PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. --
In case of an emergency evacuation, Parris Island has no greater friend than Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga., and their commander, Col. Terry V. Williams, who is visiting the Depot
In the event of a hurricane, all recruits and Depot personnel will be evacuated to MCLB Albany to continue the mission of making Marines.
Williams is visiting aboard Parris Island until Saturday to strengthen disaster coordination between the bases. He and other members of his command element are touring the Depot, escorted by Maj. Willie Stansell - the primary planner for this year’s hurricane evacuation strategy.
Stansell, of Easley, S.C., said MCLB Albany could support up to 10,000 recruits and personnel if the need arises.
If possible, Depot leadership would only implement a short-term evacuation, called the Safe Haven Plan. However, if recruit training facilities were badly damaged, they would employ the Continuing Operations Plan, under which recruits would resume their training cycles in Albany.
While here, Williams will observe aspects of training such as the Crucible exercise, water survival, basic warrior training, and bayonet instruction. He is studying the training to determine how MCLB Albany could best facilitate the mission of making Marines, Stansell said.
“A staff visit like this is a way for the colonel to see all the moving parts of our operations,’” Stansell said. “Now he will be better able to direct his staff in supporting our needs.”
MCLB Albany has an outdoor pool in which combat water survival instructors can teach and assess recruits’ CWS qualifications, he said. The base also has a venue suitable for final drill and graduations, as well as a spacious area where weapons battalion would construct a Crucible site.
“Training might be modified from what we’re used to here, but we’ll still be able to accomplish our major requirements,” Stansell explained.
He said many recruit-training essentials only require space and minimal equipment.
“They’re giving us an area to build-up and conduct MCMAP (Marine Corps Martial Arts Program) training, they have plenty of acres to conduct road marches and everything we need for a physical fitness test,”
Some training requirements, however, necessitate greater resources and technology.
“We would have to go to Camp Blanding for rifle-range training, which is an Army base,” he said. “For required academic instruction Combat Camera would bring in all the materials and technology
These plans have been in place since before the hurricane season began, but the visit will re-examin and reaffirm standing procedures, said Lt. Col. Craig Hungerford, the officer-in-charge of
Williams took over as the commanding officer at MCLB Albany in July. Hungerford said the visit caught him up to speed on what his predecessor already agreed to.
“We want to make sure that everybody is on the same sheet if an emergency were to happen.
“The bottom line is, we don’t want Col. Williams to be surprised when we show up one day with 7,000 people,” Stansell added.
“Thankfully, he and his command understand what it takes to make a basically trained Marine, and they’re bending over backwards to ensure that we’re successful in our mission.”