NASHVILLE, TENN. (May 9, 2012) – Combat engineers of Fort Campbell’s 326th Engineer Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, adept at mine-clearing, demolition, and construction projects in a combat environment, visited the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District today to learn more about Corps “civilian missions” as part of their professional development.
“We have Congressionally-chartered missions in waterways navigation, flood damage reduction, hydropower generation, environmental stewardship, recreation and providing engineering solutions on a cost-reimbursable basis for other government agencies,” explained Lt. Col. James A. DeLapp, Nashville District commander. “It is a distinct pleasure to host your visit and share information about the Nashville District with our active duty, fellow Army engineers,” he added.
Nashville District’s responsibilities in the Cumberland-Tennessee River Basins, which touch seven states and cover 59,000 square miles, include operating and maintaining 1,175 commercially navigable river miles with 14 navigation lock projects plus nine hydropower plants capable of producing more than 914 megawatts of clean electricity.
“It is amazing the scope of responsibility entrusted to the Nashville District, USACE,” said Capt. Richard Mylowe, one of the visiting engineers. “The public is mostly unaware of their monumental task of managing and maintaining all of the district's waterways and major arteries of transportation. Undoubtedly, the nation's infrastructure would be critically hindered without the expertise USACE brings to the fold,” he added.
After the Nashville District briefing Fort Campbell engineers toured the Music City Center construction site and were shown some of the innovative construction methods and environmental features.
The group then visited Cheatham Lock, Dam, Power Plant and Recreation Facilities located at river mile 148.7 on the Cumberland River approximately 40 river miles downstream from Nashville, at Ashland City, Tenn. Here they observed a barge tow passing through a 60-year-old lock, hydropower generation and visitors swimming, camping and fishing.
During the tour of the power plant visitors saw Cheatham‘s three generators capable of producing 39,000 kilowatts of electricity, enough to power 25,350 homes, according to Cayce Tiesler, power plant specialist.
“I enjoy these tours and providing information on our operation and the dedication of our employees in maintaining equipment installed in the fifties,” Tiesler said. “The Fort Campbell engineers were interested in the power plant operation, asked pertinent questions, and several commented on the cleanliness of the aging facility,” he added.
More than 25 Fort Campbell company and field grade officers interacted with employees at each facility and learned from the unique challenges of maintaining aging infrastructure and about the mission of the Nashville District
“This has been an excellent opportunity for our young officers to learn more about
USACE missions and possibilities to consider in future career assignments,” said Lt. Col. Pat Kinsman, 326th Engineer Battalion commander.
The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.