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October 30th, 2012

249th Prime Power assists in recovery efforts

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)


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