(FORT CARSON, Colo.) — On Wednesday, April 26, Fort Carson conducted its first-ever, large-scale power outage to test how the Post can operate during a crisis situation.
This installation-wide exercise was dubbed ‘Black Start’.
“It’s designed to test our backup generation systems for 93 critical facilities on Fort Carson,” said Col. Sean Brown, Garrison Commander at Ft. Carson.
In most of the facilities, it did not take long before power was restored.
“In this building alone, I believe the power was out for about ten seconds,” Brown said. “And then the backup generation kicked on and the lights were back on almost immediately.”
The Mountain Post worked with Colorado Springs Utilities to test how they can navigate in the event of a real-world power outage.
“We can’t control the weather,” Brown said. “We can’t control bad actors. But what we can do is be prepared in the eventuality that we have to, you know, move forces out of Ft. Carson in a contested environment where the power may not be on.”
Ft. Carson performed smaller tests, preparing them for an outage on a much larger scale.
“We found that we are a pretty resilient installation,” said Doug Homa, operations maintenance division chief at Ft. Carson. “But this one with a being a large scale, it’ll really test our systems and we really see how resilient we are.”
In the first hour alone, it was so far, so good with roughly 70 percent of systems back online.
“In particular, we’re really looking at our critical facilities on the installation,” Homa said. “I’m ensuring that those come up correctly and ensuring that all of the subsystems of that system within the facility are working correctly.”
In the event the Mountain Post finds itself in the dark, Homa said he feels much more prepared.
“I feel very confident,” Homa added. “I haven’t had a team as competent as the one I’ve got.”