One of the capabilities that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has to offer following disasters is the expertise of the 249th Engineer (Prime Power) Battalion. The 249th is the only active-duty component in USACE, and the only Prime Power Battalion in the Department of Defense, providing prime power and electrical systems expertise in support of the nation both at home and abroad.
Soldiers from the 249th have already been deployed as part of the federal response to Sandy in order to conduct assessments and facilitate the rapid return of power to critical infrastructure.
Headquartered in Fort Belvoir, the 249th also has companies on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; Fort Bragg, NC; and a Reserve company in Rhode Island. In the past year, they have deployed to 13 other countries, including the Marshall Islands, Turkey, American Samoa and East Timor, to provide expertise for military and humanitarian missions.
The Battalion has been deployed continuously since 9/11, beginning immediately after the attacks, where they provided the power generators that allowed the NY Stock Exchange to re-open, and continuing today in Afghanistan.
The 300 highly-skilled Prime Power Soldiers are selected from the very best minds in the Army and train for a year at USACE’s Prime Power School in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. This training includes classes such as Physics, Thermodynamics, and Mechanical Systems Engineering to provide each Prime Power Soldier with a fundamental understanding of electrical systems.
The 249thPrime Power Battalion is just one of the Temporary Emergency Power Assets that USACE has deployed in response to the devastation caused by Sandy.
Soldiers from USACE’s 249th Engineer (Prime Power) Battalion (USACE File Photo)
Today the Soldiers and Civilians of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) are watching as Hurricane Sandy approaches the East Coast bringing wind, rain and storm surge, and working closely with other federal agencies and state and local governments to provide support and assistance during and after the storm.
In any disaster, USACE’s three top priorities are:
- Support immediate emergency response priorities;
- Sustain lives with critical commodities, temporary emergency power and other needs;
- Initiate recovery efforts by assessing and restoring critical infrastructure.
Here are some of our current operations related to Hurricane Sandy:
- USACE is supporting States’ and FEMA operations centers to organize response efforts. Subject Matter Experts have been alerted and/or deployed to provide public works and engineering expertise to include damage modeling, storm surge modeling, and coastal preparations.
- USACE has received a Temporary Power Mission Assignment from FEMA and has deployed Temporary Emergency Power assets (Planning and Response Teams, the 249th Engineer Battalion, Emergency Command and Control Vehicles/Deployable Tactical Operating Systems) to provide support to areas projected to be impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
- Other Planning Response teams remain on alert for Debris Management, Commodities Distribution, Infrastructure Assessment, Temporary Roofing, Critical Public Facilities, Water Planning, and Temporary Housing.
- USACE Operations Centers within the affected districts have been activated and emergency response assets are providing support 24/7.
- USACE Districts located in the impact area are securing project facilities, floating plants, and construction sites.
- USACE has assigned a liaison to coordinate with the National Guard Bureau to coordinate any combined response actions.
As always, the safety of the public and our employees is of the utmost importance, and we should heed any evacuation orders and other warnings issued by local officials. Be vigilant and stay safe!
Essayons…Building Strong…Army Strong!
Thomas P. Bostick
Lieutenant General, US Army
Regular exercises, like the one pictured here in 2010, ensure that USACE Soldiers and Civilians are poised to responsed to natural disasters as part of the National Response Framework.
We have closed the books on Fiscal Year 2012 and it was another banner year for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
In FY12, USACE obligated $22 billion through 85,000 contract actions, representing 20 percent of the Department of the Army’s obligated dollars and 24 percent of the Army’s contracting actions this year.
We awarded $7.26 billion to small businesses in FY12, accounting for 33 percent of the Army’s $21 billion total small business obligations. In comparison with other contracting activities that obligated more than $5 billion in FY12, USACE had the highest percentage of dollars awarded to Small Businesses, Small Disadvantaged Businesses, Women-Owned Small Businesses, Service-Disabled Veteran Small Businesses and HubZone Businesses. Thanks to your efforts, USACE broke small business records for the third straight year in a row!
Even more important than the numbers are the people – our hard-working professionals who ensure delivery and management of USACE programs and the people around the world who depend upon our projects for safety, security, economic prosperity and quality of life.
I want to thank our entire team for the herculean efforts associated with year-end execution and close-out. You worked diligently throughout the year and into the late hours of the night over the last few weeks, wrapping up FY12 and getting FY13 off to a good start. I’m very proud of you – well done!
Essayons! Building Strong! Army Strong!
Thomas P. Bostick
Lieutenant General, US Army
America’s Army is the Strength of the Nation, and the greatest resource we have is our people — our Soldiers, Civilians, Veterans and Family Members. After more than a decade of war and great personal sacrifices by our fighting force, the Army suicide rate is at an all-time high. The incidence of other high-risk behaviors, including alcohol and substance abuse and post-traumatic stress, are also on the rise.
Every suicide is a tragic loss. The Army has instituted a multi-level, holistic approach to health promotion, risk reduction and suicide prevention that accounts for the many challenges our Soldiers, Families and Civilians face today. September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and on Sept. 27, each USACE Division, District, Center and Lab participated in the Army’s Suicide Prevention Stand Down.
We are committed to providing resources for our Soldiers, Civilians and Family Members to help them develop resilience and deal with challenges, including the Command Chaplain, the Employee Assistance Program, Military & Family Life Consultants, Military One Source and Veterans Affairs. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org or www.preventsuicide.army.mil.
For more information on how the Army is working to prevent suicide and other high-risk behaviors, visit http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/
There is nothing more important than improving the health, discipline and resilience of our Force. A Healthy Force is a Ready Force!