ALBANY — A privately-held company that’s been operating in Albany for about two years, cut the ribbon Thursday on its new facilities at 235 W. Roosevelt Ave.
Since 1949, Wyle has been involved in aerospace and information technology, especially in service to the federal government, Wyle officials say. City and county officials were present at the event, as well Marine Corps representatives and members of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce.
Peter Green, president of Wyle aerospace group said the purpose of the Albany office is to enhance day-to-day communications and life-cycle management support for customers at the U.S. Marine Corps Logistics Command, the U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command, Program Executive Office Command Support & Combat Service support, and the Project Manager Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Joint Project Office.
“The program that brought us here is the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle (MRAP) that was developed for taking our troops into harm’s way,” Green said.
According to Green, the mine resistant vehicle was developed as a joint project of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps some five or six years go. The primary protective feature Green describes is a thick armor “hull” on the bottom of each vehicle, designed to deflect an explosive blast from the personnel compartments.
“The charge will blow the wheels and the axles away from the vehicle, but the people are safe.” Green said. “They’ll be banged around a lot. Their ears will be ringing and they may even get a purple heart, but the system does a wonderful job of protecting our troops.”
One area where Wyle enters the picture, Green says, is to provide proper maintenance plans and operational improvements, originally lacking because of the haste in which the vehicles were planned, created and placed into service.
“The vehicles were needed right away, in order to save lives,” Green said.
Using the example of oil changes for personal vehicles, Green explained that years ago car owners were advised to change their oil every 3000 miles. Through a combination of data gathering and analysis, and increased technology modern cars can go 9,000 miles or longer between oil changes. Staying with the analogy, Green emphasized that mine-resistant vehicles can’t just drop by the local lube shop for a 20-minute oil change.
“Changing the oil on these specialized vehicles results in multiple days where (the vehicle) is not available,” Green said. “That results in warfighters having to go out in vehicles which are not as well protected.”
According to Green, Wyle’s function is make the military more available, more capable and more efficient, all for the most efficient cost. Green said Wyle has succeeded in taking its expertise in aircraft and transferring that to both Army and Marine Corps ground vehicles.
Green said Wyle is also involved with asset management, giving as an example the tracking and management of thousands of vehicles returning from southwest Asia and documenting the capabilities of each. The Marine Corps will then know which vehicles remain useful for its purposes and which they need to sell.
“The bottom line is to make (the vehicles) more efficient, cost effective and more effective in their mission,” Green said. “If they’re sitting in the depot they’re not helping the warfighter.”