COOLIDGE, Arizona — Soldiers with Alpha Company, 249th Engineer Battalion, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, known as Prime Power, have deployed for a unique training mission with the Los Angeles District in Arizona.
In support of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, San Carlos Irrigation Project, Staff Sgt. Jacob Wratchford and Sgt. Eduardo Delacruz are finding that a deployment here is practical real-world training.
"It's great experience ... and a gateway to other missions," Delacruz said. "We're assessing their area of operations ... we look for no more than 5 ohms of resistance in the ground."
The dryness of the soil, typically reduces conductivity, so this is a perfect time to test, Wratchford explained.
"We're looking for gross faults in the grounding system," he said. "The testing we're doing uses a small voltage and allows us to see the overall condition of the grounding grid that they have. What we hope to see is good conductivity across the substation."
The scope of work describes "conductivity" as a measurement to determine a resistance value that indicates the relative ability of the soil to carry an electric current.
Claudia Garcia, a project manager with the LA District says that this is a unique opportunity for representatives with the Corps and the San Carlos Irrigation Project to collaborate on ways to maintain the sub stations and potentially identify improvements and possible future projects.
Any potential projects would likely be through the Corps’ Interagency and International Services program.
Although this mission varies from the IIS program a bit, in that the 249th Engineer Battalion is providing the labor and expertise as a training mission. The 249th is charged with the rapid deployment of U. S. Army generators to support worldwide requirements.