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Without it, many crucial systems 3 cease to operate. Command, control, communications, and intelligence C I functions are highly reliant on dependable electrical power. Administrative, health service support HSS , and logistical support operations would be seriously jeopardized without it.
Some weapons systems are dependent on electrical power for operation. The result of this growing dependence on electricity is a continual increase in the quantity and quality of power required to support operations.
The indispensable nature of electrical power compels commanders and planners to recognize their electrical power needs and to ensure that those needs are met. It ranges from the power produced by the smallest tactical generators TACGENS through prime power to the power produced and distributed by the largest commercial power plants and their associated transmission and distribution networks. They provide a mobile source of power to units operating in the field.
Prime power is reliable, commercial-grade utility power continuously generated by nontactical generators NTGs. NTGs are portable, but. NTGs require site preparation for installation. They also require the use of transformers, distribution equipment, and switchgear for operation. Installation, operation, maintenance, and repair of prime power assets are the responsibility of engineer prime power units.
Prime power may be supplemented with portable commercial generation equipment when it is available. Prime power may be employed as a stand-alone power source. It may also be installed in parallel with a commercial power source. When installed in parallel with commercial power, prime power can be used for either load sharing or standby.
The use of prime power usually requires the construction of nonstandard distribution networks to take power to the users who need it. Commercial power plants and their associated transmission and distribution networks are fixed nonstandard systems. Output capacity of commercial power plants may vary from a few megawatts MW to several thousand MW. These power systems are part of the infrastructure, as are other utility systems.
Commercial power is provided in the theater by the host nation or nations. Prime power units satisfy the critical electrical requirements above the capability of TACGENS and below the availability of commercial power.
In addition, prime power can augment both sources. The portion of the continuum that is exclusively prime power represents power generation and distribution accomplished by prime power units with their organic equipment. Responsibility for providing, operating, and maintaining the generators lies with the user. The overlap between prime power and commercial power may occur when a prime power unit repairs and maintains part of a distribution network on a commercial grid or when the unit taps into a commercial power source to provide power to a user.
Chapter 4 provides detailed information on prime power missions and capabilities. Engineer prime power units provide nontactical power generation and power- related technical expertise in support of operations across the continuum of military operations.
During war, the primary objective of prime power operations is to support force sustainment in the communications zone COMMZ , providing power generation and power-related technical support to rear-area units, facilities, and activities. Prime power support may extend forward into the corps area at the direction of the theater engineer.
Prime power operations also support post- war operations including redeployment, emergency restoration of host-nation services, and humanitarian assistance. During operations short of war, the primary objective of prime power operations is to provide prime power generation and power-related technical support to forward presence operations, contingency response, and disaster relief.
Each company consists of a company HQ detachment and two to five subordinate engineer teams prime power. The battalion provides guidance, training support, and equipment to the reserve component teams during peacetime. Upon mobilization, reserve component engineer prime power teams are will normally be assigned to the prime power battalion.
Although configured as a battalion, the companies and their subordinate teams can be employed independently. Normally, a cell from the battalion HQ is deployed if more than one subordinate company is required to support a particular theater or contingency.
When necessary, the battalion HQ will task organize a battalion HQ cell to accompany a deploying element. The battalion HQ cell provides command and control of the companies as well as specialized maintenance support, administrative and logistical support, and liaison and coordination. A line company HQ is normally deployed to provide command, control, and specialized technical services if two to five teams are required.
If only one team is required it normally deploys as a separate unit. It is the basic building block for the company and battalion prime power. The team can be employed independently or as part of a prime power company, battalion, or task force.
The team commander is a warrant officer with a A5 specialty. The team is organized into two seven-man sections. The training and experience of prime power NCOs give them an in-depth working knowledge of electrical and electro- mechanical systems.
Each 52E NCO possesses one or more of a variety of power- related specialty skills. The specialty skills found in each team include mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, and power distribution. The skills and knowledge of these NCOs enable them to perform electrical field engineering on a wide range of power-generation and distribution systems. A team has the equipment, manpower, and expertise to perform many highly technical power-related tasks, including the following:.
Design, construct, and maintain temporary nonstandard primary and secondary distribution systems. Make connections to commercial distribution networks.
Provide power-related techincal advice and assistance to contracting officers representatives CORs. Conduct damage assessment of power-generation and distribution systems. Perform minor repair of distribution systems and generation equipment. Provide limited repair and maintenance of industrial electrical systems and controls. It is commanded by an engineer captain CPT. The company HQ detachment includes a first sergeant, lSG , an operations sergeant, a supply sergeant, a personnel services sergeant, a clerk typist, and an equipment records and parts specialist.
The engineer prime power company provides—. Power-related staff assistance, technical advice, and coordination with higher HQ, supported units, supporting units, the host nation, and other engineer units.
Administrative and logistics support to subordinate prime power teams. The adjutant also performs the duties of the HHD commander. The S-3 and S-4 officers are electrical engineers. Elements of the battalion HQ may deploy to a theater of operations in the event that more than one subordinate company is deployed in support of the same theater. The battalion HQ will normally task organize a support cell to deploy with and support subordinate elements.
When deployed to a theater during war or when supporting operations short of war, the key functions of the battalion HQ are to—. Provide power-related staff assistance. The battalion coordinates and manages prime power requirements. The battalion commander or his representative acts as a special staff officer to the theater engineer in a mature theater or to the supported headquarters or agency when a theater engineer is not available.
Provide command and control for subordinate units. This includes not only engineer prime power companies and teams but also engineer power-line detachments. Provide electrical engineering support.
This includes a limited design and analysis capability. The battalion also provides several additional functions relevant to operations short of war. These include—. Rapid worldwide deployment of engineer prime power teams in response to contingency missions or emergencies. This rapid response includes responding to natural and man-made disasters.
Management of the NTG war reserve. The battalion can also provide, on a reimbursable loan basis, power-generation equipment to support the Department of Defense DOD and other federal agency activities worldwide. The battalion can also provide training on power generation equipment for US and foreign personnel, both military and civilian. This mission statement encompasses military operations across the entire continuum of military operations to include disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, and other operations short of war.
Engineer prime power units support sustainment engineering efforts by providing reliable power generation and power-related technical expertise. They can also install, operate, and maintain nonstandard, portable power-generation equipment and operate and maintain some fixed commercial power plants. Provide power to locations where another source is not available or is inadequate. Organic Equipment Each prime power team is equipped with four kW generators, giving the team a 3-MW peak power-production capability.
The team can configure its generators into one large power plant or two smaller plants. Table , page , shows the various possible configurations and the manpower requirements for continuous operation.
The team can install and operate these plants in any of three modes. Chapter 4 contains information on the three modes of power generation.
Appendix A contains a discussion of power-generation concepts. Nonstandard Portable Equipment The prime power team can install, operate, repair, and maintain nonstandard portable generators when they are available. Nonstandard generators are nonmilitary, commercial-type generators. Once installed and operational, these generators should be turned over to the supported unit to operate and maintain, thus freeing the prime power team for additional missions.
The prime power unit can train the requesting unit personnel to operate and maintain this equipment. Supported units may use contracting channels to rent or lease these generators. In some cases, nonstandard generators may already be installed as backup. An important consideration when using nonstandard equipment is the availability of service and repair parts.
The prime power team can perform damage assessment of nonstandard power-generation equipment and, subject to availability of repair and service parts, repair the equipment and return it to operation.
Field Manual FM 3-34.480 (FM 5-422) Engineer Prime Power Operations April 2007