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Mobile Electric Power

Electric power, provided primarily by mobile generators in the combat zone, is the lifeblood of the Armed Forces. For without it, all the technical wizardry of modern warfare -- the Weapons' Systems, the Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I) Systems, and Logistics Support Systems -- are useless.

The Department of Defense's mobile electric power generators family of MEP Generators ranges from 0.5kW portable generators to 920kW Prime Power generating systems.

Standardization of the Armed Forces' Moblie Electric Power Units falls under the jursidiction of the Project Manager - Mobile Electric Power (PM-MEP). The origin and history of Project Manager - Mobile Electric Power (PM-MEP) can be traced to the Vietnam Conflict, when an inordinate demand for mobile electric power, a proliferation of generating sources, and an ill-prepared logistics systems necessitated a single DoD proponent to coordinate DoD's generator programs. "Standardization of Mobile Electric Power Generating Sources" (DoD Directive 4120.11) was adopted and the Office of the PM-MEP was established to provide Single Project Manager leadership to DoD for mobile electric power generating sources.

Since then, the Project Office has developed and fielded two sets of generators ranging from 0.5kW manportables to 920kW Prime Power units. This family of generators has become the Military Standard (MIL STD) in the 1960's and 1970's and the newest Tactical Quiet Generators (TQG) that are currently being fielded to all Services.

The PM-MEP was founded during the Vietnam Conflict. When the US Forces went into Vietnam in the mid-1960's, they found an exorbitant demand for electrical power, but at the same time their generator fleet was a logistically not supportable hodge-podge of over 2000 different makes and models. Not only were repair parts unavailable, there was no interoperability among adjacent units -- even within the same Service.

In 1967, the DoD established a Multi-Service Working Group to identify solutions to this intolerable situation. After a thorough study, the Working Group recommended that the DoD establish a Standard Family of Generators for use by all services. The DoD codified this decision in "Standardization of Mobile Electric Power Generating Sources" (DoD Directive 4120.11). At the same time, they created the Project Manager - Mobile Electric Power (PM-MEP) as the DoD Single Manager for generators to implement and enforce the provisions of the DoD Directive. Because the Army was the largest user of mobile electric generators, the PM-MEP was assigned to the Army for management, but supported by all Services.

The first major effort of the new PM Office was to standardize the existing fleet. After evaluating performance and asset densities, the PM selected 69 different makes/models of generators to serve as the "core" of the DoD initial Standard Family of Generators.

Prime power equipment is fielded by the only unit of its kind in the Army, the 249th Engineer Battalion. The unit is the only Army unit under the command of the Chief of Engineers; the only Battalion which runs a joint-service school that qualifies soldiers and sailors in a Military Occupational Speciality; and also the only Battalion with both global responsibilities and forward deployment.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:47:26 ZULU