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Chapter 2



Active Component engineer prime power units are organized as an engineer battalion (prime power). This battalion is assigned to the USACE, which is a major Army command (MACOM). The battalion consists of a battalion headquarters (HQ), with a HQ and HQ detachment (HHD) and subordinate engineer companies (prime power). Each company consists of a company HQ detachment and two to five subordinate engineer teams (prime power). The battalion provides guidance, training support, and equipment to the reserve component teams during peacetime. Upon mobilization, reserve component engineer prime power teams are will normally be assigned to the prime power battalion.

Although configured as a battalion, the companies and their subordinate teams can be employed independently. Normally, a cell from the battalion HQ is deployed if more than one subordinate company is required to support a particular theater or contingency. When necessary, the battalion HQ will task organize a battalion HQ cell to accompany a deploying element. This cell usually includes logistics and liaison/coordination capabilities. The battalion HQ cell provides command and control of the companies as well as specialized maintenance support, administrative and logistical support, and liaison and coordination. A line company HQ is normally deployed to provide command, control, and specialized technical services if two to five teams are required. If only one team is required it normally deploys as a separate unit.


The engineer team (prime power) is an autonomous unit. It is the basic building block for the company and battalion (prime power). The team can be employed independently or as part of a prime power company, battalion, or task force. The 16-man team includes 14 noncommissioned officers (NCOs) with a military occupational specialty (MOS) of 52E. 52E is the Prime Power Production Specialist MOS. These NCOs have grades of sergeant (SGT) through sergeant first class (SFC). The team noncommissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) is a master sergeant (MSG) with MOS 51Z. The team commander is a warrant officer with a 210A5 specialty. The team is organized into two seven-man sections. Figure 2-1 further describes the team's organization and equipment.

The training and experience of prime power NCOs give them an in-depth working knowledge of electrical and electromechanical systems. Each 52E NCO possesses one or more of a variety of power-related specialty skills. The specialty skills found in each team include mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, and power distribution. The skills and knowledge of these NCOs enable them to perform electrical field engineering on a wide range of power-generation and distribution systems.

A team has the equipment, manpower, and expertise to perform many highly technical power-related tasks, including the following:

1. Produce and distribute power.

2. Provide power-related technical expertise.

3. Advise commanders and staffs on technical power-related issues.

4. Maintain organic prime power equipment including limited direct support (DS).

5. Conduct load surveys to determine power requirements.

6. Design, construct, and maintain temporary nonstandard primary and secondary distribution systems. Make connections to commercial distribution networks.

7. Provide power-related technical advice and assistance to contracting officers representatives (CORs).

8. Conduct damage assessment of power-generation and distribution systems. Perform minor repair of distribution systems and generation equipment.

9. Provide limited repair and maintenance of industrial electrical systems and controls.

10. Operate and maintain nonstandard power-generation equipment.


The company consists of a company HQ detachment and two to five prime power teams. It is commanded by an engineer captain (CPT). The company HQ detachment includes a first sergeant, (lSG), an operations sergeant, a supply sergeant, a personnel services sergeant, a clerk typist, and an equipment records and parts specialist. The company's organization and equipment are further described in Figure 2-2. The engineer prime power company provides --

1. Command and control of assigned prime power teams.

2. Power-related staff assistance, technical advice, and coordination with higher HQ, supported units, supporting units, the host nation, and other engineer units.

3. Administrative and logistics support to subordinate prime power teams. This includes specialized Class IV, VII, and IX support.


The battalion is commanded by an engineer lieutenant colonel (LTC). The battalion executive officer (XO) and operations/security officer (S-3/S-2) are both engineer majors (MAJs). The battalion adjutant (S-1) and the logistics officer (S-4) are engineer CPTs. The adjutant also performs the duties of the HHD commander. The S-3 and S-4 officers are electrical engineers. Figure 2-3 further describes the battalion's organization and equipment.

Organic to the HHD is a heavy-maintenance prime power team capable of performing general support (GS) maintenance of prime power plants.

Elements of the battalion HQ may deploy to a theater of operations in the event that more than one subordinate company is deployed in support of the same theater. The battalion HQ will normally task organize a support cell to deploy with and support subordinate elements. When deployed to a theater during war or when supporting operations short of war, the key functions of the battalion HQ are to --

1. Provide power-related staff assistance. The battalion coordinates and manages prime power requirements. The battalion commander or his representative acts as a special staff officer to the theater engineer in a mature theater or to the supported headquarters or agency when a theater engineer is not available.

2. Provide command and control for subordinate units. The battalion can provide command and control for up to six subordinate companies and/or teams. This includes not only engineer prime power companies and teams but also engineer power-line detachments.

3. Provide administrative support to subordinate units.

4. Provide GS-level maintenance for prime power equipment.

5. Provide specialized Class IV, VII, and IX support to subordinate units.

6. Provide electrical engineering support. This includes a limited design and analysis capability.

The battalion also provides several additional functions relevant to operations short of war. These include --

1. Rapid worldwide deployment of engineer prime power teams in response to contingency missions or emergencies. This rapid response includes responding to natural and man-made disasters.

2. Staff liaison, coordination, and war planning with engineer commands (ENCOMs), USACE, US Army Forces Command (FORSCOM), and unified and specified commands.

3. Management and coordination of prime power requirements worldwide.

4. Management of the NTG war reserve. The battalion can also provide, on a reimbursable loan basis, power-generation equipment to support the Department of Defense (DOD) and other federal agency activities worldwide. The battalion can also provide training on power generation equipment for US and foreign personnel, both military and civilian.

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