The construction of a natural gas powered microgrid is officially underway at Fort Campbell Kentucky. The microgrid project that will feature three two-megawatt natural gas generators was celebrated during a ground-breaking Oct 3, during the first week Energy Action Month.
"Today’s groundbreaking signifies nearly a decade of committed research, planning and refining to define and develop a project scope that would meet complete and useable objectives and support vital resiliency and mission capacity objectives,” Col. Chris Midberry, Fort Campbell Garrison Commander, said during the ceremony.
When complete, the microgrid will equip Fort Campbell’s power projection platform with the capacity to sustain 100% mission capability for a duration of up to two weeks, ensuring operational continuity in the face of adverse conditions affecting traditional power grids, including weather, cyber threats, or physical disruptions.
The groundbreaking ceremony aligned with Fort Campbell's observance of "Readiness Through Resilience,” the central theme for National Energy Action Month. This focus emphasizes the integral link between the military’s mission capabilities and the reliable availability of energy.
The microgrid project exemplifies Fort Campbell's commitment to enhancing its resilience, preparedness, and ability to navigate challenges through strategic energy management.
“Energy security is a fundamental aspect of national security, particularly for the Army. Uninterrupted power supply is essential for Army operations and is a key enabler of national defense,” said Robert Ott, energy manager, Directorate of Public Works (DPW).
Fort Campbell is actively engaged in exploring resilience technologies, including microgrids, energy storage, and hybridized tactical vehicles. These technologies enhance the Army's lethality, mobility, and operational endurance.
This project delivers a buffer against cyber threats, providing a resilient, reliable back-up, while meeting cost-savings and sustainability objectives.” Midberry said.
While reliable, continuous access to energy in both installation and theater operations is fundamental to the Army’s ability to accomplish its national defense mission, it also contributes to local community resilience by reducing demands on regional grids.
Fort Campbell actively promotes energy efficiency as a key component of mission readiness. Mir Khan, an energy engineer with DPW, encourages the community to reduce energy usage in homes, barracks, and offices.
“Residents can adopt various strategies to conserve both energy and water, contributing to environmental sustainability and cost savings,” Khan said.
Running full dishwasher loads instead of handwashing dishes conserves both water and the electricity used for appliances. Regularly checking for leaks in toilets and fixing them promptly can prevent unnecessary water wastage. Additionally, washing clothes in cold water not only preserves garments but also minimizes energy use. These simple yet impactful practices, implemented room by room, empower residents to be mindful stewards of both energy and water resources.
“Energy Action Month in October is an opportune time for these efforts. Fort Campbell's DPW conducts events and educational initiatives to raise awareness about conservation and energy-saving practices,” Khan said.
Residents of Fort Campbell are encouraged to pay attention to water conservation to enhance overall energy efficiency and to report plumbing issues affecting water usage. Residents living in on-post housing can request a work order from the Campbell Crossing maintenance division.
Work orders for government buildings and barracks are submitted using the Army Maintenance Application. Users can access ArMA through the Digital Garrison App or via an online registration portal at www.armymaintenance.com/arma using a common access card.
As home to the most deployed warfighters in the Army, the microgrid, which is expected to be completed during the summer of 2025, will deliver added capabilities and resilience that make Campbell Army Airfield a premier power projection platform supporting the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), as well as the installation’s other tenant units.
“The project team had to overcome numerous challenges to lift this project to get us to today’s milestone celebration. I am sincerely grateful to you all for your dedication to this project and the mission,” Midberry said as he congratulated the team and all who gathered to celebrate this important project for Fort Campbell.