DVIDS – News – Assistant Secretary of the Army Jacobson Visits Carson, PCMS

FORT CARSON, Colo. – Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installation, Energy, and Environment Rachel Jacobson visited Fort Carson July 26-27, 2022 to assess the management and effectiveness of the facility and toured the Fort Carson and Piñon Canyon maneuver site to see the status of facilities, infrastructure and energy programs.

Jacobson is the 17th Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installation, Energy, and Environment. She is the principal adviser to the Secretary of the Army and Chief of the Army Staff on all matters relating to Army installation policy, security oversight and coordination, and energy management. In addition, she also oversees sustainability and environmental policies and initiatives.

Jacobson and members of the White House met with the Garrison Command Team and Joe Wyka, Director of Public Works, for an initial briefing on Fort Carson’s energy and sustainability projects prior to the tour.

“I was able to accompany our White House visitors on a tour of the innovative energy initiatives that the exceptional team at Fort Carson has implemented,” said Jacobson. “We had three White House officials come here specifically to learn more about Fort Carson’s energy plans. They left that experience saying “this should be the prototype of how we should approach energy and how we can apply this approach across government.”

Some of the energy and sustainability focused projects are the Aeroderivative Gas Generator partnership with Colorado Springs Utilities and the Battery Energy Storage System, future site of the Flow Battery project. Jacobson was also briefed on the path forward for the Fort Carson Electric Vehicle and Facility Climate Resilience Plan.

The Aeroderivative Gas Generator is a project with Colorado Springs Utilities that will redirect power to Fort Carson during a major grid outage. The 22 acres will house 30 megawatt aeroderivative gas turbines which are expected to be installed and operational in 2025-2026.

The Battery Energy Storage System is the largest state-of-the-art energy-shaving battery within the Department of Defense. This will save Fort Carson more than $500,000 per year for the next 20 years. BESS was developed in partnership with the Corps of Engineers, Colorado Springs Utilities, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and is currently tasked with reducing demand loads, which could increase site resiliency.

The Flow Battery project that began in June 2022 with the Corps of Engineers Civil Engineering Research Laboratory and Lockheed Martin will consist of two tanks and four related boxes that will equal 10 megawatts. The Flow Battery will hit a shaving peak and help with resiliency going forward.

Fort Carson electric vehicle charging stations are expected to be installed in car park areas for GSA and government-owned vehicles. The project is in partnership with the Corps of Engineers and internal teams.

“I can look to Fort Carson as a model partnership, having seen the great energy work you are doing in partnership with Colorado Springs Utilities,” Jacobson said. “Very impressive, along with the other partnerships Fort Carson has in place to help maintain the quality of life here on the job.”

Jacobson also had the opportunity to receive an overview of Fort Carson and the Piñon Canyon maneuver site. During the Fort Carson flyover, Jacobson was briefed on the ongoing housing project as he flew over the Cherokee West Village demolition site, which will make room for 239 new homes.

In addition, on the way to the PCMS, she was briefed on the capabilities of training areas and firing ranges.

“One of the main reasons for visiting Fort Carson was to better understand the housing challenges so we can help address them,” Jacobson said. “I have a much better understanding of how we can help the team improve the quality of life here at Fort Carson.”

The Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site is a training site for Fort Carson and other local military services. The 236,000 acre training site was purchased by the military in the mid-1980s. There are several historic ranch homes still on the training site, including Brown Sheep Ranch. Jacobson was able to tour the preserved Brown Sheep Ranch and witness the cowboy art of herders on the walls from when the ranch was functional. Rocks scattered throughout the Piñon Canyon can be found with markings telling the story of the native tribes that roamed these lands.

“It’s important to her to see the capabilities of the Piñon Canyon maneuver site and how we can improve it and move on in the future,” said Fort Carson range officer Mike Camp.

During a briefing, Jacobson saw the plans for how PCMS would work.

“It was an incredible experience to visit Piñon Canyon,” said Jacobson.

After the two-day visit with Fort Carson professionals, Jacobson came away with a deeper understanding of how Fort Carson works and the Mountain Post’s overall mission.

“There’s not a lot you can read about somewhere online, but when I got here I was so surprised,” Jacobson said.

During his visit, Jacobson was able to recognize garrison employees for their hard work and dedication to Fort Carson and the Army.

“It was especially gratifying to recognize so many Garrison employees for their incredible programs, for their dedication and for all the exceptional work they do for the installation and for the Army,” said Jacobson.

She presented each recognized employee with their medal of excellence.

“They (garrison employees) really facilitate success,” said Col. Sean M. Brown, commanding officer of the garrison. “People want to come here and people want to stay here; it’s not hard to attract talent, especially when they are passionate about what they do.

Jacobson said she gained a much better appreciation for Fort Carson and its dedicated professionals.

“I learned so much about the history of Fort Carson and its soldiers, what they do and how Fort Carson works. I want to thank everyone for their hospitality,” she said.

Date taken: 27.07.2022
Date posted: 08.08.2022 14:35
Story ID: 426787
Location: WE

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