Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Pacific recently provided the muscle for the heavy lifting required to help maintain the Albeni Falls Dam in Idaho.
That muscle is a 65-ton crane that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers uses at the dam for hydraulic hoist maintenance on lift gates, said Ryan Linehan, USACE projects operations manager.
Behind the dam’s gates, 65 miles of the Pend Oreille River run through a valley that separates three mountain ranges that elevate over 6,500 feet.
The dam converts river water into hydroelectricity, more than 200-million kilowatt hours of energy each year. When running at top capacity, the dam generates enough power to supply 15,000 homes, according to the USACE website. It also reduces floods and provides recreational areas.
The crane, acquired through the Construction and Equipment supply chain’s heavy equipment procurement program, is also used to lower personnel to manage intake gates, lower materials and to launch emergency boats for spill cleanups, Linehan said.
DLA Troop Support Pacific also supported the Chief Joseph Dam in central Washington with several utility vehicles. They’re working to provide more equipment for use at that dam, which was built on the Columbia River and is USACE’s largest hydropower producing dam.
USACE Seattle District operates both dams. But DLA Troop Support Pacific’s support to USACE is growing throughout the Northwest, said Army Maj. Daniel Keller, Alaska area office chief.
"Once the Army Corps of Engineers realized the scope of DLA's programs, and because of successes in supporting the Seattle district, Portland [Oregon] became interested in coming on board," Keller said.
Keller’s team is also working with USACE Portland to procure equipment for several dams they operate in Oregon.