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MUSE Techs Bring More Power to Camp Lemonier

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071022-09
Release Date: 10/22/2007 3:47:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Mary Popejoy, Commander Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Public Affairs

CAMP LEMONIER, Djibouti (NNS) -- Seabees of Mobile Utilities Support Equipment (MUSE) out of Port Hueneme, Calif., and those deployed to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s (CJTF-HOA) Camp Lemonier put six, 1,500 kilowatt generators on a concrete pad Oct. 18, specifically built to supplement the generators that power the entire camp.

With the addition of the MUSE generators, Camp Lemonier will finally have sufficient power to support the demands of a challenging environment.

Each generator weighs 110,000 pounds, costs $1 million and together will provide electrical capacity and capability to support the Camp Lemonier mission. They are built to stand the brutal heat and other elements found in Djibouti. To ensure the success of these generators, they were recently refurbished, which extends their life to 30-40 years.

“This is a unique evolution, it’s one of one in the world and it’s the only place in history and the military that has installed large generators of this kind with railroad industry jacks; versus a crane,” said Senior Chief Construction Electrician (SCW) Matt Smith, Camp Lemonier utilities director and Seabee Power Plant manager for public works.

Up to now the camp has gotten by with just enough power generation and was even limited in improvements by the amount of power available.

“Having these generators online will provide us with the necessary redundant generating capacity to allow generators to be taken off line for maintenance,” said Capt. John Heckmann Jr., Camp Lemonier commanding officer. “They are going to be the workhorses of our system shouldering the brunt of the power generation requirements, while the existing, more sophisticated generators will fluctuate as the power demand fluctuates throughout the day. This combination of features will allow our generation system to be reliable and efficient.”

In a deployed location such as Djibouti, electrical power is not an abundant resource. In order for Camp Lemonier to more effectively meet their mission, the generators were needed to help the camp optimize their operations.

“The camp’s ability to support itself is dependant on the generators, so that we can support ourselves today and grow into what they want us to be tomorrow,” said Smith. “If we don’t have enough power to do our mission than we can’t do anything, so having enough power to sustain ourselves is extremely important in this part of the world.”

The generators, capable of supplying power for approximately 1,000 American homes, will not only help the mission, but the morale of the troops as well.

“There are many facilities the troops use here that use power, so this is just one way to keep places like the gym, the Green Bean coffee shop, the Oasis movie theater and the morale, welfare and recreation computer and phone centers operational when the troops need them,” said Construction Electrician 1st Class (SCW) Will Davis, MUSE technician. “Being able to deliver more power to the folks here is a great feeling and we’re glad that the leadership here trusted us with such an important mission.”

Leadership at Camp Lemonier said they are pleased at what a great job the MUSE technicians have done putting the generators in place and their professionalism from start to finish.

“They’re a great group of service members who have saved the U.S. military approximately $25 million by doing this project for us,” said Smith. “They are the silent professionals behind the scenes who rise to every challenge and execute each mission flawlessly. Guys like this makes me proud to be a Seabee.”

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