Story by CM1 Scott Mignogna, Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center
PORT HUENEME, Calif. — Two Seabees deployed from Naval Facilities (NAVFAC) Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (EXWC) Mobile Utilities Support Equipment (MUSE) Division to complete the installation of a critical power plant in Cape Canaveral. Utilitiesman 1st Cole Einhaus and Construction Mechanic 1st Class Scott Mignogna arrived on station on Dec. 4 in Cape Canaveral to install a 200 kilowatt power plant used to support Naval Ordinance Test Unit’s (NOTU) Space Launch Complex (SLC) 46.
MUSE is currently providing an interim power solution to the power plant while contractors perform structural, mechanical and electrical upgrades to the facility.
NOTU electrical engineer Sebastian Banuchi emphasized the importance of the outlined mission stating, “This hydraulic pump is a crucial piece of the puzzle because without it, the missiles can’t be erected to be placed on the launch-pad.”
In 1988 SLC-46 was used to test Trident II missiles and soon became the first multi-vehicle launch complex in existence. Currently, the NOTU uses the site to test various missile platforms for ballistic missile defense in land based and sub-surface applications. The MUSE power plant energizes a hydraulic pump required to offload and erect the rockets and missiles for launch or operational testing of the engines.
MUSE was selected for their reliability, familiarity with NOTU, and substantial cost avoidance to the Navy compared to commercial rental and contractor fees. Overall, MUSE saved an estimate of $300,000 over the course of twelve months.
Post installation, the MUSE team trained ten Lockheed Martin technicians on the operation and maintenance of the asset. During the training, both Seabees observed an up-close and personal Space X launch and booster rocket retrieval supporting an unmanned mission to the International Space Station. After the experience, Einhaus exclaimed, “That was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am thankful for the chance to witness such a remarkable event while serving my country.”
For more information on MUSE and its operations, email MUSErecruiters@navy.mil.
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