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MCLB Albany Welcomed 6,000-plus Parris Island personnel

Special to the Metro

Albany, Ga.– More than 6,000 recruits from Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, were evacuated from the training earlier this month via commercial buses to avoid inclement weather expected from Hurricane Matthew.

Recruits, drill instructions and other personnel from PISC evacuated to the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Georgia.

All recruits assigned to Recruit Training Regiment aboard Parris Island evacuated safely to Albany’s Marine base. Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany is a designated location that allows for the safe evacuation of recruits at PISC where limited training can continue until conditions are met to return to the depot. Recruits conducted limited training which included academic classes, core value guided discussions with leadership, drill and physical training.

Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s Commanding Officer Col. James C. Carroll III, said the Albany installation was prepared to host the large group from PISC.

“We participate in a series of exercises throughout the year to ensure we are ready for events of this nature,” Carroll said. “It is an absolute honor to host our fellow brothers and sisters from MCRD Parris Island to ensure they are out of harm’s way.”

“It’s a privilege to make sure they are in a place where they can be safe and continue their training,” he added.

When the evacuation was authorized, MCLB Albany officials began to execute its plans to ensure the safe arrival of the recruits, drill instructors and permanent personnel.

The evacuation came ahead of the catastrophic storm, according to Headquarters and Service Battalion, MCRD, PISC’s Commanding Officer, Col. Edward Jeep.

 “(Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island Commanding General, Brigadier General Austin E. Renforth), gave the evacuation order after considering the weather predictions,” Jeep said. “We rehearsed and practiced these procedures but the actual evacuations are not very often,” Jeep added, citing the last evacuation was in 2000.

 Jeep confirmed training for the recruits continued while aboard MCLB Albany.

 “There are certain limitations because the facilities are not the same (as in Parris Island), but we will conduct as many training events as we can here in terms of physical fitness, close-order drill or classes,” Jeep pointed out. “Training will continue as it would normally because, frankly, Marines thrive on adversity. Being challenged to continue the mission as we would normally is good for us. We enjoy it.”

Jeep acknowledged the efforts of MCLB Albany and Marine Corps Logistics Command personnel.

“We are in debt to the Marine Corps Logistics Command’s Commanding General, Major General Craig Crenshaw, and Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany Commanding Officer, Colonel James C. Carroll III,” he said. “It's essential that we have all (coordination) thought through and having a great partner in the state of Georgia has been a great help in that regard, especially during Hurricane Matthew.”

Officials at MCRD PISC continued to monitor Hurricane Matthew and conducted appropriate follow-on actions as deemed necessary in accordance with updated weather conditions. Updated weather information regarding Parris Island was made available at MCRD PISC’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ParrisIsland. The weather hotline for Parris Island is 1-800-343-0639 (option 3).

Personnel from Parris Island returned home once travel was deemed safe.