KRDA hosted its first annual meeting of investors last month. Retired Brig. Gen. Iacocca provided an update of the organization’s work in 2018 and its continued efforts to advocate for growth at Fort Knox and the surrounding region. The meeting also included special recognition for retired Maj. Gen. Bill Barron, honoring his more than 15 years of service to the community and Fort Knox with the CORE Committee and KRDA.
First Annual meeting of investors highlights KRDA’s efforts, Fort Knox’s positive position
The Knox Regional Development Alliance (KRDA) honored retired Maj. Gen. Bill Barron at the organization’s first annual meeting of investors today. KRDA board chairman Ray Springsteen called Barron a tremendous leader who was pivotal in the establishment of the organization that is charged with protecting and promoting Fort Knox.
“General Barron’s steadfast leadership in establishing KRDA and as the longtime executive director of the CORE Committee has been instrumental in protecting this region’s most significant economic engine – Fort Knox,” said Springsteen. “Today we take a moment to express our gratitude for General Barron’s contributions to this organization and most importantly to our community.”
In 2016, Barron oversaw the KRDA capital campaign. In 2017, he served as the newly established organization’s interim CEO, leading the search for a permanent senior executive. When the board selected retired Brig. Gen. Jim Iacocca for that position, Barron then served as KRDA’s vice president for army affairs throughout 2018.
Springsteen said in addition to helping the region’s economy continue to prosper, Barron has demonstrated an unmatched commitment to soldiers and their families, always lending his expert counsel to the various community endeavors in support of them.
“I call it an affair of the heart,” said Barron. “I love this community and our soldiers. It has been an honor to serve both.”
Barron said the community’s long-standing support to Fort Knox soldiers and families was why KRDA nominated the region to be designated a 2018 Great American Defense Community (GADC). When the Association of Defense Communities (ADC) selected the Greater Fort Knox Region as one of only five in the nation, Barron said, he couldn’t have been prouder.
“I was thrilled to shine a national spotlight on the region,” said Barron. “A welcoming and supportive community is critical to ensuring military installations retain and grow their missions. I knew this community was among the best in the nation and this recognition confirms that in a big way.”
Barron was part of a delegation of community leaders who attended ADC’s national summit in Washington, D.C. this past summer where the 2018 GADC communities were honored.
Iacocca expressed his appreciation for Barron’s years of service and shared that Barron will continue to serve the organization in a volunteer capacity on the KRDA board of directors.
“Our nation benefited from General Barron’s 38 years of military service, and this region has been the beneficiary of his extraordinary community service for the past 15 years,” said Iacocca. “I was privileged to have General Barron by my side during my first year on the job as we worked to protect and promote Fort Knox and grow defense-related business in our region.”
During the annual meeting, Iacocca also shared highlights of KRDA’s work in 2018 that put Fort Knox in a better position for growth.
He pointed out the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that allows Fort Knox to tout its successful energy resilience efforts and provides $26 million in funding for the digitization of Fort Knox’s Yano Range, the first phase of a $52 million project.
Iacocca worked closely with state and federal officials to add the language about Fort Knox’s energy program.
“Fort Knox’s world-class energy resilience efforts makes it more attractive for growth, most especially for data and cyber security missions,” said Iaccoca. “With the 2018 NDAA, Fort Knox has greater latitude to promote its energy program and KRDA will certainly do so as well.”
Iaccoca thanked the investors for their support to KRDA.
“Your commitment to this work speaks volumes,” said Iacocca. “It sends a strong message to the Department of Defense and our elected leaders that this community takes the future of Fort Knox seriously. I am excited about our continued progress in the coming year.”
Brig. Gen. (Ret) Jim Iacocca was one of 18 military veterans selected as a 2018 Salute to Veterans honoree! Louisville Business First recognized military veterans who’ve served our country and made valuable contributions to the local business community.
Source: The Lane Report
FORT KNOX, Ky. — Congressional, Army and Fort Knox leaders are calling the installation’s energy resilience test on October 24 a huge success.
Prior to this most recent test, Fort Knox engineers had performed several smaller shutdown tests to the post’s individual substations. A handful of other installations have also attempted smaller shutdowns.
For the October 24 test, the plan was for Fort Knox energy provider Nolin RECC to shut down all of Fort Knox’s substations, unplug from Louisville Gas & Electric — the electric and natural gas provider for the region — and independently stand up the Fort Knox grid, something no other Army installation has tried.
“At 10 a.m., the external power will get turned off to Fort Knox, and we’ll stand up on our own decentralized power generation at all of our substations, to include emergency generation,” said R.J. Dyrdek, energy manager for Fort Knox’s Directorate of Public Works, the day prior. “All circuits will be back up and running by hopefully no later than 10 after 10.”
Shortly before the start of the test, Nolin RECC officials expressed optimism that the outcome would be favorable.
“The thing to keep in mind is that anything could happen, but we are reasonably prepared and have a contingency for just about anything we can think of,” said Greg Lee, Nolin RECC’s vice president of systems operations. “We do test this in the middle of the night every six months.”
In the room sat U.S. Congressman Brett Guthrie of the 2nd District of Kentucky; Jack Surash, acting deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Energy & Sustainability; and Maj. Gen. John Evans Jr., commander of U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox. While they waited, the three asked questions of Lee and Dyrdek.
At 9:58, Dustin Ward, Nolin RECC-Fort Knox operations manager, began the power-down sequence to the substations, and Ward called LG&E to request disconnection from the grid around 10:01.
About a minute later, the room went dark. Seconds afterward, a generator outside the control station hummed to life and power came back to the control station. Lights flashed and flickered on the large monitors in front of the group as the system automatically started the reboot process.
Lee had explained to those in the room that the last few tests they performed have yielded little to no complications during the reboot process, although he admitted that sometimes computer systems hang up.
“We are cautiously optimistic that things are going to go quite well today,” said Lee, as the wall clock moved to 9:55.
Within a couple of minutes after the reboot, a problem surfaced. The power generation station for U.S. Army Human Resources Command wouldn’t close. Lee suggested the engineer try to close it manually.
Everyone continued to wait.
The call came in a little later that the breaker wouldn’t latch in. Ward suggested they continue working the issue. Finally, about 14 minutes into the test, the station locked in and started powering up.
“It’s closed in. Everything’s working as it should now,” said Ward. “We just had to make a quick reset. Something just caught up in the logic, I assume, but it’s closing its breakers now.”
The group of VIPs gathered up afterward to praise the Fort Knox team for their efforts in performing a successful test.
“It took a little longer than we anticipated but [Lee] suggested using a little grease, and that’s a good thing,” said Dyrdek. “I’m pretty excited about everything [being] back up and running.”
Pat Walsh, director of DPW, said about 2,000 facilities total, including 1,500 homes, get their power from the Fort Knox grid. Dyrdek said that with the kind of reserves they can tap into from heat, natural gas and other forms of energy, Fort Knox can actually run independently for an indefinite amount of time during an emergency. The current minimum, based on Army regulations, is 14 days.
“This shows that things can work in D.C.,” said Guthrie, after completion of the initial phase of the test.
Guthrie and other Kentucky congressmen were instrumental in getting legislation included in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act that assured Fort Knox’s continued focus on energy resilience.
“It makes Fort Knox unique, and it makes it better for other missions, and for opportunities for growth,” said Guthrie. “And it’s safety and security for our Soldiers, which is first and foremost.”
Surash said that while he hasn’t had the opportunity to get around to every installation working on energy resilience, he was very impressed with what Fort Knox accomplished.
“The capabilities at Fort Knox seem to be one of the best with respect to energy resiliency that I’m aware of,” said Surash. “I was happy to see that they actually tested that capability. It’s one thing to have a capability, but until you test it, you really don’t know what’s going to work and what’s not going to work.
“As it turns out this morning, the system worked as designed.”
Thank you to Holiday Inn Express Radcliff – Fort Knox for donating historic Fort Knox photographs. These are the perfect pieces to display in the Knox Regional Development Alliance office!
Source: The News-Enterprise, Katherine Knott
Fort Knox is secure for the long-term, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell said Tuesday.
The Senate Majority Leader visited the U.S. Army post Tuesday and met with Fort Knox Commanding General Maj. Gen. John Evans Jr. McConnell’s stop was a day after President Donald Trump signed the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.
The $716 billion defense bill included a 2.6 percent pay raise for service members and a large increase in military spending. An amendment attached to the bill secured Fort Knox’s energy program for the future.
On his visit to the post, McConnell also observed training exercises.
“I’m proud of what’s going on here at Fort Knox,” he said. “Its facilities have reinvented itself over the years. … I think Fort Knox looks good for the future.”
McConnell said spending increases will help the military respond to threats around the world from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.
“(The threats) are frankly about as challenging as you can imagine,” he said. “It almost makes you look back to the Cold War with yearning.”
McConnell said Russia is acting like the former Soviet Union.
“The Russians are not our friends,” he said. “They try to create problems in every way they can.”
The defense bill is an appropriate response to their actions, he said. To not increase spending would have been to deny reality, McConnell said.
“We gave the Department of Defense exactly what they asked for,” he said.
The amendment related to Fort Knox’s energy program was the work of McConnell, U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul.
Since 2015, it has used its own energy resources to power the post and no longer is dependent on the power grid.
However, the departments of defense and interior have disagreed over which agency had jurisdiction over natural gas. Kentucky lawmakers have sought for years to protect the program.
“It’s a great advantage to Fort Knox to be able to access that,” McConnell said. “It reduces the operating cost of keeping the post running.”
Fort Knox worked to overhaul its energy systems after a 2009 ice storm. Now, if a weather emergency knocks out the grid for the surrounding area, Fort Knox will be able continue running.
Jim Iacocca, director of the Knox Regional Development Alliance, said defense leaders are promoting the energy resilience of military installations. However, because of those jurisdictional concerns, they couldn’t highlight Fort Knox.
“Now, the Department of Defense can publicly acknowledge the energy resilience of Fort Knox,” he said.
Iacocca said energy independence is a selling point for new missions.
“(Fort Knox) is a role model,” he said.