SAVANNAH, GA. – More than 20 volunteers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District completed a 3-day virtual power response team training course Aug. 27.
Designed to familiarize participants with the mission and scope of the district’s temporary power mission, the course provided essential training on management and execution of the power mission, procedures of contractor oversight, and the use of ENGLink, an enterprise-wide, web-based application used to support military and civil contingencies by providing real-time tracking of personnel and events as well as team readiness and availability.
“The power response team here in Savannah plays an important role in disaster relief by getting power to people that need it in times of crisis,” said Carey Vann, a hydropower electrician and facilitator of the course. “As soon as a disaster has cleared, the PRT is there, trained and ready, to respond by providing generators at critical public facilities to provide lifesaving and life sustaining electrical power needs until the commercial power grid can be restored.”
There are 7 temporary emergency power teams throughout the U.S. including the Pittsburgh, Tulsa, Walla Walla, Honolulu, Savannah, Albuquerque, and Memphis Districts. Multiple teams may be engaged in several power missions at one time to provide power to hospitals, fire houses, police stations, critical care facilities such as nursing homes, shelters, and water and wastewater facilities.
“The execution of a power mission in an emergency involves the combined efforts of the districts, the 249th “Prime Power” Engineer Battalion, our contractors, and our federal and state partners,” Vann said. “COVID has been a challenge in coordinating all of the different elements of the team but we’re ensuring that our volunteers are prepared to deploy at a moment’s notice and execute the temporary power mission whenever and wherever they are needed.”
The Corps of Engineers has the capability to provide state and local officials, tribal nations, and U.S. territories broad support for their unmet temporary emergency power needs. This support ranges from technical expertise and assistance through complete management of an emergency power mission including the procurement, installation, operation, and maintenance of generators.
During the training, Col. Joseph Geary, Savannah District commander, addressed the importance of the PRT and expressed his appreciation for those that volunteered for the team.
“I served as a young Captain in the 249th so I am a firm believer in the power of PRT and its ability to support those in need,” Geary said. “The value this team gives to the nation is irreplaceable and I commend every volunteer that chooses to be a part of something bigger than themselves and the district.”