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Posted 3/3/2015

Release no. 15-016


By Steven Satkowski
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Far East District Public Affairs

 

U.S. ARMY GARRISON HUMPHREYS, South Korea - Sgt. Alfredo Alvarez and Sgt. Dinesh Liyanage, members of the 249th Engineer Battalion - Prime Power, are the first set of Soldiers from the battalion assigned for temporary duty at U.S. Army Garrison (USAG) Humphreys, part of a rotation the Far East District is conducting this year. 

 “We like it a lot,” said Liyanage, who works as a power station mechanic at USAG Humphreys. “It’s a new experience for both of us. As prime power soldiers we don’t get to participate in huge constructions project like this.”

 Prime Power battalion is a versatile power generation battalion assigned to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that provides commercial-level power to military units and also federal relief organizations. Their mission at the district is to provide technical expertise on electrical systems, making sure everything is done according to regulation.

 “Prime Power Soldiers are no ordinary electricians. They are the most specialized and highly trained engineers in the regiment and they have the knowledge and training to go anywhere in the world and provide electrical power,” said Far East District Sgt. Maj. David Breitbach. “The Prime Power Soldiers are helping ensure that when the switch is thrown to power up each new building the lights come on.”

While at the district Alvarez and Liyanage are also learning valuable tools that will benefit them as they progress in their career.

“We are working with great project engineers at the parcel 2 resident office,” said Alvarez. “They are sharing information with us that we couldn’t learn anywhere else. All the engineers here are very helpful and always take us on different missions providing us with valuable experience.”

Breitbach said this opportunity for the Soldiers puts them in an environment that is a bit unusual for them.

“This is a career broadening opportunity for these troops. They typically work in environments where they are coming in during a natural disaster or in places with no infrastructure,” said Breitbach. 

Alvarez and Liyanage are scheduled to leave in May. Two other prime power soldiers from their home installation at Schofield barracks, Hawaii, will replace them in a rotation lasting 100 days.