 2000, he was selected to serve as the aide-de-camp for the commander at USPACOM.
In 2002, Williams was promoted to lieutenant colonel and assigned to Marine Corps Detachment at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. for duty as a detachment executive officer.
From 2003-05, Williams was assigned as the commanding officer for the 8th Engineer Support Battalion. During this tour he deployed to Haiti in 2004 as the commanding officer of Combat Service Support Detachment 20 in support of Operation Secure Tomorrow, and in 2005 to Iraq with his battalion in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In 2006, Williams attended the National War College in Washington, D.C. Upon graduation he was assigned to Allied Command Transformation, Staff Element Europe as a logistics defense planning officer for NATO. During this assignment, he deployed to Afghanistan where he served as the branch head of Directorate for Afghan National Army Training and Equipping Support (DATES) for Headquarters International Security Assistance Forces, NATO.
He was promoted to colonel in January 2008. He was reassigned to Headquarters Marine Corps, Installations and Logistics Department in Arlington, Va., in July 2008 where he served as the operations officer for the Facilities and Services Division until June 2009.
Williams assumed command of MCLB-Albany on June 26, 2009. After he is relieved, Lt. Col. Donald Davis, who has been serving as the operations officer for Marine Corps Logistics Command, will become the new commanding officer of the base.
"He is very competent," Williams said of his successor. "His record speaks for itself."
All in all, Williams said, he feels confident that the base is in better shape than it was three years ago, and he has little doubt Davis will be able to pick up where he left off.
"No Marine officer strives to be a base or installation commander. There will be new things you didn't learn in operational forces," he said after being asked to offer words of wisdom to the incoming commander. "You are well prepared to step in my shoes.
"Don't worry. Everything you have learned coming up the ranks has prepared you. It is all about leadership and taking care of people."
Williams' personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf, the Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars, the Joint Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal with two bronze stars.