Army takes steps to tackle electrical concerns in Iraq, Kuwait

By ASC Public AffairsFebruary 23, 2009

The Army Sustainment Command is vigorously addressing electrical safety hazards to ensure the Army facilities it supports in operational theaters are in compliance with established electrical codes.

In concert with Task Force SAFE (Safety Action for Fire and Electricity), this focus on electrical safety includes places where Soldiers, Army civilians and contracted employees work and live.

The 401st Army Field Support Brigade in Kuwait and 402nd AFSB in Iraq are aggressively directing facilities inspections for electrical hazards. Common deficiencies identified include improper grounding and bonding.

The following are some of the major initiatives either underway or that have been completed to ensure electrical safety:

- The 402nd AFSB has embraced the Task Force SAFE initiatives to increase the health and well-being of Soldiers, Army civilians, and contracted employees by comprehensive analysis and tracking of facility hazards through reconciliation. Constant communication with the TF SAFE team(s) has enhanced the AFSB's ability to mitigate issues across the Iraq Theater of Operations.

- Attendance by a 402nd AFSB representative at the majority of inspections has increased command awareness.

- Added a master electrician to its facilities team to facilitate proactive steps for our TF Safe mission. He will work with contracted teams to ensure mitigation of any issues.

- Other important initiatives include: establishing a TF SAFE central coordinator; creating positions for lead engineer and fire inspector; implementing a fire warden program; conducting weekly safety, health and welfare inspections; installing shielded-type breakers in 100 percent of Army Materiel Command joint base housing; increasing electrical maintenance staff augmentation; and establishing two dedicated electrical repair teams for TFS flashes or electrical danger zone areas.

- Among actions identified by the 401st AFSB are improvements to Army Materiel Command work and housing facilities at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait:

Bldg. 501, increase the number of outlets in the lab.

Bldg. 504, coordination between AMC electrical engineer and Dept. of Public Works engineers to upgrade electrical capacity.

Bldg. 511, upgrades being made in coordination with DPW engineering staff.

Bldg. 512, reconstruct the building interior. This effort is coordinated with ASG Kuwait and DPW.

(Information for this article was made available by the ASC Safety Office at Rock Island Arsenal; Tom Grossmann, facilities engineer of the 402nd Army Field Support Brigade; and Joel Baylor, Safety, Health and Environmental manager, 401st AFSB.)

Related Links:

U.S. Army Sustainment Command Web site