Fort Riley reminds community of upcoming Black Start Exercise July 26

Fort Riley’s “Black Start Exercise” is just around the corner, as the post will conduct an energy resilience readiness exercise July 26. “Black Start” is designed to test the installation’s emergency and standby energy generation systems, key infrastructure, and equipment.

Congress has mandated that the Department of Defense services test the ability to operate without power in an emergency. Senior officials will learn about the infrastructure needs for crucial installation missions in the event of a power loss.  

The exercise will start at 4 a.m. and continue until 1 p.m. Many facilities can expect power to start returning within 30 minutes to two hours after the initial blackout. Crews will begin restoring power to the full installation at noon.  

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The Black Start Exercise will be rolled into Fort Riley’s annual full-scale exercise which tests the post’s emergency preparedness and provides training for the post and community partners involved in the exercise.

More information about the Black Start Exercise, including frequently asked questions and preparedness tips, can be found at

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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