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Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow

Barstow, California
MCB to possibly hire 250-plus workers

By Gunnery Sgt. John Cordero | Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow | June 26, 2003

MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE BARSTOW, Calif. -- In anticipation of an influx of equipment used during the Iraqi war, now in need of repair, Maintenance Center Barstow here is preparing to possibly hire more than 250 people.

All positions will be full-time term (40 hours per week), with health, life and retirement benefits, according to an MCLB Barstow Human Resources Office anticipated workload announcement.

The jobs and skill levels range from experienced mechanics and electricians in wage grade five (WG-5) through 10 (WG-10), according to the announcement.  The period of employment is approximately two years and is open to all U.S. citizens.  Anyone may apply for these positions, and no civil service status is required.

If the Maintenance Center ends up hiring the 250-plus additional employees, it will be the most people hired in recent years, according to Ray Magorno, human resource specialist with the Human Resources Office here, who started working at MCLB Barstow in 1984.

"We haven't hired this many people probably in a good couple of decades," said Magorno, whose office provides a list of candidates for the Maintenance Center to select from and ensures hiring practices are in compliance with all civil service rules and regulations.

The mission given by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld regarding the regeneration of the armed forces is to "do this right and do it fast," said Col. Rob Gerlaugh, Maintenance Center Barstow commander. 

To do it right, however, requires careful planning.  The planning for regenerating the Marine forces with full-mission capable equipment is ongoing, and it will continue to be so as more information comes from U.S. forces in the Gulf to the planners at Headquarters Marine Corps and at the Marine Corps Logistics Command in Albany, Ga., according to Gerlaugh.

As equipment is marshaled from Iraq to the port area in Kuwait, people there are describing the amount of equipment in terms of acres, and a lot of equipment is still in the field, said Gerlaugh.

Equipment that units have brought out of the Operation Iraqi Freedom area of operations, or that's being recovered by logisticians, is in every imaginable condition, according to Gerlaugh.  Some equipment is damaged beyond repair, and some equipment that wasn't used much is in fine shape.

There is no exact number available of how much or what type of equipment will require depot-level maintenance when it returns to the Unites States.  Planners in the Gulf and at Albany, Ga are compiling this information now.  Preliminary estimates, however, lead Maintenance Center officials to expect to receive a sizeable increase in workload by late summer or early fall that is not currently scheduled in the Master Work Schedule for this or next year. 

Since the expected workload may be more than the Maintenance Center's 732 people can handle, Gerlaugh said the Maintenance Center has identified initial requirements for additional skilled people.  He also added that he expects the number of required personnel to continually change as the Maintenance Center receives further information about how large the workload will be and when it will be received.

"When is all of this going to start happening?  We don't know," said Gerlaugh.  "I think by the end of the fiscal year, by the end of September, we're going to be experiencing the first surge of additional work.  Whether we'll be able to handle that with just what we have here in house or have to hire on more, we don't know, but we have to plan for it now."

Although there are several unknown variables, Gerlaugh said he's confident the Maintenance Center is going to have to hire additional people.

Another thing Gerlaugh is confident of is that if additional workers are required, then the Maintenance Center needs to take appropriate actions to ensure qualified workers are identified and hired as needed.

"Because the manpower system takes so long to generate potential candidates, you've got to get a jump on it," said Gerlaugh about recruiting additional employees. 

The Maintenance Center recently submitted to the Human Resources Office recruiting personnel actions of the type and number of people wanted. 

People interested in applying for a job at the Maintenance Center should visit the Department of the Navy's Civilian Human Resources Web site ( and follow these steps:  Click on "jobs, jobs, jobs" and select "Southwest Region."  Follow the instructions on the Job Application Kit on how to apply electronically or by U.S. mail.  The Additional Data Sheet must be completed and submitted with the application.  The Job Application Kit may be printed from the Web site.

Resumes received and successfully processed by July 1 will receive first consideration, according to the Human Resources Office anticipated workload announcement.  Resumes will be evaluated bi-weekly thereafter. 

The resume is an applicant's opportunity to sell a potential employer on his or her knowledge, skills and abilities, said Magorno. 

The process of getting a job begins with potential employees providing resumes, said Magorno.  The resume, whether it is submitted electronically or as a hard copy, goes to the Human Resource Service Center in San Diego, which enters the application into a computer system to be evaluated.

How is this evaluation done?  The Maintenance Center's Manpower and Administration Department, headed by Leonard Hilton, together with the Production Management Department, headed by Carl Chisam, will determine the type and number of people needed and work these requirements through the Human Resources Office.  That list of requirements is matched up to the skills applicants list on their resumes.  In general, applicants are ranked based on how well their skills match up with the required skills.  Special consideration, however, is given to such people as 30-percent or more disabled veterans. 

After receiving the job applications and ranking them, the Human Resource Service Center provides the Human Resources Office here with the names of people who seem to qualify on paper for the various jobs at the Maintenance Center.  The Human Resources Office then sends the list of names to the Maintenance Center where the supervisors make their selections.

After the Maintenance Center makes selections, the Human Resources Office will send those selections to the Human Resource Service Center, who will then confirm whether the Priority Placement Program is clear and that a job offer may be made to an applicant. 

The Priority Placement Program is a DOD policy designed to minimize the adverse effects on employees caused by actions such as reductions-in-force, base closures, realignments, consolidations, contracting out, position classification decisions, rotation from overseas, and transfers of function, according to a Priority Placement Program fact sheet.

After the Priority Placement Program is clear, the Human Resources Office will contact the applicant, who, if he or she accepts the job, will receive an appointment for a medical evaluation and subsequent report date.

Applicants for the journeyman-level grades, usually WG-10 and higher, go through a supervisory panel at the Maintenance Center, according to Margorno. 

Other than the obvious benefit of acquiring work, Margorno said taking a term job also provides people with exposure to the federal employment system, which is not an easy system to understand.  As people experience term civil service, they can learn the system and decide whether they want to pursue permanent civil service employment.

A large number of people won't be able to get term jobs at the Maintenance Center, however, until the center receives the additional workload.

"We can't just go out and hire 250 people and have them sitting around waiting for the work to come in," said Gerlaugh. 

"It's going to take some time to unfold, and I don't know how much time," said Gerlaugh. "But as fast as we need the help, we're going to be going out trying to get it.  That much I know."

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