ST. CROIX - The 249th Engineer Battalion and a deployed U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Power Team are working together to provide U.S. Virgin Island facility generator owners with assessments to guide and assist them with the generator's future maintenance.
"This is going to help the people here by giving them a guide regarding how to provide power or fix their existing generators in the event there is a catastrophic failure," said Chief Warrant Officer Derek Ganley, the 249th Engineer Battalion Power Systems Technician.
The 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power) and the Corps' Tulsa District Power Team are working together to complete over 25 generator assessments for private facility generators including for Boy Scouts of America facilities, a community health center, the University of the Virgin Islands and a hospital.
The assessments provide the facility generator owners a preemptive analysis for generator maintenance requirements and capabilities, in the event that the owner does not have a contractor available to perform maintenance on their equipment.
"We were called upon to do assessments of generators due to our vast expertise of operating and maintaining generators," said Chief Warrant Officer Ganley.
The Tulsa District Power Team and Prime Power are assisting the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands by ensuring these private generators for popular public facilities will remain serviced and operational until permanent power can be restored throughout the islands.
Prime Power serves as a versatile power generation battalion assigned to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and provides commercial-level power to military units and federal relief organizations during full-spectrum operations.
As the Federal Emergency Management Agency's power engineers, Prime Power and one of the Corps' seven established Power Teams deploy during emergency events to fill the power gap between the end of a storm event and the arrival of power and utility contractors, who install temporary FEMA generators to predetermined critical facilities.
When Prime Power first deployed to the U.S. Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma hit the islands in late September, along with the Corps' Memphis District Power Team, their primary mission began and they immediately got to work providing temporary power to critical facilities utilizing FEMA generators.
"The prime power team was here to assess the power requirements of critical facilities in the Virgin Islands in order to provide them with proper generators to fulfill their power needs for life, health and safety in the territories," said Chief Warrant Officer Ganley.
These Corps teams and battalion are subject matter experts in temporary power and can provide training requirements as necessary, as well as provide information needed for tools or equipment, making these teams an excellent resource for states or territories with little resources or expertise post-storm events.
"It's truly been an honor for us to come to the Virgin Islands and be afforded the opportunity to help the people within this beautiful territory," said Chief Warrant Officer Ganley.