Generator users share feedback at conference
August 16, 2010
- A new breed of lighter, more fuel-efficient generators from Project Manager, Mobile Electric Power (PM MEP) were unveilved
- On display for the first time to Soldiers were pre-production test models of the Advanced Medium Mobile Power Sources (AMMPS).
- Although commercial generators are not uncommon on the battlefield, they present a technical challenge to the Soldier.
Military standard generators are a vital asset to Warfighters such as United States Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer Three Matias Kennedy, for missions in rough terrain or extreme weather.
"They were built for expeditious missions and have proven their worth in austere environments time and time again," Kennedy said.
Kennedy was one of 230 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines who attended the third annual Project Manager, Mobile Electric Power (PM MEP) Users' Conference, held May 4-6 in Orlando, Fla. The conference provided an open forum on Tactical Electric Power (TEP) issues. Users were informed of present developments; their feedback was solicited through breakout sessions, where lessons-learned were gathered and applied; and the future of the program was discussed.
"The different [subject matter experts] that you meet are very important in order to stay abreast of the most recent information," said attendee Sgt. First Class Ernesto Santiago. Santiago also cited networking as a benefit.
"I was able to bring back names and contacts to share with my fellow instructors," he said.
Also at the conference each year, PM MEP recognizes and distributes awards to the top power professionals of the year from each military service. This year's award winners were:
- Representing the U.S. Army, from the United States Army National Guard, Staff Sgt. Barry Fredericks from the Regional Training Site Maintenance - Florida.
- Representing the United States Marine Corps, Staff Sgt. Jacob L. Karl in the performance of his duties while serving as maintenance chief, Utilities Platoon, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group Forward, Marine Expeditionary Brigade- Afghanistan from 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010.
- Representing the United States Marine Corps, Cpl. Travis Carter, Engineer Maintenance Company, 3D Maintenance Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Expeditionary force.
- Representing the United States Navy, Petty Officer Jayson A. Hansen, Naval Facilities Expeditionary Logistics Center, Port Hueneme, California.
- Representing the United States Air Force, Technical Sgt. Cesar E. Medina, 10th Intelligence Squadron, Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) in charge, Power Production shop, Langley Air Force Base.
Master Sgt. Richard Pollock found points of contact who could help him resolve generator issues at the conference.
"I actually had a parts issue with a generator set on a track vehicle that PM MEP helped me resolve while I was at the conference and I have called a couple of times since for technical assistance; all great useful information," he said.
Kennedy noted that the training received by the U.S. Marine Corps enables deployed Marines to operate any model generator in use. The generators fielded by PM MEP for use in the battlefield need to be more rugged than typical commercial models.
A new breed of lighter, more fuel-efficient generators from Project Manager, Mobile Electric Power (PM MEP) were unveilved at the third annual conference - where the future of power generation was discussed.
On display for the first time to Soldiers were pre-production test models of the Advanced Medium Mobile Power Sources (AMMPS). The AMMPS generators are the third generation of military standard Mobile Electric Power Generating Sources. AMMPS will replace the existing Tactical Quiet Generators in the 5 - 60kW size range. They are "meaner" than their predecessors, providing enhanced power generation, along with improved fuel efficiency and reduced size and weight. The current schedule for the AMMPS program leads to a Milestone C full rate production decision in March 2011, with production deliveries beginning shortly thereafter.
Workshops were conducted during the conference to demonstrate current and new equipment, and provide training on automated training tools available to assist Soldiers in the field who operate and maintain TEP equipment.
"TEP sets are much easier to support in the field because of better parts availability through the standard supply system and maintenance documentation," Chapman said.
Chapman provides Soldiers training and maintenance support on all sizes of tactical power generators. "
TEP sets are more ruggedized than commercial sets," he said. He credited the success of these sets to being "more familiar to the Soldier in the field."
Kennedy agreed that military spec generators have significant advantages over their commercial counterparts.
"Our Marines receive a standard training package during their MOS school," he said. "This allows them to operate any model in the Marine Corps' inventory without additional training."
Although commercial generators are not uncommon on the battlefield, they present a technical challenge to the Soldier.
"When we were forced to purchase the foreign generators, our operators had to 'learn as they go,'" Kennedy said. "They were introduced to foreign wiring standards and become familiar with the components as the differed from the military spec generators."
PM MEP conducts the Users' Conference to gain feedback from Soldiers in all branches of the military. The generators fielded by PM MEP power systems in the battlefield and natural disaster relief efforts.