HUNTSVILLE, Ala. --The Base Operations Program (BASEOPS) at the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville uses contracted manpower to provide full spectrum of installation operations support for a vast Army Reserve unit providing Soldiers opportunities to work and train to support the Army’s greater effort to become the multi-domain operations-capable force of the future.
The Army Reserve’s 88th Readiness Division (88th RD), headquartered at Fort Snelling, Minn., and Fort McCoy, Wis., makes the most out of Battle Assemblies, the monthly training when Soldiers practice and perfect their military skills and maintain individual and unit readiness in the event of mobilization and deployment.
The 88th RD offers units the use of facilities, grounds, and training venues to include convoy operations, organizational maintenance, engineer equipment dig sites, as well as Field Training Exercises.
Huntsville Center’s BASEOPS Program executes defined services structured around preventive and corrective maintenance of the 88th RD’s more than 750 structures and facilities.
The objective of the Center’s support is to preserve and maintain systems in such a condition that they may be effectively used for their designated functional purpose, said Paula White, BASEOPS project manager.
The value of the contracts over a five-year period is upwards of $90 million and although contractors are used to do the actual maintenance and repair of the facilities, White said it takes the support of engineering technicians (ETs) at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Districts to ensure the contracted work is completed.
District ETs geographically aligned with the 88th RD’s 525 units at 277 sites located in 19 states, from the Ohio River Valley to the Pacific Coast, travel to the facilities and perform as quality assurance that the services delivered meet the expectations of the 88th RD.
“Our preventive maintenance and repair activities are tailored to the 88th RD’s operational needs and budget,” White said.
“We have nine ETs supporting us with eight working for Kansas City, Chicago and Louisville Districts with one Huntsville Center ET working in Seattle,” she said.
“The ETs do everything from ensuring HVAC filters are changed to checking that a facility’s emergency lighting works.”
Kevin Carse, Electrical Engineering Technician, performs ET duties supporting BASEOPS out of the Louisville District’s Indianapolis Resident Office. Carse said he spends a lot of his time travelling to units located in four states. Carse oversees maintenance (preventative and corrective maintenance) on 27 Army Reserve facilities between Indiana and Michigan.
“As you can imagine that keeps me very busy both in the office and on the road trying to get to all 27 facilities. On average I am on the road two to three days a week. Sometimes it is just a day trip and other times there are overnight stays.”
Another challenging aspect of the job, Carse said, is keeping track of all the service orders.
“There are typically 500 to 1000 a month and trying to keep track of the status of each one can become overwhelming and confusing at times,” Carse said.
He said Huntsville Center BASEOPS, the contractor, and the 88th RD all partner together and work as a cohesive/collective team.
“By building and sustaining a successful value-driven team, we operate as a high performing group to deliver a quality project on time, on budget,” and safely.
He said Huntsville Center supplies contracting, program management, engineering, and safety support, and they are just a phone call or email away for any questions or guidance.
“If it wasn’t for the support that I receive from both Huntsville Center BASEOPS and the 88th RD, there would be no way I could accomplish all my duties that are needed to assure the facilities are the best that they can be.”