US Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center

2014 a record year for Huntsville Center

U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville
Published Dec. 31, 2014
Col. David J. Luders, left, commander Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center; Congressman Dave Loebsack, who represents Iowa’s second congressional district and Col. Robert Ruch, commander, Huntsville Center, remove excess coal from the factory’s supply to symbolize energy savings to be realized in the Rock Island Arsenal JMTC Plating shop as a result of the changes made during the Energy Savings Performance Contract during a ceremony at Rock Island Arsenal.

Col. David J. Luders, left, commander Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center; Congressman Dave Loebsack, who represents Iowa’s second congressional district and Col. Robert Ruch, commander, Huntsville Center, remove excess coal from the factory’s supply to symbolize energy savings to be realized in the Rock Island Arsenal JMTC Plating shop as a result of the changes made during the Energy Savings Performance Contract during a ceremony at Rock Island Arsenal.

Among the many Huntsville Center accomplishments in 2014, are two Redstone Arsenal projects. The center’s Medical Repair and Renewal Program has been working with Fox Army Health Center on infrastructure upgrades, and its Power Purchase Agreement program is working with Arsenal officials to obtain a solar power facility.

These projects and many more around the world pushed Huntsville Center to a record $2.5 billion in total obligations for fiscal year ‘14 – surpassing the previous record by about $700 million.

“You did more work earlier in the year than ever before, and the money kept coming,” Col. Robert Ruch, Huntsville Center commander, said in an email to the workforce. “That is a direct reflection of the confidence our customers have in you, and your ability to deliver. More importantly is that this is an indicator that they will be back next year, counting on you to deliver again. What stands out to me as the biggest factor in this success is the Project Delivery Team approach and teamwork I see every day here at Huntsville Center.”

Obligations are important at the Huntsville Center because the center is a reimbursable agency. If customers do not come to the center for its capabilities and services provided, the center would not exist.

Among the obligations was the largest-ever federal award to a Service Disabled-Veteran Owned Small Business set-aside contract. The $23,526,676 contract was awarded to Herman/JCG CoJoint Venture to renovate the Old Guard Barracks at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia. The center exceeded its 36 percent small business goal by 7 percent and met the Service Disabled-Veteran Owned Small Business goal for the first time, achieving 3 percent against a goal of 2.5 percent.

Another highlight for 2014 was the announcement of a solar energy facility to be built on Redstone Arsenal using the center’s $7 billion Multiple Award Task Order Contract for renewable and alternative energy power production for Department of Defense installations. Huntsville Center, working with the Army Office of Energy Initiatives and the Garrison, on Dec. 4 issued a notice of intent to award to Sunpower Corporation for the solar facility, capable of producing up to 18,000 megawatt-hours/year of on-site renewable energy. The notice of intent to award does not constitute a formal contract award, but it is a major milestone that brings Team Redstone closer to a contract award and groundbreaking. In the coming months, Sunpower Corporation and the Army project team will work to finalize the technical and legal requirements of the project.

Fox Army Health Center benefited from Huntsville Center’s Medical Repair and Renewal team’s expertise. MRR installed a new $7 million heating, ventilation and air conditioning system for the entire facility. The MRR team removed the old components and installed a new energy-efficient mechanical system that will improve air quality, reduce energy costs by 35 to 50 percent and bring the medical facility into compliance with modern federal standards. Since 2011, MRR has supported projects at Fox to replace the roof and windows at the facility and remodel restroom and common areas at the facility. More renovations at the facility are slated for fiscal 2015.

Huntsville Center’s Energy Savings Performance Contracting program awarded its first ever civil works project. Mobile District, Corps of Engineers, teamed up with the Huntsville Center to improve the infrastructure along the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, which the district manages. The $2.8 million project will install, replace or retrofit elements of the Tenn-Tom’s infrastructure – primarily lighting at its 10 locks and dams. During its 21-year performance period, the Tenn-Tom ESPC is expected to save the Corps of Engineers a projected $5.05 million in energy costs.

Another ESPC project kicked off March 19 at the Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing Technology Center in Illinois. The $61 million infrastructure modernization project will support critical infrastructure improvements at the industrial facility that will cut energy use by approximately 35 percent, and generate up to $5.3 million in annual energy and operational savings.

Huntsville Center is the Corps of Engineers’ leader in ESPC and works with installations to provide infrastructure upgrades at little to no cost to help meet their energy reduction goals and critical infrastructure improvement needs. In recognition of their Armywide efforts, the ESPC team received a 2014 Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Award in the Renewable/Alternatives small group category.

Huntsville Center is also supporting overseas operations in Afghanistan by removing excess munitions. As U.S. units prepare to depart Afghanistan, military leaders must determine whether to send their excess munitions home or if it is safer and/or more cost effective to destroy them in country. Huntsville Center’s Joint Munitions Disposal-Afghanistan team supports those units by disposing of U.S. and NATO Condition Code H unserviceable and “do-not-return” munitions, as well as captured enemy munitions and explosive remnants of war. By June, more than 3,575 tons of ammunition had been destroyed in Afghanistan.

The very diverse projects across 42 program areas are Huntsville Center’s strength, Ruch said during the center’s strategic off-site earlier this month. He said that becoming ever more efficient and delivering quality results to customers are the keys to continued success.

“I am so proud of the Huntsville Center’s employees,” Ruch said, “and after two years as the commander, I feel even more privileged to serve with them!”

(this article originally appeared in the Dec. 17 issue of the Redstone Rocket)