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    Redefining Readiness: USACE and ARCENT Partnership Empowers Forward Operating Bases' Leap into Tech-Driven Defense

    Redefining Readiness: USACE and ARCENT Partnership Empowers Forward Operating Bases' Leap into Tech-Driven Defense

    Photo By Catherine Carroll | Brian Johnson, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Expeditionary District chief...... read more read more

    CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – In a groundbreaking partnership at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army Central, and private industry leaders, are pioneering a new chapter in defense readiness. This alliance is propelling the armed forces into a future where technological innovation and strategic prowess converge, reshaping the landscape of military operations. Merging the latest in technology with the enduring spirit of defense, this initiative sets a new standard for the future of military readiness and sustainability.

    Building on this momentum, the ARCENT Innovation Team visited Camp Arifjan in March. As the authority responsible for the administration, supply, training, and maintenance of over 35,000 U.S. Army personnel across the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Levant, U.S. Army Central plays a pivotal role. This visit underlines a dynamic partnership between military and industry leaders, aimed at boosting operational efficiency and advancing sustainability goals. It's a testament to ARCENT’s commitment to enhancing the readiness and effectiveness of U.S. forces, ensuring rapid force projection, and supporting sustainment in a concerted effort to deter threats across the region, all within the strategic framework of the U.S. Central Command.

    The team was hosted by USACE Transatlantic Expeditionary District, an organization renowned for its innovative approaches to engineering challenges. The district recently received the Innovative District of the Year Award 2023, largely due to its adoption of Matterport 3D technology for site assessment. This technology, developed by the USACE Engineering Research and Design Center, enables accurate three-dimensional modeling of physical spaces, providing a significant advantage in planning and assessment for military projects.

    "The partnership between the ARCENT and USACE is a prime example of how collaboration and innovation can significantly enhance our operational capabilities,” said Col. Christina L. Burton, ARCENT engineering director.

    “By integrating cutting-edge technologies like what USACE has implemented with Matterport 3D into our strategic framework, we're not only improving our planning and assessment processes but also setting a new standard for excellence in military engineering,” continued Burton. “This is a clear indicator of our commitment to maintaining the readiness and effectiveness of our forces, ensuring we can rapidly respond to any challenges that arise in our area of responsibility."

    During the visit, industry leaders were briefed on the capabilities and benefits of the Matterport 3D technology by Brian Johnson, the Expeditionary District chief of engineering.

    Highlighting the critical role of innovative technologies in enhancing operational capabilities, Johnson underscored the importance of adopting new solutions to meet the evolving demands of military engineering and support.

    “With Engineering being asked to maximize efficiency and innovation with streamlined resources and personnel, it is imperative that we reach out and utilize technologies that help us bridge those gaps so USACE can continue to provide engineering support for ARCENT and the warfighter,” Johnson explained. “ARCENT and ERDC are our key partners in researching and acquiring those technologies, and with our partnership we can move engineering support to the next level.”

    Jack M. Peters, ARCENT Engineering Directorate’s Operational Energy program manager, emphasized the crucial role of collaboration in achieving technological milestones.

    “Also significant, was our collaborative effort with ARCENT’s Operational Energy Team, private industry leaders, and USACE, when ARCENT was awarded three Energy Resiliency Conservation Investment Program projects, with the Largest Microgrid, Solar and Battery Energy Storage System, currently under construction on Camp Arifjan, to be commissioned sometime in 2024,” Peters stated.

    “Forming these strategic partnerships with private industry in developing the first-ever microgrid demonstrations project, commissioned in May 2022, and working with USACE on our Energy Resilience and Conservation Investment Program projects, in providing in-house design development from our initial 15-35% conceptual designs to design completion, contracting, and construction, has been an outstanding collaboration.”

    Colonel Mohammed Z. Rahman, Expeditionary District commander, expressed confidence in the transformative power of renewable energy sources within military operations, highlighting the necessity for adaptability and resilience in contemporary conflict scenarios.

    “Alternate energy option in theater is an excellent way to secure the ability to fight and win our nations wars,” Rahman emphasized. “Overseas military bases are relying on host-nation civilian electricity grids and those are vulnerable to severe weather disasters and traditional acts of crime like bombing or sabotage.”

    “Our modern military requires electricity to continue the fight even during long term blackouts,” Rahman continued. “Partnerships, especially the strong collaborations between USACE, ERDC, ARCENT, and CENTCOM, are critical to formulating innovation and moving beyond conventional battle strategies.”

    This visit underscores the U.S. Army's commitment to advancing its operational capabilities through technological innovation and sustainable practices. It also showcases the effective partnership between the military and the private sector, aiming to leverage cutting-edge technology and renewable energy to meet the challenges of modern military engagements. The focus on renewable energy, in particular, highlights a strategic move towards reducing dependency on traditional energy sources and enhancing the energy resilience of military operations in the U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility.

    Emphasizing the significance of energy resilience in modern military strategy and operations, Johnson elaborated on the direct benefits and broader implications of integrating renewable energy solutions into military bases.

    “Today’s military runs as much on electricity as bullets and bombs, so it is crucial that electrical resilience and redundancy is prioritized,” Johnson explained. “These microgrid projects will provide the needed resilience to continue operations when traditional power supplies fail.

    “In addition, it will remove costly spot generators from the base grid, providing cost savings from operation and manpower savings from maintenance. ARCENT and USACE partnership on these projects will hopefully be a model for future solar panel microgrid projects throughout CENTCOM.”

    (The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Expeditionary District, a vital component of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division and the USACE’s only forward-deployed district, delivers critical project management, engineering, and support services across the U.S. Central Command region. Focused on providing timely, sustainable solutions, the Expeditionary District provides theater-wide engineering solutions and expertise in support of U. S. Coalition, and Host Nation efforts in order to enable the building of partner capacity. With a commitment to “Always Forward,” the District stands as a cornerstone of support for the U.S. Army, U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, regional component commands, and our allied nation partners)



    Date Taken: 04.20.2024
    Date Posted: 04.20.2024 05:21
    Story ID: 469017
    Location: CAMP ARIFJAN, KW

    Web Views: 135
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