Whether you’re reading the Water Street blog, our website or stories in the media, there’s no shortage of information on the ways American Water serves residential and business communities across the country. But you might not be as familiar with another community we serve: the U.S. Military.
When people think of our country’s military bases, they conjure images related to national defense. Fewer people think about the millions of individuals—service men and women, as well as their families—who live “everyday” lives on these bases. Military children attend school, just like those in suburban communities. Adults go to work, shop and participate in community events, and families maintain households—365 days a year. The water supply (and treatment) needed on military installations is no different from anywhere else in the U.S., and is equally important. For nearly 15 years, American Water has proudly served military communities with the same commitment to innovation, dependability and focus on water quality as we do for all our customers.
The heart of this service lies in American Water’s Military Services Group (MSG), headquartered in New Jersey and operating through approximately 300 employees.
And it’s a service I take personally.
In 2017, I retired as a Brig. Gen. after serving in the U.S. Army for over 35 years. My most recent role was as commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Atlantic Division, overseeing the planning, design and construction of projects to support the military, protect water resources, and restore and enhance the environment in eight southeastern states. This first-hand experience, combined with that of our support staff and base operational teams – many of whom are veterans themselves – allow American Water to be an effective partner with the U.S. Armed Forces.
While the MSG’s main mission, of course, is to provide the 13 military service installations we serve with clean, safe, reliable water and to meet all wastewater collection and treatment needs, that’s not all we do. We also create jobs at each of these locations and provide opportunities for subcontractors to support our work. In addition, we enter into long-term contracts with the federal government as part of its Utility Privatization (UP) Program. This means American Water has the presence and “staying power” that allows us to expand our systems and implement new processes, advanced technologies and environmentally responsible solutions to best meet the changing needs of each military base. Moreover, we help advance the UP Program objective of providing vital utility service at a relatively lower cost than if it remained government-owned.
In these ways and others, American Water’s Military Services Group provides environmental leadership and ensures military families have what they need to keep life flowing as they continue to serve our country.