by Carla Pampe
Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs
1/9/2013 - SHREVEPORT, La. -- Members
of the Air Force Global Strike Command Energy Management Steering Group
toured the Southwestern Electric Power Company's Arsenal Hill Power
Plant Jan. 8 in Shreveport, La.
"As we stood up the EMSG, our first tasker from the Air Force was to
reduce energy consumption throughout the command," said Maj. Gen.
Everett Thomas, AFGSC vice commander. "We are accomplishing that goal,
but with the continuing focus on energy conservation in the Air Force,
it is important for us to work with our partners in the community to
learn how they operate and to look for new and innovative ways to save
During the tour, the group observed first-hand how a Supervisory Control
and Data Acquisition system works. SCADA systems can be used to monitor
and control things like power generation and transmission, heating,
ventilation and air conditioning systems and energy consumption. Similar
systems can be found on several AFGSC bases, with plans to install them
on all AFGSC bases in the future.
The group also visited the generation and distribution control centers,
learning how the power plant generates and distributes energy to
communities in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.
The Arsenal Hill Power Plant is the oldest in the SWEPCO system, with
the first unit coming on line in 1926. The existing natural gas-fueled
Arsenal Hill Unit 5 was placed in service in 1960.
Russ Gedeon, manager of regional engineering and power plant operations
for SWEPCO, told the group that while a combined-cycle natural gas unit
began commercial operation adjacent to the plant in 2010, much like
AFGSC's B-52 bombers and Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic
Missiles, the main plant still has a lot of 1960s-era technology, and it
can be a challenge to find some parts for a system that is more than 50
Thomas noted other similarities between SWEPCO and the command.
"I heard them talk about three things today that we all understand," he
said. "The first was developing a culture - building behavior over time.
The second was the discipline of the people they have, and the other
was the compliance they demand of their workers. AFGSC is a compliance
command, so we understand that very well."
For this tour, the EMSG paired with members of the Red River Post of the Society of American Military Engineers.
"SAME is a professional military engineering association uniting
architecture, engineering, construction, facility management and
environmental entities and individuals in the public and private sectors
to prepare for--and overcome--natural and manmade disasters and to
improve security at home and abroad," said Lt. Col. Eric Warner, AFGSC
Energy Branch Chief and president of the Red River Post of SAME. "Power
production and control directly ties to the SAME mission as well as the
EMSG's goals to stimulate energy conservation across the command. Our
tour today helped cement the already great bonds we in the military have
with our civilian engineer counterparts."