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Albany Marine Band

Albany Marine Band

The commanding general, Marine Corps Logistics Command, Maj. Gen. Charles L. Hudson, is proud to preseNative American artifacts, more than 200 to date, have been unearthed here. The artifacts indicate that a Native American hunting camp once stood on the high ground at the east end of Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany.

University of Georgia archeologists believe the flint knives, scrapers, drills, agricultural tools, arrowheads and spearheads found here date back some 8,000 to 10,000 years. These items are evidence that Native Americans also used the site where MCLB Albany is located as a center of resupply or a supply base.

Of special interest was a piece of black flint found at the site. Black flint comes from North Georgia, so it is thought that South Georgia Native Americans, through early trade, made this a very early example of commerce in the Southeast.

A large oak tree is also a historical landmark here. It was named for Col. A.E. Dubber, who from March 1951 to July 1955, was in charge of planning and construction of the Marine Corps Depot of Supplies, Albany, Ga. He was insistent that the construction of the depot be aligned on this oak tree and during the depot’s construction, the tree was affectionately known as “Dubber’s Oak.”

Brig. Gen. Raymond P. Coffman assumed command and a small contingent of Marines established headquarters in temporary buildings when the base was commissioned on March 1, 1952, as the Marine Corps Depot of Supplies. The depot’s name changed two more times before it became Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany on Nov. 3, 1978. On Jan. 17, 1990, the commandant of the Marine Corps directed the base’s commanding general to also take on the responsibilities of commander, Marine Corps Logistics Bases, which placed MCLB Albany, MCLB Barstow, Calif., and Blount Island Command, Jacksonville, Fla., under this single commander.

On Oct. 4, 2005, the Marine Corps regionalized all installations, and the organization here was divided into a base command with a colonel as its commanding officer, and Marine Corps Logistics Command headed by a commanding general. MCLB Albany became one of seven regional installations reporting to Marine Corps Installations East. Logistics Command became a separate tenant with its headquarters here and subordinate maintenance centers in Albany; Barstow, Calif.; and Blount Island Command, Jacksonville, Fla.

An integrated workforce of military and civilian men and women accomplish the base’s mission of supporting its organizations that help sustain Marines around the world.

A new Mobile Trauma Bay was used in combat on Oct. 28, 2009, in Now Zad, Afghanistan. Maintenance Center Albany’s engineers and craftsmen were responsible for the concept. The bays enable personnel in theater to provide emergency trauma care through task-organized tactical trauma teams with a means of force protection and environmental control.

In a landmark ceremony, Sept. 23, 2011, base and local officials flipped the switch on a $20 million generator plant that will produce 1.9 megawatts of renewable electric power and steam by burning landfill gas collected from a nearby landfill. Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Dougherty County, Ga., and Chevron Energy Solutions officials inked the first landfill gas-to-energy partnership in December 2009.

The new green technology is the first of its kind within the Department of the Navy. The process will recover methane gas from the neighboring landfill and convert it into energy and steam to help power Maintenance Center Albany. This is only one effort by MCLB Albany in creating the premiere green base in the Department of Defense. nt the Albany Marine Band.

Formed in 1990, the Albany Marine Band consists of 50 members. The band is one of only 12 field bands throughout the Marine Corps.

Stationed at MCLB Albany, the band travels throughout the United States and abroad to fulfill its mission of providing music for military ceremonies, community celebrations, recruiting programs and official events. While serving primarily as a ceremonial ensemble, the band also contains a wind ensemble, marching band, jazz ensemble, brass and woodwind quintets, jazz combo, show band and party band.

The Albany Marine Band was recently named the fiscal year 2010 Marine Corps Band of the Year and honored during the annual Marine Corps Leadership Symposium, Dec. 14, 2010, in Chicago, Ill.

The Albany Marine Band also received the 2011 Band of the Year Award and Live Performance of the Year Award. At the end of the fiscal year, Headquarters Marine Corps’ music section pulls all of the training statistics for the field bands. These statistics include physical fitness and combat fitness test data, pistol range scores, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program belts, swim qualification scores and anything else having to do with a Marine being a basic Marine.

The Albany Marine Band was issued a challenge by Maj. Gen. James A. Kessler, former commanding general, Marine Corps Logistics Command, to write a song specifically for the command. As with all challenges, they delivered and presented a special musical piece, “Freedom Shield,” to Kessler and other base leaders, Jan. 14, 2011, at the base theater.

According to band officials, the musical piece was commissioned in honor of Marine Week, specifically for the Albany Marine Band. The work is meant to portray the various aspects of Logistics Command and the Marine Corps. The significance of the piece is the commanding general asked the band to develop a piece of music that would tell the story of what Logistics Command is all about.

“To show appreciation for those who serve and support the warfighters; To gain freedom, it must be won; Honor cannot be gained, it can only be lost,” as personally inscribed on a note by the Emmy Award winning composer, Julie Ann Giroux, who helped write the music for “Freedom Shield.”

With music as their primary mission, all Marines in the band are selected by audition and are required to maintain a high level of instrumental proficiency.

Additionally, each member of the unit receives ongoing training in preparation for assuming his or her role in the band’s secondary mission of bearing arms in the defense of the nation.

Marine Corps bands are composed of men and women who are the proud bearers of a heritage dating back to the whistling fifes and rolling drums of the first Marine musicians in 1775. A long-standing tradition of excellence and service to Corps and country is their legacy, and it is one which they willingly embrace.

They are the few, the proud, the Marines!

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