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INTERVIEW WITH LT. GEN. TODD T. SEMONITE...................................... 8 Commanding General and Chief of Engineers
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COVER: Spc. Colin Hoyt and Pfc. Matheau Sicard, both with the 249th Engineer Battalion, Delta Company, install new crossarms on a 60-foot power distribution pole along Route 3 near Canóvana s, Puerto Rico, October 2017. Photo by Spc. Muhammad H. Hashmi
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LT. GEN. TODD T. SEMONITE Commanding General and Chief of Engineers BY MICHAEL WHE TSTON Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite is the U.S. Army chief of engineers and commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Previously, he established the Army Talent Management Task Force and served as its first director. In this role, Semonite was responsible for reforming the way the Army acquires, develops, employs, and retains a talented workforce. Prior to these duties, he was the commanding general for Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, responsible for the building of the Afghan army and police facilities through management of a $13 billion budget to support a 352,000-person force. Semonite is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and a registered professional engineer in Vermont and Virginia.
Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite: In my first year in command, I assessed our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and how we are perceived by our partners, stakeholders, and critics. I’ve listened, observed, and collected enormous amounts of data to inform the “three dimensions” of my leadership framework. The first dimension of this framework is to Strengthen the Foundation. This dimension focuses on doing routine functions to a high standard, in a routine manner. It also means ensuring we have the right people, processes, and values-based culture to carry out our public service mission. Operating with a strong foundation frees up our leaders at all levels to think and act strategically. The second dimension is to Deliver the Program. Our credibility relies on our ability to deliver on our commitments. Our diverse portfolio of programs is comprised of highly complicated projects, often with challenging requirements. We are proud of the quality we deliver, but we continue to orient our process improvement and innovation initiatives towards the constraints of time and budget, and set accurate expectations upfront with sound estimates. The third dimension of my leadership framework is to Achieve Our Vision. Despite a long track record of accomplishments, we must be forward-thinking and push the envelope in terms of innovative delivery. Anticipating future conditions, challenges, and opportunities and taking thoughtful decisive action today will prepare us for the unknown future.
You’ve been in this position now for nearly two years. What are your priorities for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) organization?
Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, commanding general of USACE, listens to state and local water officials during his visit to the California Department of Water Resources’ Flood Operations Center in Sacramento, California, on June 7, 2017. Semonite met with state and local officials to discuss the 2017 water year, and how to effectively collaborate at all levels for ongoing project development efforts.
U.S. ARMY PHOTO BY LUKE BURNS
USACE also provides support for other federal agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the U.S. Agency for International Development, the FBI, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), etc. What can you tell us about the extent of USACE support to interagency partners such as the VA? One of our most important roles is to leverage our capabilities to address interagency requirements; by applying our core competencies in support of another agency, we enable them to focus on theirs – at a value to the taxpayer. Our International and Interagency Services program is diverse and in greater demand each year. The Corps maintains a presence in about 110 countries worldwide, addressing challenges of national and global significance related to water resources, disaster preparedness, infrastructure development, and environmental protection. Domestically, we are
proud to team with our interagency partners such as the departments of Energy, Interior, and Veterans Affairs; the Customs and Border Protection agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Bureau of Reclamation to name just a few. A current example of our partnering efforts is our work with the Department of Veterans Affairs. We’re very honored to serve as their design and construction agent, which currently encompasses [a] workload valued at about $5.9 billion to address 14 major construction projects in eight states. In support of the Department of Energy, we signed a new fiveyear Memorandum of Agreement with the National Nuclear Security Administration [NNSA] at a value of $4.5 billion that allows continued support to the development of NNSA’s aged infrastructure. Another example is our continued work in support of the State Department, Defense Department, U.S. Agency for International
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Development, and the government of Iraq at the Mosul Dam – a major piece of infrastructure that is at a much greater risk of catastrophic failure than any in the U.S. The government of Iraq requested the Corps to oversee emergency repairs and train a cadre of Iraqis to handle future repairs. To accomplish this mission, the Corps assembled a voluntary task force of experts who originated from our 43 districts, and deployed them to an austere environment. Each day, their efforts are reducing the risk to thousands of Iraqis who reside downstream of the dam. We are very proud to team with our international and interagency partners to achieve important outcomes. I think we will continue to see growth in this area due to challenging fiscal environments and finite technical expertise available to deliver high-tech facilities.
Much of the nation’s infrastructure is more than 50 years old. What’s necessary to improve the infrastructure? When it comes to infrastructure, many people think of roads, rails, and runways … they often forget about the role of our rivers, waterways, and ports. Our water resources infrastructure is one of America’s greatest assets, and offers us a tremendous economic advantage. No other country in the world can connect raw materials, imports, and exports to the interior nation [where the nation’s breadbasket and manufacturing bases exist] with the most economical mode of transport in existence like America can. However, most of our water resources infrastructure was built out in the 1960s and 1970s; based on cost, replacing these facilities is unrealistic and we must focus maintenance to keep them operational. In fact, more than 50 percent of our national infrastructure, valued at more than a quarter of a trillion dollars, is more than 50 years old – so the magnitude of maintaining our aged water resources infrastructure is monumental. Renewing aging infrastructure is largely a question of resources. Today, the Corps has about $63 billion in federal authorized [but not constructed] projects. Our annual fiscal requirement to operate and maintain the infrastructure we have is about $7 billion; however, these activities are typically funded only at about $3 billion. This is where innovative thinking and action [are] critical to keep this infrastructure operational, safely, into the future.
USACE is known for civil works, but what can you tell us about your support to national defense? The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers exists to support national defense; our mission is to deliver vital engineering solutions, in collaboration with our partners, to secure our nation, energize our economy, and reduce risk from disaster. The Corps is a globally recognized leader in civil engineering, military engineering, and science, and we apply our diverse range of capabilities in support of worldwide requirements to support diplomacy, defense, and
development – the three pillars underpinning our “National Security Strategy.” Our unique authorities, international and interagency partnerships, integrated civil-military capabilities, and expeditionary mindset serve to directly support [the] Army, our geographical combatant commands, and the nation. We continue to do a lot of security engagement throughout all of the combatant commands. Executing our military programs portfolio is one of the most important ways we support defense readiness. In fiscal year 2017 alone, our military programs are valued at about $20 billon, including $7 billion in military construction; just over $1 billion in environmental programs; nearly $5 billion in installation support; $801 million in real estate; $2.2 billion in Interagency and International Services; $3.9 billion in host-nation/Foreign Military Sales; and just over $1.01 billion in other military mission support. Military construction plays a vital role in national defense by providing engineering, construction, and environmental management services for the Army, Air Force, other government agencies, and foreign governments that significantly contribute to our nation’s security and energizing the economy. A great example is the ongoing construction of the Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, Georgia. The Corps will deliver about 70 different buildings at a cost of about $2 billion over the next 12 years. The new facility will draw together the Army’s cyber operations, capability development, training, and education in one collaborative environment to support the next generation of the Army’s cyber force. There are countless other examples ongoing around the world. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District first designed and now is building a one-of-a-kind $1.2 billion facility that will allow U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Base, Nebraska, to continue their mission of coordinating the necessary command and control capabilities of the nation’s global strategic forces. We’re nearing completion of Davis Barracks, the first new barracks at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point since 1972. This design-build project incorporated many affordable environmental and energy-use enhancements to assist the academy in its aspiration to become a net zero [energy] installation. We support the Missile Defense Agency in Redzikowo, Poland, with the construction of a ballistic missile defense complex consisting of a fire-control radar deckhouse and an associated Aegis command, control, and communications suite, improving the defensive coverage against medium- and intermediate-range threats. At U.S. Army Garrison [USAG] Humphreys in Korea, the Corps is delivering a 418,572-square-foot USAG Humphreys hospital and ambulatory care center, comprising a 68-bed in-patient wing and an out-patient clinic wing. The new hospital will replace and enhance the functions and services of the existing Yongsan hospital by providing a full range of health care services to the expanded population at USAG Humphreys. And finally, our Military Program portfolio also includes delivery of state-of-the-art 21st century schools in support of the Department of Defense Education Activity. In this area, we’re on track to execute $4.2 billion of construction for 88 schools worldwide, in addition to 23 schools delivered to date.
While the Trump administration has pledged support for infrastructure, that doesnâ€™t always translate to appropriations for USACE. How do you resource projects when the federal appropriation doesnâ€™t provide the funds? Could you talk about that? Because the nation has so many fiscal requirements, we have to find additional ways of stretching our valuable civil works dollars. Innovative financing, such as public-private partnerships, may help with leveraging private money to offset some of the federal financial obligation. These mechanisms are likely to assume greater importance in the future, particularly in our efforts to transform civil works and reduce disaster risks.
A great example is the Fargo-Moorhead Flood Risk Reduction Project along the Red River on the border of North Dakota and Minnesota. This area has flooded 10 of the last 11 years, affects about 200,000 people every time it floods, and has incurred millions in flood damages over the years. If we were to construct this project in the conventional manner, it would have taken 16 years, but through the use of a public-private partnership, we think we can complete the project in six-and-a-half years. If, in fact, we did it conventionally, the federal share would have been on an order of magnitude of $850 million, but with the use of a private partner, the federal share would only be $450 million. From an efficiency perspective, the conventional method could have employed as
U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS SAVANNAH DISTRICT PHOTO BY JOSE RODRIGUEZ SANTANA
Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite discusses progress of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project with Savannah District construction project manager Robert Player during a visit Oct. 13, 2016. Semonite met with key district personnel, state partners, and elected officials to discuss progress and reinforce his commitment to delivering one of the most critical projects across USACE.
and non-government partners, and stakeholders to make riskbased and science-informed decisions that are in the best interest of the public good. The Corps also has a broader regulatory role and issues approximately 80,000 permit decisions annually to public and private applicants. These permit decisions enable billions of dollars of economic development, thus advancing job creation related to critical transportation, energy, and other infrastructure development projects nationwide. We work to efficiently and effectively provide permit decisions to the public to ensure projects are carried out in an environmentally sound manner.
USACE has been heavily involved in disaster response operations in Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean. What can you tell us about USACE’s approach to disaster response and recovery, in general, and how the mission to restore the power grid in Puerto Rico is proceeding?
William Schadle, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers quality assurance manager assigned to Task Force Power Restoration, ensures proper installation of a transformer in one of the many neighborhoods in the Carolina, Puerto Rico municipality Jan. 22, 2018. Once installed, the transformer will facilitate electricity to at least 11 homes in this small community. Originally from the USACE North Atlantic Division, Schadle’s efforts ensured essential services were provided to local families.
PHOTO BY ROBERT DEDEAUX, USACE PUBLIC AFFAIRS
many as 28 contracts, but the current proposal would only employ 11 contracts. So this is a way that we can be fiscally responsible in how we deliver civil works projects – an innovative approach that will allow us to continue to protect thousands of residents of this area while at the same time saving a significant amount of money and saving a significant amount of time. We aim to explore many similar opportunities across our other business lines across the country.
Construction work and development can be a threat to nature. How does USACE minimize damage and leave the smallest footprint? The Corps takes our obligation to the law, and to the safety and wellness of our fellow citizens seriously. In large part, our operations involve water; water is critical to sustain life, and clean water is what supports a high quality of life. Development is critical for our economic well-being; conversely it has the potential to negatively impact our precious resources, so a challenge always exists to keep in balance. We value working in partnership with government
We’ve basically been going all out since the beginning of September with four major storms in a six-week period. It was quite the challenge for FEMA and DOD [Department of Defense] to be able to not only take care of the storm you’re working right now, but to be able to look forward at that next storm, and to be able to forecast requirements and have the right teams to be able to react. So when we come into these disasters, we normally do at least five major functions. Port opening. You’ve got to be able to get logistics into these areas to get supplies back in. We come in the day after the storm, survey the ports and enable dredges and barges to be able to continue to get materials in and out. Debris removal. For the other support teams to be able to perform their missions, they must have mobility. So, we come in with big contractors that go out and immediately start picking up debris and putting it in large trucks to transport to sorting areas. Blue roofs. If you have a house and 50 percent of the house is still intact, then we will come back in and put a blue tarp over the roof to really continue to be able to protect that house. Infrastructure. After the storm, we go back in and assess that infrastructure. We have programs that if a police station gets wiped out, we can rebuild a temporary building. We can go back in and help get a school up and running. Now on to your second question, the fif th major area is electricity. We’ve had electrical challenges in Texas and in Florida, but they were quickly taken care of by the governors of those two states and a lot of capability that came into those states. Puer to Rico and the Virgin Islands is a completely different paradigm. People have asked me in the last several weeks, you know, “Why don’t you do in Puer to Rico what you could
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Rear Adm. Jeff Hughes (left), commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 2, embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge, and Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, commanding general, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, speak at Cyril E. King Airport in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Sept. 13, 2017.
have done in Florida?” Because it is an island and it is very, very hard to just drive hundreds of pole trucks and hundreds of materials down into the Virgin Islands and into Puerto Rico. Our strategy here is four-fold: (1) provide temporary power until the grid is restored, (2) enable the power generation capabilities of the island’s power plants, (3) assist with the re-establishment of transmission systems, and (4) facilitate distribution to individual buildings and homes – what we call “the last mile.” This is going to be a massive, long-term rebuild – rebuilding the grid in Puerto Rico. And I want to stress here right up front that we’re partners side by side with not only the governor’s office, but the Puerto Rico Power Authority, PREPA, to understand their priorities. How long could it take? I’ve been saying since early October, it could take up to a year. I’d like to think we can get that done by the end of May, but there are going to be some people in very remote locations that are going to need power for a long time. I certainly hope that I’m wrong and that we can go an awful lot faster. But I don’t think it is smart to give false hope to those people that are in very remote, austere locations [and say] “that the power is going to be on next week,” because, in some of these places, it’s going to be a hard build.
What can we expect from USACE in the near future? The mission of each of our 34,000-plus people is to deliver vital engineering solutions, along with our partners, to secure the nation, energize our economy, and reduce risks related to disasters. Almost everything we’re currently doing, or anticipate doing, goes back to those three things – secure the nation, energize our economy, and reduce risks related to disaster. Some of our perilous missions might not necessarily be ones we want to take on, but we must take them on. Why? Because our vision is to “engineer solutions to the nation’s toughest challenges.” We have abundant evidence, 241 years’ worth, that demonstrates we deliver on our commitments, and I intend to make sure we continue to deliver. We’ve got to deliver the program today, and also must look at what future challenges America is going to ask us to tackle and we’ve got to be ready, willing, and able to step up to help, before we’re asked. I believe we will continue to play our full part in promoting our nation’s peace, prosperity, and sustainability through our science and engineering expertise and leadership. What they do, day after day, contributes significantly to mission success and the achievement of our vision in support of national interests. Everything we do supports the Army and our nation’s readiness. We need to keep setting the example of what right looks like. Together we will continue to engineer solutions for the nation’s toughest challenges. n
NORTH ATLANTIC DIVISION NORTH ATLANTIC DIVISION 302 General Lee Ave. Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, NY 11252 email@example.com (347) 370-4550 www.nad.usace.army.mil www.facebook.com/northatlanticdivision twitter.com/ArmyCorpsNAD BALTIMORE DISTRICT City Crescent Building 10 South Howard St. Baltimore, MD 21201 firstname.lastname@example.org (800) 434-0988 www.nab.usace.army.mil/ www.facebook.com/USACEBaltimore/ twitter.com/USACEBaltimore www.flickr.com/photos/ corps_of_engineers_baltimore www.youtube.com/user/USACEBaltimore EUROPE DISTRICT CMR 410, Box 1 APO, AE 09049 email@example.com
+49 (0) 611-9744-2703 www.nau.usace.army.mil/ www.facebook.com/europedistrict/ twitter.com/europedistrict www.flickr.com/photos/europedistrict www.youtube.com/user/usaceEuropeDistrict NEW ENGLAND DISTRICT 696 Virginia Rd. Concord, MA 01742 firstname.lastname@example.org (978) 318-8238 www.nae.usace.army.mil/ www.facebook.com/CorpsNewEngland/ twitter.com/CorpsNewEngland www.flickr.com/photos/corpsnewengland NEW YORK DISTRICT 26 Federal Plaza, Rm 2113 New York, NY 10278 Cenanemail@example.com (917) 790-8007 www.nan.usace.army.mil/ www.facebook.com/USACE.NewYorkDistrict/ twitter.com/USACE_NY www.flickr.com/photos/newyorkdistrict-usace/ www.youtube.com/user/USACENewYorkDistrict
NORFOLK DISTRICT 803 Front St. Norfolk, VA 23510 firstname.lastname@example.org (757) 201-7500 www.nao.usace.army.mil/ www.facebook.com/NAOonFB/ twitter.com/norfolkdistrict www.flickr.com/photos/armyengineersnorfolk www.youtube.com/user/armyengineersnorfolk PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT AND MARINE DESIGN CENTER The Wanamaker Building 100 Penn Square East Philadelphia, PA 19107-3390 email@example.com (215) 656-6515 www.nap.usace.army.mil/ www.facebook.com/PhillyDistrict/ www.flickr.com/photos/philadelphiausace www.youtube.com/user/USACEPhillyDistrict
ARMY ENGINEER GOES FROM ALABAMA TO ESTONIA, BECOMES “ONE-MAN OFFICE” BY JENNIFER ALDRIDGE, Europe District
hris Bailey grew up in Alabama and saw snow so infrequently he thought it was a Christmas miracle. As a boy, his hometown was dusted by flurries no more than a handful of times. Now serving with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Europe District in Estonia, snow is a daily reality for Bailey – at least in the winter months when average temperatures hover around freezing in the Baltic country. As a one-man project office, Bailey is the engineer responsible for managing more than 20 European Reassurance Initiative infrastructure and construction projects for U.S. Army and Air Force partners.
Extreme winter weather, which can delay construction work, is just one of the many challenges Bailey must overcome to deliver projects on time and within budget. The projects enable the training readiness of NATO, U.S., and Estonian defense forces, according to Lt. Col. Jason Gresh, the U.S. Embassy Tallinn Office of Defense Cooperation chief. “Chris brings a tremendous amount of engineering project management experience to the team,” Gresh said. “He’s aware of the peculiarities of the design and contracting processes, and understands how to appropriately approach
projects with U.S. interests in mind while understanding host nation sensitivities and equities.” It may not be written in his job description, but Bailey acts as a liaison between U.S. and host nation stakeholders to deliver projects like ranges and airfield upgrades, said Jack Galloway, Europe District’s special projects section chief and Bailey’s supervisor. “Chris is the rare extroverted engineer,” Galloway said. “His open and collaborative communication style fits in the diplomatic setting. He instantly built a rapport with U.S. embassy staff and Estonian Ministry of Defense officials.” In addition, Bailey manages relationships with contractors performing European Reassurance Initiative and humanitarian assistance work for the district in Estonia. A number of local contractors are working with the U.S. government for the first time, Galloway said. “Problems may arise when a U.S. contract is awarded to a foreign firm not familiar with our requirements,” he said. “For example, our contracts specify U.S. building standards but also allow for host nation standards if they are equivalent to or better than U.S. standards. Chris has the technical competence, flexibility, and patience to resolve these problems.” In a Honda CR-V with studded snow and ice tires, Bailey makes the hour drive from Tallinn to Tapa Military Base almost daily to check the progress of his projects. He wouldn’t be able to do this job remotely, Gresh said.
LIVING, WORKING ABROAD In December 2016, Bailey took part in a bilateral ceremony marking the completion of 27 European Reassurance Initiative projects at Tapa designed to support training and readiness of NATO, U.S., and Estonian forces. Now that most of the district’s work at Tapa is complete, he’s shifting focus to manage military construction projects for the Air Force at Amari Air Base. There, he will oversee contractors building a new dormitory, squadron operations building, hazardous cargo loading pad, and maintenance hangars. Despite the heavy workload, Bailey said he enjoys work and life in Estonia because there’s an element of adventure. “It’s a foreign country so lots of things are new, but it’s also convenient that many people speak English,” he said. “And this is a country that gained its independence in my lifetime, and the people are so proud of the freedom they have. It’s fulfilling to try to help them with the projects we are building and the American presence here.” Bailey’s mom, Sheree, said she is proud that he has adjusted so well to his overseas career. “I was worried when he first went to a foreign country,” Sheree said. “But he’s made it.” Living and working in Estonia may feel natural to Bailey after his three years here, but as a boy growing up, he never imagined going abroad. “I didn’t know what the rest of the world was,” he said. “I never had a desire to find out until I was older. The outside world always seemed scary.”
JENNIFER ALDRIDGE, EUROPE DISTRICT
NORTH ATL ANTIC DIVISION
Chris Bailey (left), project engineer in Estonia, briefed Col. John Baker (right), then-U.S. Army Europe’s chief engineer and currently Europe District commander, on newly constructed machine gun and sniper ranges built through the European Reassurance Initiative to enhance readiness of U.S., Estonian, and NATO forces in late 2016 at Tapa Training Area, Estonia.
A TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY In 2013, Bailey was working for USACE’s Savannah District and happened upon a Europe District job announcement for a project engineer position in Romania. “I was looking to take on more responsibility, so I applied,” Bailey said. At the time, the district was recruiting a team to manage construction of a $134 million land-based Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense complex in Deveselu, Romania. Tony Jettinghoff, the former resident engineer and selecting official for the position, said one name caught his attention for the project engineer job: Chris Bailey. “He was a relatively new USACE employee with pertinent experience on military construction projects at forts Benning and Stewart, Georgia,” Jettinghoff said. “Deveselu isn’t comparable to a U.S. military installation. However, I appreciated that Chris understood the dynamics of dealing with base commanders and installation regulations, which was imperative to developing good relations with host nation military personnel.” While Bailey was interested in Romania, he expressed some reservations about moving overseas, Jettinghoff said. “Through his southern drawl, Chris conveyed a positive attitude with an eagerness to learn, but I sensed some trepidation because he had never been outside of the U.S.,” he said. “I had to convince Chris that the missile defense project was a tremendous opportunity. After doing some research, and sorting out the logistics of getting a passport, Chris accepted the position and began 17
NORTH ATL ANTIC DIVISION
ACCLIMATING QUICKLY Bailey’s job in Romania was fast-passed because of a presidential mandate to finish the project by the end of 2015 – just over two years after breaking ground – and he and his colleagues met the mission requirement. Bailey acclimated quickly to his new surroundings in Deveselu and established strong relationships with his team, according to Rob Eldred, the district’s senior project manager in Romania. “The overseas setting allowed Chris to build on his willingness to take initiative and responsibility,” Eldred said. “He learned to count on himself and his colleagues to successfully address issues and solve problems in the unique construction environment of Romania.” The experience was about more than work, though. Shortly after his arrival, a local contractor invited Bailey to play pickup basketball at a gym off base. “The Romanians were excited to play basketball with Americans,” Bailey said. “Eventually we started playing the local high school team; we would scrimmage against them.” During a trip home, Bailey told his family about the Romanian high school team and their enthusiasm for the sport. He also explained that they didn’t have official jerseys or uniforms. When Bailey’s uncle, an avid sports fan, heard the story, he decided to donate jerseys. “With the players’ input we created a mascot – a lion – and had the jerseys made,” Bailey said. “They were reversible so they could scrimmage each other, too.” Bailey loved basketball, baseball, and really any sport growing up, according to his mom. “I think playing baseball, from the time he was 5 ‘til he graduated high school, has a lot to do with him being a good team player,” she said. “He’s always been part of a team.”
ONE-MAN OFFICE When Bailey graduated from Auburn University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, he decided to join the Corps team, despite a few other job offers. Through a USACE-sponsored program, he then went back to Auburn to earn a master’s degree in building construction in 2011. “I interviewed with the former resident engineer at Fort Benning and he described the great exposure I could get working on large construction projects for the military,” Bailey said. “It would be work experience I couldn’t get elsewhere.” He was recruited through the Army intern program to work for Savannah District. Bailey was still fairly new to the Corps when he was assigned to manage the infantry platoon battle course at Fort 18
JENNIFER ALDRIDGE, EUROPE DISTRICT
an adventure that would profoundly impact his personal life and professional future.” Sheree recalls the day Chris shared the news about moving to Romania. “I was very shocked,” she said. “His dad and I were both shocked, and I was a little concerned. He was always so quiet growing up. I wasn’t sure how he would do in a foreign environment.” This maintenance building in Tapa, Estonia, is a European Reassurance Initiative (ERI) project overseen by Europe District project engineer Chris Bailey. In addition to Estonia projects, the district manages ERI planning and work in Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia, which enables U.S. and NATO partners to deploy, train, and help ensure peace and security in Europe.
Stewart for Richard Mock, the Savannah District Claims Section chief and Bailey’s former supervisor. “Chris became the expert on a project riddled with issues, and I trusted in his ability to bring it to successful completion. He had a levelheadedness that allowed him to resolve issues while maintaining positive working relationships,” Mock said. “He certainly earned the respect of his peers and supervisors.” Five years and three jobs later, Bailey continues to learn and grow professionally. He’s gaining immeasurable experience as a one-man office in Estonia, Mock added. “A project engineer working solo in the field must work through both the mundane day-to-day tasks as well as the highly technical tasks by himself,” he said. “It requires sound contract administration knowledge as well as technical ability. “Working solo also tends to push a project engineer to learn about areas outside of their area of expertise. For instance, Chris as a civil engineer is gaining a good grasp on systems related to mechanical and electrical engineering.” Bailey’s technical competence is matched by his willingness to go above and beyond to meet the needs of partners and stakeholders, said Col. Matthew Tyler, USACE Europe District commander. “I wish I could fill every district office with a clone of Chris. He’s an emerging leader,” Tyler said. “Chris thrives when given complex and challenging work, and [he’s] an influential informal leader who others look to for guidance and assistance. He’s involved with activities outside of work that promote greater esprit de corps and support the larger community wherever he is.” Even if Bailey himself couldn’t foresee that he would make a career in engineering and construction, his mom could. “He loved construction growing up,” she said. “From the time he was a toddler, he played with bulldozers and cement trucks, 3-D puzzles, and building blocks. When he would see a construction site, he would stop us to watch them work for what felt like hours.” Now he’s managing high-visibility construction projects representing the U.S. commitment to NATO allies and the security of Europe. It’s gratifying work and the effect it has can’t be quantified, Bailey said. “With USACE, I’ve grown personally and professionally, but what I’ve gained most is the ability to relate to and appreciate people that didn’t grow up in a small town in rural Alabama,” he said. n
NORTH ATL ANTIC DIVISION
NEW YORK DISTRICT IS THE DIVISION’S DEEP-DRAFT NAVIGATION REGIONAL CENTER OF EXPERTISE BY VINCE ELIAS, New York District
VINCE ELIAS, USACE NEW YORK DISTRICT
hroughout the years, the shipping industry has created larger ships and today’s new generation of ships requires deeper shipping channel depths. The Port of New York and New Jersey is the premier gateway to the world and a conduit of global commerce and a major generator of jobs and economic activity. The port is the largest on the East Coast, the third largest in the nation, and one of the most productive high-volume port operations globally. In autumn 2016, the New York-New Jersey Harbor Deepening Project was completed and celebrated at a historic event held in September at the Cape Liberty Cruise Port, Bayonne, New Jersey. Together, various out-of-town dignitaries, regional elected officials, and leaders from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey celebrated this major milestone. Prior to the initiation of the Harbor Deepening Program, channels to the New York Harbor were inadequate to provide access to the large deep-draft post-Panamax ships. During the course of a multiyear effort, the port’s main shipping channels were deepened to allow larger vessels to reach the port’s container terminals that rely on deep channels to transport cargo. The overall Harbor Deepening Program consisted of several contracts to deepen the major navigation channels beginning at the Ambrose Channel entrance to the Upper New York Bay and Newark Bay, providing access to the Global Marine, New York Container, Port Newark, and Elizabeth Marine terminals. The significance of the $2.1 billion project was lauded at the completion ceremony for its global and national significance, $800 million in cost savings, and beneficial use of dredged materials to enhance the environment. “I wish to commend every individual who labored, tirelessly, on the New York and New Jersey Harbor Deepening throughout any part of this project’s lifecycle,” said Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, chief of engineers and commanding general, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “No one accomplishes anything alone and projects of great magnitude, like the one we are celebrating today, are made possible with robust collaboration among diverse stakeholders.” The New York District was responsible for the administration and construction of the massive project, with the Port Authority
A clamshell dredge deepens the Arthur Kill Federal Navigation Channel to facilitate waterborne access to the New York Container Terminal, Staten Island, New York. The channel-deepening provides safe ocean access for cargo ships.
providing the funding and identifying placement sites for dredged material. The deepening necessitated the disposal of silt, clay, and rock that are the byproducts of dredging. With millions of cubic yards of dredged material, every cubic yard was beneficially reused. The project has also aided the region in advancing ecosystem restoration. Sand was used to restore wetland habitats at several marsh sites, wetlands, and to cap and remediate an offshore disposal site. All facets of the harbor deepening were accomplished with safety as a first priority as contractors dredged the channels in a manner that protected health and the environment. Recognizing a need to offset the air emissions of tugboats and dredging equipment, a measure was taken with New York City that retrofitted its Staten Island ferries with exhaust emission reduction devices that reduced air impacts associated with deepening activities. The Port Authority led an effort 19
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that retrofitted tug boats by replacing their engines, which reduced nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and improved air quality. Areas of the Kill Van Kull and Arthur Kill channels contained solid rock that necessitated precision-controlled, safe, and staggered detonations underwater to fracture the rock for removal. “All drilling and blasting work throughout each contract was safely accomplished and closely monitored,” said Bryce Wisemiller, project manager. “The drilling and underwater blasting was crucial to navigation safety, allowing ships to safely maneuver.” The entire project couldn’t have been accomplished under one enormous contract. “A section of a major shipping channel couldn’t just be closed down while being deepened,” said Wisemiller. “The entire deepening, one side of a channel remained opened while the other side was being deepened. It’s much like leaving
one lane open for traffic on a major expressway during construction while painting a stripe down the center of a highway. The only difference is that it’s on the water.” The completion of the Harbor Deeping Project reaffirms the port’s status as the premier port on the East Coast and demonstrates the readiness of the port and maritime stakeholders to accept newer and larger cargo vessels, thereby creating greater economic opportunity in the region. Completion of the New York and New Jersey Harbor deepening adds a fourth East Coast port with a depth of 50 feet capable of handling the larger post-Panamax container ships and other large ships transiting the recently opened new Panama Canal locks and that assures the port’s global competitiveness, continued economic growth, and job creation. n
ARMY CORPS CONTINUES HURRICANE SANDY RECOVERY EFFORTS BY STE VE ROCHE T TE, Philadelphia District
t’s been nearly five years since Hurricane Sandy made history as the largest Atlantic hurricane on record when it made landfall near Brigantine, New Jersey, on Oct. 29, 2012. With wind gusts in excess of 75 miles per hour and storm surge that inundated much of the New York and New Jersey coasts, the storm killed more than 100 Americans and caused more than $50 billion in damages. Since the storm, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has supported repair and recovery efforts throughout the Northeast. Those efforts have taken place in phases as USACE first supported immediate life and safety missions on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the days, weeks, and months following the storm. Then, work shifted to repairing and restoring existing projects. Today, the focus is on constructing projects that were not yet built when the storm struck, as well as longer-term efforts to reduce risk for coastal communities. In January 2013, Congress passed the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, which provided more than $5 billion to USACE for the restoration and construction of federal projects in impacted areas. Most of USACE’s recovery program lies within the North Atlantic Division, particularly in New York and New Jersey. Joseph Forcina leads the Hurricane Sandy Coastal Management Division, overseeing a program of 158 projects. “To date, we’ve accomplished a tremendous amount of work in partnership with our sponsors and private industry,” said Forcina. “But we still have a sense of urgency – we want to finish projects as quickly as possible because it means we’re lowering storm risk for those communities.” Forcina explained that the overall recovery program has several categories of projects and studies. The restoration of 25 existing
Aerial view of final construction activities in Sea Gate, Coney Island, Brooklyn. Work includes the construction of five T-groins (a shoreline structure that is perpendicular to the beach), repairs to the existing groin and spur jetty, and sand placement.
coastal storm risk management projects has been fully completed. The vast majority of operations and maintenance projects – most of which involve clearing waterways for navigation – have been completed. Numerous studies and smaller projects have moved forward.
BUILDING OUT THE BLUEPRINT The largest category within the recovery program involves constructing coastal storm risk management projects that were authorized by Congress, but not yet built when the storm struck – in most cases due to insufficient funding or a lack of real estate
easements. This work represents $3.3 billion of the $4.6 billion program. Most of the projects involve constructing engineered dune and berm systems to reduce risk to the infrastructure behind them while some projects include features such as seawalls, tide gates, floodwalls, levees, and pump stations. The Army Corps’ New York and Philadelphia districts have the lion’s share of this work. New York District has fully completed two projects; has finished contracts for another four; and is working through approval processes and interagency coordination on the massive Fire Island to Montauk Point Project in New York and three projects in northern New Jersey. “There have been challenges, but we’ve worked to prioritize actions such as reviews and advancing the design for some of the projects – this has been helpful to line everything up to go to construction,” said Anthony Ciorra, chief of New York District’s Coastal Restoration and Special Projects Branch. “Many of the hurdles in terms of approvals are behind us; once we’re in construction, things move forward pretty quickly.” Ciorra highlighted [an impact] study – the South Shore of Staten Island – that has been completed and is now in the design phase. “That’s an important milestone as this area was so impacted by the storm – 24 people lost their lives there,” said Ciorra. “We anticipate awarding the first contract for this project in 2019.” For neighboring Philadelphia District, three of the so-called “authorized, but not-yet-constructed” projects have been completed in New Jersey and two more are currently under construction, including the 14-mile dune-and-berm beach-fill between Manasquan Inlet and Barnegat Inlet. This stretch of coastline includes the community of Mantoloking, whose access to the mainland was breached during Hurricane Sandy. Between these five projects and the initial restoration of other projects, the work has been nonstop for the district. “Since the spring of 2013, we’ve been dredging and pumping sand onto beaches pretty much continuously,” said Jeff Gebert, a Hurricane Sandy coastal planning expert with the Philadelphia District. “That amount of work is certainly unprecedented for us.” The concentration of so much dredging has required coordination with private industry and other USACE districts to balance the workload. “One of our biggest concerns was whether private industry would be able to support the program over a number of years,” said Forcina. “We’ve had challenges, but to date, we’ve worked very successfully with the dredging industry to implement projects on time and on budget.”
SEEKING FUTURE SOLUTIONS While construction continues along the coastline, USACE has also undertaken studies aimed at making communities more resilient. Congress directed USACE to conduct the “North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study,” an interagency endeavor that developed shared tools to assess coastal flood risks and identify potential solutions to reduce those risks across the region. The study identified nine focus areas that needed further
PHOTO BY TIM BOYLE
NORTH ATL ANTIC DIVISION
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District and its contractor are building two sections of a seawall and rebuilding portions of the Atlantic City boardwalk along the Absecon Inlet. Work is designed to reduce damages from coastal storms, July 2017.
evaluation. USACE has worked with states and localities to sign agreements and begin analyses for the following areas: New YorkNew Jersey Harbor and Tributaries; Nassau County Back Bays, New York; New Jersey Back Bays; Washington, D.C., and metropolitan area; and the city of Norfolk, Virginia. Another feasibility study – Delaware Inland Bays and Delaware Bay Coast – is expected to have an agreement in place soon. The studies are analyzing various solutions to flood risks in bay environments, along rivers and tributaries, and behind barrier islands. From an engineering standpoint, this can prove difficult. “The technical solution on the oceanfront is fairly simple from an engineering standpoint – typically, we rebuild and replicate a dune and a berm in front of development to reduce risk from coastal storms,” said Gebert. “But on the bay, there is often no single, simple technical solution.” Gebert explained that in New Jersey bay environments, the problem is tied to storm surge pushing water into bays through coastal inlets and elevating the water surface elevation of the bay. “You can treat the problem regionally by building barriers at coastal inlets or you have to deal with it locally,” he said. USACE teams will be looking at a suite of solutions as part of the multi-year studies, including systematic measures such as storm-surge barriers; structural measures such as seawalls and bulkheads; non-structural measures such as elevating homes; and nature-based features such as restoring marshes. While the size and shape of future solutions is still to be determined, what has already been put in place is clear and considerable. “This is a $5 billion program – that’s approximately the same size as the national USACE civil works budget in a given year,” said Forcina. “The districts have performed extraordinarily throughout this process with few additional resources. And we have also been greatly helped by the efforts of the states, municipalities, and private industry.” n
GREAT LAKES AND OHIO RIVER DIVISION One division with two distinct watersheds Great Lakes: The Great Lakes System is unique and complex and a critical component to the nation’s economy. The three Great Lakes and Ohio River Division districts provide an array of diverse services on the Great Lakes that benefits the nation. Ohio River System: Focusing on infrastructure, environmental, and recreation programs, the Ohio River inland waterways system is undergoing modernization upgrades of the division’s infrastructure portfolio.
GREAT LAKES & OHIO RIVER DIVISION 550 Main St., Room 10524 Cincinnati, OH 45202-3222 (513) 684-3010 www.lrd.usace.army.mil/ www.facebook.com/USACELRD twitter.com/USACELRD
DID YOU KNOW? • Pollinators: Pittsburgh District has been doing good work at some of its lake projects to help threatened pollinator populations. The district is expanding efforts to include its locks and dams’ sites, where mowed grass could be collected and used for pollinator habitats. • Regional Technical Services Dive Team (Buffalo District) A growing national and international operations asset. • Twin Rivers (Nashville District) 14 navigation locks and more than 1,100 miles of navigable river channels on the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, which represent 10 percent of the U.S. Inland Waterway System. • International and Interagency Services Program: Department of Energy work at Oak Ridge. • The Division’s Recreation Program: 80 recreational navigation projects, 83 million visits a year, 26 percent of the Army Corps of Engineers total.
GRE AT L AKES AND OHIO RIVER DIVISION
PHOTO BY ADAM HAMM
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dive team poses with the South Korean team during an inspection of Pier 8 in Busan, South Korea, June 6, 2017.
REGIONAL TECHNICAL SERVICES DIVE TEAM: A GROWING NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS ASSET BY MICHAEL IZ ARD-CARROLL , PH.D.
he Great Lakes and Ohio River Division’s Regional Technical Services Dive Team has extensive experience performing underwater inspections, having done more than 60 dives across the United States and international locations including Italy, Japan, and South Korea. The team of divers, comprised of a variety of engineering disciplines, has performed inspections on a variety of projects, ranging from inspection of the Chicago Fish Barrier to underwater assessments of a jointbase military installation dock in Busan, South Korea.
The dive team’s portfolio of customers includes 15 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) districts and USACE’s Bridge Safety program, in addition to external customers such as the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the U.S Army. Diving for the team is a supplemental skill that team members learn in addition to their normal job duties, meaning divers’ career experience and educational background is diverse. The team has 23
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GREAT LAKES DIVISION PHOTO
GRE AT L AKES AND OHIO RIVER DIVISION
The Technical Services Dive Team with a recovered vehicle removed from the Chicago Sanitary Ship Channel. Pictured are (left to right) Steve England, Weston Cross, Shanon Chader, and John Winkelman (team member Dave Bala is not pictured).
four industry-recognized professional engineers on staff, with coastal, hydraulic, and structural engineering specialties, in addition to biologic and geologic capabilities. The diversity of each diver’s job-specific skill sets, combined with extensive and rigorous diver training, makes the team a dynamic group capable of accepting unusual or challenging projects. “Empowering multidisciplinary teams to accomplish work for the nation is an essential part of executing the Corps of Engineers’ mission and to achieve the organization’s vision,” said Col. Benjamin Bigelow, former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes and Ohio River deputy division commander. “The dive team is an example of a successful regional and multidisciplinary team.” The team’s capabilities were self-evident in the Chicago Fish Barrier Project in early 2016. The team used visual, touch, and ultrasonic means to inspect the barriers, and was able to determine that the barriers were beginning to show wear, said Weston Cross, one of the divers. While the team’s primary task was to inspect the conditions of the two fish barriers, they took on another job at the Chicago
Harbor Lock as well, which involved the use of a remotely operated underwater vehicle. Ingenuity and flexibility are the calling cards of the team. The dive team’s expertise and established international presence have laid the foundation for increased opportunities to assist in project inspections. On their most recent trip to Busan, South Korea, the team worked closely with the South Korean military to ensure the Pier 8 dock was fully operational. “It is definitely a challenge to coordinate and work with several USACE districts, Military Sealift Command, the 837th Transportation Battalion, and the South Korean military. The geographic, 13-hour time difference and language barrier all contributed to the challenge. In the end, all parties worked extremely well together to accomplish the mission,” said dive supervisor Shanon Chader. Whether the team is asked to help out domestically or is sent abroad, their work ethic and professionalism has been consistent and reliable. The team expects to see more work coming its way as its capabilities become more well known across the federal sphere. n 25
GRE AT L AKES AND OHIO RIVER DIVISION
DID YOU KNOW NASHVILLE DISTRICT MAINTAINS “TWIN RIVERS?”
USACE PHOTO BY LEON ROBERTS
he Nashville District is responsible for maintaining 14 navigation locks and more than 1,100 miles of navigable river channels on the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, which represent 10 percent of the U.S. inland waterway system. These rivers are also known as the “Twin Rivers” because of the way their paths closely mirror each other. President Andrew Jackson gave the Army’s engineers their first mission to develop the Twin River valleys in the early 1830s. As the needs of the nation and the mid-South region have changed, the Twin Rivers have changed to meet them. Commerce on the Twin Rivers has evolved from canoes and flatboats, loaded with a season’s harvest, to today’s daily passage of 12 barge tows, hauling more than 17,000 tons of goods at a time.
A Nashville Metro Police patrol boat approaches a coal barge on the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee, Aug. 12, 2015.
GRE AT L AKES AND OHIO RIVER DIVISION
NASHVILLE DISTRICT BUILDS STRONG RELATIONSHIP WITH DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY BY LEON ROBERTS, NASHVILLE DISTRICT
determined by fulfilling credits and points based on design and materials used that affect human health and the environment, and other factors such as water efficiency. “This is truly federal government at its best and the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense working very closely together,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz, DOE under secretary for nuclear security and National Nuclear Security Administration administrator, during the facility’s groundbreaking. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., who serves on the House Committee on Appropriations and its Energy and Water Subcommittee
he Nashville District has a great partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE) at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, supporting work at the Y-12 National Security Complex. The district is currently building a $19.8 million, three-story, 64,800-square-foot building that provides a combination of office and warehouse space. It is the first permanent structure being constructed as part of the Uranium Processing Facility project. It will be LEED® Gold Certified, the first at the Y-12 project. LEED certification means healthier, more productive places, reduced stress on the environment by encouraging energy and resource-efficient buildings, and decreased utility costs. LEED Gold is
USACE’s Nashville District is building the Construction Support Building at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, March 2, 2017. The three-story, 64,800-square-foot building will provide a combination of office and warehouse space and is the first permanent structure being constructed as part of the Uranium Processing Facility project.
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GRE AT L AKES AND OHIO RIVER DIVISION
The Nashville District continues construction, March 9, 2017, at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
and serves Tennessee’s District 3, said the future remains bright at Oak Ridge, and the teamwork involved with constructing the new Uranium Processing Facility (UPF), which includes the new construction support building, is a big part of that. “Not all federal projects work this way,” Fleischmann said. “Many times they don’t get done and sometimes they are over budget. We’re on time here. We’re under budget and we’re doing it right.” Nashville District Project Manager Greg Bishop said the district is a valuable partner because of its ability to efficiently deliver project and construction management support to assist DOE with accomplishing its mission. USACE is soliciting bids for design and construction of a 20,000-square-foot, pre-engineered metal warehouse for DOE. This will be used to support future construction activities on the UPF project.
The Nashville District is also working on a mechanical electrical building, process support facility, emergency operations center, and a fire station. “We are also performing two studies for the Department of Energy,” Bishop said. “One is a drainage culvert assessment by the environmental branch and another in the near future to assess the small arms range near Y-12.” USACE draws on resources from across the nation to meet DOE requirements. For instance, the district has been coordinating with the Albuquerque and Tulsa districts, which also work at DOE project sites, to incorporate lessons learned to improve customer services and strengthen partnerships. The Nashville District previously completed preparatory phase work for the UPF, including the Bear Creek Road relocation and bridge construction, potable waterline and electric utility relocation, and has provided support for about a dozen other projects in the past decade. n 29
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GRE AT L AKES AND OHIO RIVER DIVISION
DID YOU KNOW THE GREAT LAKES AND OHIO RIVER DIVISION … • provides 34 percent of USACE’s total outdoor recreational opportunities?
• receives more than 80 million visitors annually at its recreation sites and generates 27,000 jobs in local communities?
U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS PHOTO BY DIANE STRATTON
PHOTO BY LAURA CANNON
• manages 1.5 million acres of land and water, including 756 recreational sites that provide boating, swimming, hiking, camping, wildlife observation, hunting, and fishing?
TOP: These enthusiasts enjoy a river tube ride. ABOVE: An Army veteran shows off the largemouth bass he caught during a Fishing with Veterans event at Rough River Lake, Falls of Rough, Kentucky.
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY DIVISION
he Mississippi Valley Division is responsible for USACE’s water resources programs within 370,000 square miles of the Mississippi River Valley. The division boundary encompasses the entire Mississippi River from Lake Itasca, Minnesota, to the Gulf of Mexico, and includes all or parts of 12 states: Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
ST. PAUL DISTRICT The St. Paul District encompasses 39,000 square miles in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa. Four river basins fall under its jurisdiction: the Upper Mississippi River, the Red River of the North, the Souris River, and the Rainy River. The district employs approximately 600 professionals at more than 40 sites within its five-state footprint. • 4 drainage basins • 13 locks and dams • 16 reservoirs • 102 recreation areas, with 1,274 campsites and 209 picnic sites • 280 miles of 9-foot navigation channels Missions • Navigation • Flood risk management • Environmental stewardship • Emergency operations • Regulatory • Recreation • Support for others St. Paul District 651-290-5807 CEMVP-PA@usace.army.mil
ROCK ISLAND DISTRICT Founded in 1866, the Rock Island District encompasses more than 78,000 square miles in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Missouri, and includes 314 miles of the Mississippi River from Guttenberg, Iowa, to Saverton, Missouri, and 268 miles of the Illinois waterway from Lake Street in downtown 32
District offices located in St. Paul, Minnesota; Rock Island, Illinois; St. Louis, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; Vicksburg, Mississippi; and New Orleans, Louisiana, conduct the programs and activities overseen by the division. More than 250 tributaries drain into the Mississippi River, the largest of which are the Ohio and Missouri rivers. The 1.25 millionsquare-mile Mississippi River drainage basin – third largest in the world – gathers water from 41 percent of the continental United States, including all or parts of 31 states and two Canadian provinces.
Chicago to the Lagrange lock and dam, southwest of Beardstown, Illinois. The district employs approximately 800 professionals at its headquarters and 27 field office sites. • 3 reservoirs: Saylorville, Red Rock, and Coralville • 5 river basins: Des Moines, Rock, Iowa/ Cedar, Illinois, and Mississippi basins • 20 lock and dam sites • 184 recreation areas, with 2,441 campsites and 593 picnic sites • 582 miles of navigation channel Missions • Navigation • Flood risk management • Environmental stewardship • Emergency operations • Real estate management • Regulatory • Recreation • Support for others • Water supply Rock Island District 309-794-4200| CEMVR-CC@usace.army.mil
Illinois River, and 36 miles of the Kaskaskia River, and reduces flood risks to more than 3,000 acres of industrial and commercial property. The district employs more than 650 professionals at its headquarters and 12 field office sites. • 10 rivers • 5 locks and dams • 5 reservoirs: Carlyle, Shelbyville, Mark Twain, Rend, and Wappapello • 750 miles of levees • 92 flood control systems • 416 miles of navigable channel • 70 pumping plants • 162 recreation areas, with 4,141 campsites and 498 picnic sites • 1 hydropower plant Missions • Navigation • Flood risk management • Environmental stewardship • Emergency operations • Regulatory • Hydropower • Recreation • Support for others • Veterans Curation Program • Formerly Utilized Sites Remediation Action Program
ST. LOUIS DISTRICT Founded in 1872, the district is strategically located at the crossroads of three major river systems: the Illinois, Mississippi, and Missouri. The district encompasses some 28,000 square miles, almost equally divided between Illinois and Missouri. The district is responsible for 300 miles of the Mississippi from Saverton, Missouri, to Cairo, Illinois, 80 miles of the
St. Louis District 314-331-8000 TeamSTL-PAO@usace.army.mil
MEMPHIS DISTRICT Founded in 1882, the district encompasses 25,000 square miles in portions of Mississippi, Tennessee,
Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky. Eleven major river basins fall under its jurisdiction, including the Mississippi, Ohio, White, and St. Francis rivers and West Tennessee tributaries. The district employs approximately 450 professional and skilled employees in its headquarters, Ensley Engineer Yard, area offices, and pumping plants. • 4 pumping plants • 11 drainage basins • 90 flood control structures • 741 miles of navigable channel • 1,200 miles of levees, including 640 miles of mainline Mississippi River levees Missions • Navigation • Flood risk management • Environmental stewardship • Emergency operations • Other authorized civil works • Work for others to benefit the region and nation Memphis District 901-544-3005 MemphisPAO@usace.army.mil
VICKSBURG DISTRICT Founded in 1873, the district encompasses 68,000 square miles in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Seven major river basins fall under its jurisdiction, including the Mississippi, Red, Ouachita, Pearl, and Yazoo rivers. The district employs approximately 1,100 professionals in its district headquarters and 11 field offices. • 3 hydropower projects • 7 drainage basins • 9 lakes with 1,709 miles of shoreline • 12 locks and dams • 21 pumping plants • 478 flood control structures • 135 recreation areas, with 3,215 campsites and 2,028 picnic sites
• 1,808 miles of levees, including 468 along the Mississippi River • 1,252 miles of navigable channel Missions • Navigation • Flood risk management • Environmental stewardship • Emergency operations • Regulatory • Hydropower • Recreation • Support for others Vicksburg District 601-631-5000 or 1-800-522-5672 CEMVK-PA@usace.army.mil
NEW ORLEANS DISTRICT The district encompasses 30,000 square miles in Louisiana. The district employs approximately 1,000 professionals at 33 sites within its area of operation. • 5 of the nation’s 15 busiest ports • 13 recreation areas • 15 pumping plants • 18 locks and control structures • 325 miles of hurricane risk reduction levees • 973 miles of MR&T levees • 2,800 miles of navigable waterway • 8,000 annual regulatory actions Missions • Navigation • Flood risk management • Environmental stewardship • Emergency operations • Regulatory • Recreation • Support for others • Hurricane and storm damage risk reduction New Orleans District 504-862-2201 firstname.lastname@example.org
MISSISSIPPI VALLE Y DIVISION
MODERNIZING PROTECTION FOR THE VALLEY BY MISSISSIPPI VALLE Y DIVISION PUBLIC AFFAIRS
he Great Flood of 1927 left the lower Mississippi Valley in a shambles. The swollen river exerted unprecedented pressure on the region’s prized, but outmatched, levee system. The unyielding pressure proved too great, causing the system to unravel through 17 major federal levee crevasses and dozens more state and local levee breaches. As the massive flood overwhelmed the levees, it left a path of destruction up to 80 miles wide. The river inundated 16.8 million acres, killing hundreds and turning nearly 700,000 more into refugees. The flood also left commerce and communications severed, with millions of acres of prime farmland under water, critical infrastructure in more than 170 counties in seven states rendered unusable, and thousands of businesses destroyed. In the wake of such devastation, the nation galvanized its commitment to prevent a similar tragedy, leading to the authorization of the comprehensive Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) flood control and navigation project through the landmark 1928 Flood Control Act. The record-setting 2011 flood severely tested the benefits of that commitment. Despite experiencing river discharges roughly 25 percent greater than those of the 1927 flood, the MR&T project protected 62 percent of the land flooded in 1927 from inundation. No lives were lost. Nearly 1 million households, along with critical infrastructure and major industrial, commercial, and retail facilities that stood in harm’s way, escaped the flood undamaged. The astounding success demonstrated by the MR&T project reflects two major changes in engineering policy instituted after the 1927 flood. Prior to that tragic flood event, the federal government, states, and levee districts attempted to manage floods on the lower Mississippi River by building levees high enough to withstand the last great flood of record. Since the passage of the 1928 act, however, the comprehensive MR&T project is being built to accommodate the natural tendency of the river to expand during floods by designing and implementing engineering features to manage the greatest flood with a reasonable chance of occurring. The MR&T project employs a variety of engineering techniques to provide enhanced flood protection to more than 4 million people living in the 22.4-million-acre project footprint, while maintaining a mutually compatible and efficient navigation channel. Those techniques include: 1) an extensive levee system, complete with relief wells and seepage berms, to prevent disastrous overflows from inundating developed lands; 2) floodways and backwater areas to provide room for the river to expand; 3) channel improvements and stabilization features, such as revetments, dredging, and stone dike structures, to protect the foundation of the levee system from scour and to ensure proper alignment and depth of the navigation channel; and 4) tributary basin
improvements in the form of drainage ditches, levees, headwater reservoirs, flood gates, and pumping stations that maximize the benefits realized on the main stem by expanding flood protection coverage and improving drainage into adjacent areas within the alluvial valley. One method by which channel improvement and stabilization is accomplished is the revetment process. Revetment is simply armoring the banks of the river channel. The original revetment process consisted of willow trees cut down and woven into mats and then sunk with stones along the banks. Eventually, the demand for willow trees outweighed the local supply, requiring crews to transport trees to job sites from more than 30 miles away. In the 1930s, USACE experimented with concrete mats that were being used in Japan. Since the 1940s, the Mississippi Valley Division has used articulated concrete mattress (ACM) to maintain the desired channel alignment by preventing channel migration through bank erosion. The method of placement of the ACM is the one-of-a-kind mat sinking unit (MSU). Built in 1948, the MSU was state-of-the-art technology. However, the MSU is fast approaching an unreliable status. The cost of maintaining, repairing, and meeting safety requirements is $3 million to $5 million annually. Comparatively, consider a car purchased new in 1948. It is well taken care of and passed down from generation to generation. Over the years, the engine and transmission are rebuilt, numerous other parts replaced, rust spots are repaired, and it gets a new coat of paint. The car is solid, in good working order, and used daily. However, it is still a 70-year-old car. Horrible gas mileage. No antilock braking system. No air bags. No climate control. No advanced technology. Everything is operated manually. Parts are nearly impossible to find. Like that 1948 car, most of the equipment on the MSU is beyond its design life or considered obsolete. Some of the unit’s devices are so antiquated that supplies are sole sourced and very expensive. For example, the pulley system and gantry cranes, as well as the winches, are one-of-a-kind items that require extensive fabrication in case of unplanned maintenance or breakdown. The tying tools are custom made, need constant maintenance, and require eight full-time employees during the sinking season just for repair. Because the current method requires extensive manual labor, the MSU employs approximately 325 personnel to fully man the vessels and lay the ACM. Over the past seven decades, the sinking unit has placed more than 1,000 miles of articulated concrete mattress. An engineering study was performed on the revetment program in April 2014. The final report included the following recommendation: “A new mat-sinking unit … is needed, either to replace the existing plant or as
PHOTO BY DON RAWSON, NEW ORLEANS DISTRICT CHANNEL IMPROVEMENT COORDINATOR
MISSISSIPPI VALLE Y DIVISION
COURTESY U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
ABOVE: The crew of the Mississippi Valley Division’s Mat Sinking Unit prepares to place blocks of articulated concrete mattress along a portion of the Mississippi River bank near Port Allen, Louisiana. LEFT: Workers at a Mississippi River bank revetment, Memphis District, Jan. 17, 1939.
smaller modular units, as the roughly 70-year-old plant is outdated, difficult to maintain, and lacking in replaceable parts.” The division’s team initiated a partnership with USACE’s Marine Design Center in June 2014 to develop a conceptual design. The MSU replacement concept incorporated the latest technologies and automations to deliver revetment, taking into consideration efficiency, cost, and safety requirements. The final conceptual design has been fully vetted and approved, and the detailed design has begun. The Marine Design Center, part of USACE’s Philadelphia District, is the center of expertise when it comes to naval architecture and marine engineering. It has the lead in designing, prototype testing, and constructing the MSU replacement. The National Robotics Engineering Center and TerranearPMC, located in Pittsburgh and Exton, Pennsylvania, respectively, along with Bristol Harbor Group, out of Bristol, Rhode Island, will work together on the robotics and barge design to create the new unit, nicknamed “Armor One.” The detailed design and construction of Armor One is estimated to take eight to 10 years and cost approximately $125 million. Coincidentally, that is about the same cost in today’s dollars that it cost to construct the original MSU back in 1948. The new unit is anticipated to be in production in FY 2023. The design has been implemented in a phased approach beginning with Phase I & II in FY 2017. Phase I is complete, resulting in a final performance characterization report. Phase II is more than 65 percent
complete and continues with design, fabrication, and testing automated mat-laying technology including mechanical, sensing, and control systems for application on a barge vessel platform using designed software and code. Phase III, in FY 2018, involves full design, acquisition of equipment, and construction of a prototype. Also included in Phase III is the beginning of the mat boat design and robotics safety compliance by the American Bureau of Shipping. The prototype will be used for functional and safety testing. The current MSU has served the Mississippi Valley Division well for 70 years. Armor One will help keep the Mighty Mississippi in its current channel for another 70 years. Millions of lives, the navigation industry, and the national economy depend on the Mississippi remaining right where it is now. Since the initiation of the MR&T project, the nation has contributed $15.1 billion toward project-planning, construction, operation, and maintenance. To date, the nation has received a 54-to-1 return on that investment, including $823 billion in flood damages prevented since 1928. At the same time, waterborne commerce on the Mississippi River has increased from 30 million tons in 1940 to nearly 500 million tons today. Such astounding figures place the MR&T project among the most successful and cost-effective public works projects in the history of the United States. n For more information about the current Mat Sinking Unit operation, view “Managing the Mighty Mississippi” on Youtube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsAIDt9764Y. 35
MISSISSIPPI VALLE Y DIVISION
DREDGING THE MIGHTY MISSISSIPPI BY K ATIE WEST, Memphis District
redging rivers has been around since 5,000 B.C. The Egyptians dredged the Nile, the Mesopotamians dredged the Tigris, and today, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) dredges the mighty Mississippi River. Dredging the Mississippi River has become a staple navigation mission of USACE, and one of the many ways USACE dredges is by removing the sand and sediment from the bottom of the river, like a vacuum. In the early days of dredging, people physically scooped up sand and sediment from the bottom of the river with a cloth bag. Today, USACE owns and operates dredging ships that abstract this sand and sediment from the bottom of the river. The Mississippi River has many twists and bends that create an abundance of sedimentation. USACE does not dredge from bank to bank, but still must sustain navigation. In order to do that, USACE maintains a navigation channel with the minimum authorized dimensions of 9 feet deep and 300 feet wide. USACE started the dredging mission in the 1800s. In 1894, USACE built the first dredge, Alpha, and began a series of tests and experiments to determine if dredging was necessary. As a result of the testing, the Mississippi River Commission decided
dredging would be instrumental in maintaining a navigation channel on the river. The Alpha continued to dredge the river for four years. In those years, the Alpha pumped a total of 1,080,342 cubic yards of sediment. Today, USACE’s dredge Hurley has the capability of pumping the same amount of sediment in nine days. The Hurley, one of the largest dustpan dredges on the Mississippi River at 300 feet long, has a triangle-shaped apparatus on an arm that vacuums up sediment from the river bed. Anchors are put down in front of the dredge and winches are used to pull the ship forward. While the ship is pulled forward, the dustpan, powered by ladder pumps, sweeps back and forth vacuuming up sediment. The Hurley, recently equipped with a modernized ladder pump, is now able to suck up 50 percent more sediment. After it vacuums the sediment from the bottom of the river, Hurley pumps the material through a 1,000-foot-long floating pipeline and re-deposits it outside the navigation channel. On a daily basis, Hurley pumps and re-deposits 125,000 cubic yards of sediment from the bottom of the Mississippi. Vickie Watson, a USACE Memphis District dredging project manager, understands the importance of the dredging mission and
MISSISSIPPI RIVER & TRIBUTARIES PROJECT Without flood control, nothing else matters
Flood control is necessary to achieve energy security, economic security, food security, and job security. The Mississippi River & Tributaries (MR&T) project has prevented more than $800 billion in flood damages since 1928, or $54 for every dollar invested. The MR&T protects energy: • 108 power plants that account for 26 percent of the total power generated in the five states of the lower Mississippi: Louisiana (45 percent), Arkansas (27 percent), Mississippi (23 percent), Missouri (11 percent), and Tennessee (5 percent). 1 • 108 power plants that employ 2,700 workers and generate $6.8 billion in revenues annually.1 • 12 major oil refineries with a 3 million-barrelper-day capacity. • 3,911 oil and gas wells that produce $7.6 billion in revenues (398 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 56 million barrels of oil in 2004).1 • 4,574 miles of natural gas transmission pipelines. 2 The MR&T protects commerce: • 4,364 miles of highways, including major sections of Interstates 10, 20, 40, 55, and 57. 2 • 2,364 miles of rail used by four major Class I
freight carriers with combined (nationally) operating revenues of $ 50 billion annually. 2 • Infrastructure supporting four of the top 15 deep-draft ports, including the largest port (Port of South Louisiana – 246 million tons).1 • Infrastructure supporting commercial navigation on the lower Mississippi River that generates $4.6 billion in revenues and 18,700 jobs.1 • Tourism and travel industries that generate $15.5 billion in expenditures and 190,000 jobs.1 • 563 manufacturing facilities that generate $106 billion in revenues and employ 207,000 workers.1 The MR&T protects agriculture: • 22.5 million acres of cropland valued at $ 51 billion.1 • 22.5 million acres of cropland that generate $ 8.7 billion in agricultural revenue annually and employ 56,000 people.1
• 53,525 farms with an average of 422 acres per farm lie within the lower Mississippi River corridor and are protected by MR&T levees.1 • MR&T levees protect lands producing 133 million bushels of rice annually, or 67 percent of the total rice produced in the United States. 2 The MR&T protects people and critical infrastructure: • 4.5 million people and 1.2 million residential structures. 2 • 1,147 schools and 91 colleges/universities. 2 • 646 fire stations and 346 police stations. • 102 hospitals and 240 nursing homes. 2 • 158 airports and 86 heliports. 2 March 2017 1 Economic profile of the Lower Mississippi River, Final Report Feb. 2014 (Industrial Economics, Inc.). 2 Data sources include the latest available data from the National Levee Database for Levees and Leveed Areas and Infrastructure Data from FEMA HSIPGOLD 2015.
Stacye Sinn in the pilot house.
likes to remind others that if USACE did not dredge the river, many agricultural products and commodities would not be transported to the rest of the United States. “The farmlands here don’t just feed this area. They feed the country and the world,” Watson said. If barges and tows are unable to navigate the river due to sediment buildup, commerce on the river would cease, which would have a grave negative economic impact. The Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative, comprised of 68 Mississippi River mayors in 2015, announced that same year that the river generates $405 billion a year, sustains 1.3 million jobs, and supports manufacturing, tourism, and agriculture industries. Sixty percent of all grain that is exported is transported to the Mississippi River ports of New Orleans and South Louisiana. Commercial navigation moves more than 536 million tons of crops and other cargo on the Mississippi River, which is roughly 22 percent of all U.S. waterborne commerce. While the machinery behind USACE’s dredging mission is impressive, USACE’s highly skilled, diverse workforce is at the heart of the value the organization provides to the nation. Stacye Sinn, a pipelineman on the dredge Hurley, is the only female to have ever held the position of pipelineman in USACE. “I do what I do. It doesn’t always have to be brute strength out here,” Sinn said. USACE is committed to executing its mission with the optimal number of employees with the best skills and balance of experience. Sinn says that USACE is more than willing for women to work on the river and provides opportunities for the advancement of women and men alike in the workforce. Sinn reminds others that the career field does not have to be male dominated. “If you want it, go get it. It can be gotten,” Sinn said. Sinn is proof of that statement. She started out as a helper below decks in 2008. She worked for USACE for two years, and left the organization at the end of 2010. Sinn made her way back in October 2012, but started at the bottom. She returned as a service worker, but she wanted to be back with USACE, so she took the job. “I did what I had to do to get back,” Sinn said. Sinn worked hard both on and off the job. On her own time, she trained on the pipeline and before long, she moved up to a pipeline job. After some time in grade, she was promoted to a higher graded pipeline job. Still, she persisted. She would, again, train on her own time, this time in the pilot house, where the winches and pumps are
controlled. After months of training, Sinn was promoted to a pipelineman and began working in the pilot house, where her job is to control the process that removes the sediment and pulls the Hurley forward. During dredging season, which is typically June-November, her schedule is 15 days on, six days off, and she rotates between day and night shifts. Sinn’s longest stretch on the river was 63 days. “I’m very company oriented,” Sinn said. Due to her belief in the importance of the mission, Sinn says that she always does what is best for the organization. If that means working on days off, she reports to work in a heartbeat. Sinn loves the river, her job, USACE, and her peers, as is evident when she carries on in passionate conversations about USACE’s dredging mission and tells the story of how she got to where she is on the Mighty Mississippi. n MISSISSIPPI VALLEY DIVISION P.O. Box 80, Vicksburg, MS 39181 (601) 634-7729 www.mvd.usace.army.mil/ www.facebook.com/CEMVD/ twitter.com/MVD_USACE www.flickr.com/photos/mvd_mrc/ ST. PAUL DISTRICT 180 5th St. East, Suite 700, St. Paul, MN 55101-1678 (651) 290-5807 www.mvp.usace.army.mil/ www.facebook.com/usace.saintpaul twitter.com/StPaulUSACE www.flickr.com/photos/usace-stpaul/ www.youtube.com/user/usacemvppao ROCK ISLAND DISTRICT (CEMVR-CC) Clock Tower Building P.O. Box 2004, Rock Island, IL 61204-2004 (800) 799-8302 or (309) 794-4200 www.mvr.usace.army.mil/ www.facebook.com/RockIslandDistrictUSACE hppts://twitter.com/USACERockIsland www.youtube.com/channel/UCjhw-jbFajkJTGCDDlXCZ3Q usacerockisland.mobapp.at/landing/Desktop#.WW90zjYUmAY ST. LOUIS DISTRICT 1222 Spruce St., St. Louis, MO 63103 (314) 331-8000 www.mvs.usace.army.mil/ www.facebook.com/teamsaintlouis twitter.com/teamsaintlouis www.flickr.com/photos/usacestlouis www.youtube.com/user/TeamSaintLouis plus.google.com/+TeamSaintLouisUSACE MEMPHIS DISTRICT 167 N. Main St., Room B-202, Memphis, TN 38103-1894 (901) 544-3005 www.mvm.usace.army.mil/ www.facebook.com/MemphisUSACE twitter.com/MemphisDistrict www.youtube.com/user/MemphisDistrictCorps VICKSBURG DISTRICT 4155 East Clay St., Vicksburg, MS 39183-3435 (601) 631-5000 www.mvk.usace.army.mil/ www.facebook.com/VicksburgUSACE twitter.com/Vicksburg/USACE www.youtube.com/user/mvkpaoguy NEW ORLEANS DISTRICT P.O. Box 60267, New Orleans, LA 70160-0267 (504) 862-2201 www.mvn.usace.army.mil/ www.facebook.com/usacenola twitter.com/teamneworleans www.flickr.com/photos/teamneworleans www.youtube.com/user/teamneworleans
SOUTH ATLANTIC DIVISION Civil Works Boundaries All or parts of 7 states and territories: Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands • 31 lakes (6 of 10 most visited) • 1,268 miles of levees • 49 dams total (14 flood damage reduction [FDR]) • Hydropower, 2nd in capacity in USACE (14 plants in 5 states) • 32 deep-draft harbors • 32 locks • Everglades restoration ($9.5 billion) Military Boundaries All or parts of 7 states: Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee • 11 major Army posts • 13 major Air Force bases • 5 major commands • 32 percent Army CONUS • 18 percent Air Force Navigation • 5,337 miles of navigable channels • 121 shallow-draft harbors • 32 locks • 10 major harbors • 234.4 million tons of commerce
SOUTH ATLANTIC DIVISION 60 Forsyth St. SW Atlanta, GA 30303 (404) 562-5011 www.sad.usace.army.mil www.facebook.com/USACESAD/ twitter.com/AtlantaCorps CHARLESTON DISTRICT 69A Hagood Ave. Charleston, SC 29403 (843) 329-8123 www.sac.usace.army.mil/ www.facebook.com/CharlestonCorps twitter.com/CharlestonCorps www.instagram.com/charlestoncorps/ www.youtube.com/user/USACESAC
Hydroelectric Power • 14 plants in 5 states • 3,131 megawatts capacity • 75 percent hydropower capacity in region • 5,000 gigawatt-hours generated • $208.9 million revenue from sales Water Supply/Conservation/Storage • 4.1 million acre-feet of storage for multiple-purpose industrial and agricultural use • 36 percent of potable water for Raleigh, North Carolina • 35 percent of potable water for the Atlanta metro area • 20 percent of potable water for South Florida Recreation • 31 lakes (6 of 10 most visited) • 469 recreation sites • 199 boat ramps • 6,718 campsites • 26 visitor centers Flood Damage Reduction • 14 dams and reservoirs • 303 miles of federal channel • 5 percent of flood storage nationwide • 1,323 miles of local levees/channels
JACKSONVILLE DISTRICT 701 San Marco Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32207 (904) 232-2568 www.saj.usace.army.mil www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleDistrict twitter.com/JaxStrong www.flickr.com/people/jaxstrong www.youtube.com/JaxStrong
SAVANNAH DISTRICT 100 W. Oglethorpe Ave. Savannah, GA 31401 (912) 652-5279 www.sas.usace.army.mil/ www.facebook.com/SavannahCorps twitter.com/SavannahCorps www.flickr.com/SavannahCorps www.youtube.com/SavannahCorps
MOBILE DISTRICT 109 Saint Joseph St. Mobile, AL 36602-3630 (251) 690-2505 www.sam.usace.army.mil www.facebook.com/USACEMOBILE twitter.com/USACEMobile www.flickr.com/photos/usacemobile/albums
WILMINGTON DISTRICT 69 Darlington Ave. Wilmington, NC 28403 (910) 251-4626 www.saw.usace.army.mil/ www.facebook.com/USACE.Wilmington www.youtube.com/CORPSCONNECTION
SOUTH ATL ANTIC DIVISION
BUILDING STATE-OF-THEART FACILITIES FOR SPECIAL OPERATIONS SOLDIERS BY HANK HEUSINK VELD, Wilmington District
he nature of warfare continues to change, and special operations forces are becoming more relied upon for complex battlefield engagements. They are valued for their out-of-the-box thinking, imagination, and initiative, and are able to operate within a small footprint with light support. At Fort Bragg, North Carolina, construction managers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Wilmington District’s Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Area Office manage the construction of state-of-the-art facilities that are being built to accommodate the specific needs of the special operations community. Construction teams have an intense schedule, and combined with Fort Bragg’s well-known operations tempo spearheaded by the 82nd Airborne Division, they say the numerous construction projects are challenging, yet rewarding through support to the Green Berets. That means keeping projects on time and on budget. “Our stakeholders know what their facilities require to meet their mission and they work hand in hand with us through the life of the projects,” said Ron Cannady, area engineer at the district’s SOCOM area office. “And at the Corps, we take pride in our projects, by partnering with our stakeholders and contractors to make every project successful.” What has worked well in keeping construction projects on time and on budget is constant communication between USACE and U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) officials. The district team has a broad understanding of the specialized activities of the special operations community, so they know what their customers need when they plan strategic missions. “These buildings are specifically designed and constructed for these soldiers to meet their requirements and their needs with the correct square footage, both operationally and administratively,” said Col. Lee Hicks, command engineer, USASOC Headquarters. “The older buildings have never been the right size. So, they’ve had to modify those buildings to meet the space requirements to store all of their equipment to include personal gear and professional gear.” The areas where the buildings are located were strategically designed, Hicks said. Battalions, brigade group-sized headquarters, battalion headquarters, company headquarters, and the motor pools are consolidated into one area. “With these facilities, it takes the soldiers all the way through the planning phase, from receiving the mission to planning the mission to preparing for the mission to actually moving out to go execute the mission,” Hicks said. “So all of that is done in one house instead of several houses that they were in before.”
Hicks said that in the older facilities the team room was overcrowded and they couldn’t do their planning properly, so they had to go to another facility. They would then have to go to another facility that could prepare all of their equipment to put in their vehicles before moving out for the actual mission. “So you had very different stages of preparedness. Now with the new facilities everything is under one roof. They’ve got all of the specialized gear standing by that’s in their ready room. When they finish their planning, which is right next to their team room, they go downstairs, grab their equipment, and move on out. So it’s very efficient and it cuts down on a lot of wasted time going back and forth between different facilities.” The facilities themselves are not only designed and built to meet specific training and mission needs, they’re also designed and built for energy efficiency. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers incorporates LEED®, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, into the USASOC projects. Cannady said that this saves the Army money on utility expenses. “The cost savings come in the life cycle of the buildings,” he said. “A lot of time, the upfront costs you put into a project may be the same or a little bit more for normal construction. However, when you look at the lower long-term costs to operate and maintain these facilities, that’s where you realize the savings.” Cannady said there are a number of features that USACE incorporates into its projects. Building lighting control and HVAC management allow for energy usage to be monitored and optimized. Solar power water heaters and geothermal units provide cost-effective and efficient operational facility. In addition, he said that the facilities are built with a very robust security and communications infrastructure. In order to achieve success, the project delivery team must work closely with the stakeholder throughout the life of the project. “Technology is always evolving. And that is where we usually run into the time line disconnect between project planning and design versus construction,” Cannady said. “When this happens, we partner with our stakeholders to determine the best path forward to ensure the facilities have the required capabilities to meet their mission.” The face of Fort Bragg continues to change. Remnants of World War II-era buildings still exist and stand as reminders of the Army of the past, but they’re slowly being demolished to make room for new construction. A few special operations units still occupy those buildings, but they’ll soon move into modern, state-of-the-art buildings that will help make their mission planning more efficient to effectively deal with daily global threats. n 39
SOUTH ATL ANTIC DIVISION U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, CHARLESTON DISTRICT PHOTO
BEE WORK BY SAR A CORBE T T, Public Af fairs Specialist, Charleston District
UZZZZZ. BUZZZZ. A new sound is greeting visitors to the St. Stephen Powerhouse and Fish Lift: bees hard at work! “With the continual loss of bees, a main pollinator, we are excited to welcome 10 hives onto the grounds in support of the Obama administration’s 2015 National Pollinator Strategy and the USACE Pollinator Protection Plan,” said Joe Moran, chief of operations. Pollination is the act of transferring pollen grains from the male anther of a flower to the female stigma. The goal of every living organism, including plants, is to create the next generation. Pollinators are defined as animals that assist plants in their reproduction and are responsible for assisting with pollination in more than 80 percent of the world’s flowering plants. To get this new pollinator program up and running, the Charleston District is partnering with Jim Strohm of Charleston Community Bee Gardens, who identified a local beekeeper to place hives at St. Stephen. “I brought five hives to start. Two additional hives were taken to St. Stephen this past spring,” said beekeeper Don Graham. “Each hive will average 20,000 bees in the fall and will build up to around 50,000 in late spring.” Pollinators like bees, butterflies, and bats contribute substantially to the economy of the United States and are vital to keeping fruits, nuts, and vegetables in our diets and keeping us healthy. Honey bees alone add more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year by pollinating everything from almonds and apples to blueberries and squash. Pollinators need lots of land, native forage, and a water supply to thrive, making St. Stephen the perfect location. “Large tracts of land with ample native wild forage are important for honey bees and all pollinators, and are becoming increasingly harder to find,” said Graham. “As a beekeeper, I feel programs like this will help us turn the tide on the dwindling presence of pollinators in our environment.”
Don Graham, bee keeper; Jim Strom, Charleston Community Bee Gardens; Joe Moran, USACE; and Jim Cater, USACE, inspect the newly placed hives.
Unfortunately, the buzz around the bee industry is bad. Last year, beekeepers reported losing about 42 percent of honey bee colonies. The rapid decline is due to infectious diseases carried by Varroa mite larvae, Colony Collapse Syndrome, and insecticides. This alarming number is just one of many reasons the district started a pollinator program. Nearly all of St. Stephen’s 2,500 acres are on a South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and the district will be working closely with SCDNR to potentially utilize this initiative as a template for a statewide WMA pollinator program. “One of the goals of the Corps’ Pollinator Protection Plan is to improve habitats for pollinators on its 12 million acres,” said Moran. “SCDNR has more than 1.1 million acres in their robust WMA system, and introduction of a WMA pollinator program would greatly increase the numbers of pollinators. The impacts could be substantial.” The Charleston District looks forward to hosting these new residents at St. Stephen. Future plans include working with our science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, school partners to design and plant pollinator gardens, and to plant milkweed to host monarch butterflies. n
PIERCE TERRACE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BY SE AN McBRIDE
ftentimes, people assume that active-duty Soldiers are the only ones allowed on a military installation. Many people see military bases as a training and working ground for Soldiers who are deployed far away from their families. Sometimes that’s true, but military bases, like Fort Jackson, South Carolina, often also play home to a Soldier’s family, so all the same amenities of civilian life, such as grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants, are available on bases. One amenity that also has to be available to military families is schools. That’s why the Charleston District is overseeing its newest
construction project at Fort Jackson: the building of the new Pierce Terrace Elementary School. “Pierce Terrace is a much-needed upgrade to improve the quality of life of the Army families who sacrifice and uproot themselves a lot,” said Eric Jones, project engineer. The new Pierce Terrace will be 40 percent larger and will be the educational home for up to 325 pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first- and second-grade students on Fort Jackson. The new school will meet the Department of Defense Education Activity’s (DODEA) criteria for a “21st Century School Design,” meaning it’s 41
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guided by six themes that promote student success: flexible and adaptable facility, facility as a teaching tool and teaching environment, differentiated learning, multiple modalities, multidisciplinary teaching, and real-world skills development. “DODEA worked for over a year to make this school so that it could be reconfigured for different teaching methods,” said Jones. “Walls can be moved and teachers can move around to change their teaching style based on if it is a collaborative learning or lecture-type group of students.” Pierce Terrace is designed to be adaptable and expandable to accommodate the number of students in each grade level each year. Students are grouped into “neighborhoods,” meaning their grade has its own section of the school. If one year there is a higher ratio of students in one grade to another, the school’s floor plan can be adjusted to expand that particular neighborhood just by moving partitions. Construction of Pierce Terrace will be concentrated in a small area, where all construction traffic will be routed outside of the surrounding neighborhoods and only the minimum number of trees and grade will be cleared. “We’re going to keep as many mature trees as possible,” said Jones. “There will also be a natural wooded buffer between the bus driveway and the neighborhood.”
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Rendering of a DODEA 21st century school.
Additionally, the school will be LEED® Silver Certified, containing unique aspects such as a butterfly garden, an outdoor learning amphitheater, and an energy dashboard, which will monitor the energy use of each classroom as the students compete for who can use the least amount of energy. The $27 million Pierce Terrace project is scheduled for completion in April 2019 and will ring its first bell in August for the 20192020 school year. At that time, the old Pierce Terrace Elementary School will be demolished and restored to a natural area. n
USACE WORKS TO MOVE MORE WATER TO SOUTHERN EVERGLADES BY JOHN H. CAMPBELL
hat definition sounds so small, but many stakeholders in South Florida are hopeful those 12 inches will translate into billions of gallons of water each year for parts of the Everglades. Staff at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Jacksonville District are in the midst of putting the final pieces of infrastructure into place in the southern portion of the Everglades ecosystem, allowing more water to flow south toward Florida Bay. The infrastructure is critical to ensure water sent to Everglades National Park in the future stays in the park and doesn’t affect adjacent residential and agricultural properties. “These features have been in the works for many years,” said Donna George, one of the ecosystem project managers with the Jacksonville District. “We finished the 1-mile bridge in 2013 on the Tamiami Trail [U.S. Hwy 41] that enables additional water to flow. Now, we’re working on features for water detention areas on the east side of the park to ensure those
PHOTO BY JENN MILLER
Foot: a unit of length, originally derived from the length of a human foot. It is divided into 12 inches and equal to 30.48 centimeters. – Dictionary.com
The 1-mile-long Tamiami Trail bridge was completed in 2013 west of Miami, Florida. The new bridge is one of the critical features that will allow more water to flow into Everglades National Park as part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ efforts to restore the Everglades and other ecosystems in South Florida.
who live and work in the area aren’t impacted by future operations of this project.” When all the infrastructure is in place, USACE plans to raise the water level in a canal that runs along the Tamiami Trail by a foot. Over the course of a year, billions of gallons of water will flow under the bridge into Northeast Shark River Slough. The additional water will help hydrate areas of Everglades National Park, which are sometimes dry before draining into Florida Bay.
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The bridge on the Tamiami Trail is one feature of the Modified Water Deliveries to Everglades National Park project. The detention areas are part of the C-111 South Dade project, which seeks to reduce impacts from the additional water in Everglades National Park while restoring natural hydrologic conditions in the area of Taylor Slough, south of Homestead. “This is one of the first steps in moving more water south through the Everglades ecosystem,” said George. “The Tamiami Trail has blocked water from flowing into the park since it was constructed more than 90 years ago. Removing this choke point allows us to work on other features to move additional water south.” As construction wraps up, USACE is conducting operational tests to ensure the system is performing as anticipated. The testing began in 2015, and is proceeding through several increments.
“In early 2016, we saw heavy rain in South Florida, which afforded us an opportunity to see how the system could perform,” said George. “We saw great potential but also concluded how critical it was to complete this construction.” The next phase of testing is scheduled to begin in the next six to eight months. Water managers will increase the water level in the canal by up to a foot. Impacts from these changes will be closely monitored. “By doing this incrementally, we’ll reduce some of the uncertainty of operations associated with the Modified Waters and C-111 components,” said George. “We’ll gather information that will allow us to develop a combined operating plan to fully achieve the goals of the project for this part of the system.” Construction on the remaining features is expected to be completed in 2018. n
USACE CONTINUES REHABILTATION EFFORTS AT HERBERT HOOVER DIKE BY JOHN H. CAMPBELL
USACE FILE PHOTO, MARK BIAS
he monumental task of rehabilitating the Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee continues in South Florida. Staff with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Jacksonville District estimate they are approaching the halfway point of work to install features to reduce the breach risk in the 143-mile earthen structure. Since 2001, USACE has invested more than $870 million in rehabilitation activities. The highlight of 2016 was approval of a dam safety modification report in August that identified the remaining features USACE will build in the coming years. Approval of the report provided Jacksonville District engineers with a definitive path for completion of the rehabilitation program in the mid-2020s. “The intent of the study that produced the report was to identify the risks around the dike and develop structural and non-structural options for mitigation,” said Mike Rogalski, the district’s program manager for Herbert Hoover Dike rehabilitation. “We conducted this study while we continued construction of features to reduce the risk to the dike.” The dam safety modification report calls for installation of an additional seepage barrier, commonly known as a partial cutoff wall, in the dike. It also recommends construction of floodwalls at two water control structures, and embankment armoring at a bridge on the northwest side of the lake. Since work began, USACE has installed 21.4 miles of cutoff wall between Port Mayaca and Belle Glade on the southeast side of the lake. It has also funded a huge program to replace old water control structures, commonly known as culverts, around the lake. USACE identified the condition of the culverts as the greatest risk for dike stability due to significant erosion of material around the structures.
With a cofferdam in place (foreground), crews work to excavate material from Herbert Hoover Dike at the Culvert 8 work site near Okeechobee, Florida. Culvert 8 is one of 28 water control structures the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is replacing as part of its efforts to rehabilitate the dike that surrounds Lake Okeechobee.
“By the end of 2016, we had taken action on 24 of the 32 structures that needed to be addressed,” said Rogalski. “We’ve removed one structure, completed replacements of four others, with the remaining 19 in various phases of construction. Over the next three years, we plan to award contracts to replace five other structures, and we plan to seal off three structures no longer in use near the city of Okeechobee.” Before the end of 2017, USACE plans to award the first contract to resume installation of cutoff wall west of Belle Glade. Engineers plan to install 35 miles of the seepage barrier through Lake Harbor, Clewiston, and Moore Haven. Additional cutoff wall is planned near the community of Lakeport on the west side of the lake. 45
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“The partial cutoff wall consists of a concrete-like substance that forms a barrier to seepage,” said Rogalski. “Reducing the seepage leads to a reduction in internal erosion of the earthen structure, which increases our confidence that the dike will withstand the forces of nature it often faces.”
USACE estimates the remaining construction at the dike will cost a little more than $900 million. Based on funding projections in the coming years, USACE estimates that rehabilitation of the dike could be completed by the mid-2020s, perhaps in the year 2025. n
MOBILE DISTRICT TO CONSIDER CHANNEL IMPROVEMENTS IN $7.8 MILLION MOBILE HARBOR STUDY BY JOHN BARKER, Public Af fairs Specialist, Mobile District
he U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Mobile District will soon complete existing condition modeling as part of a study to determine the viability of widening and/or deepening Mobile Harbor to new dimensions. The $7.8 million study is a result of a 2014 request from the Alabama State Port Authority to conduct a comprehensive study to determine the costs and economic and environmental impacts of improving Mobile Harbor shipping channel. As of 2015, Mobile was the 10th-busiest harbor, by volume, in the United States, according to Waterborne Commerce data. “The proposed channel modifications are based on the economic viability and other factors,” said David Newell, project manager. “The modeling will help determine the environmental impacts of the proposed modifications. “At present, the existing channel depths and widths limit vessel cargo capacity, restrict many vessels to one-way traffic, and in some [cases], limit transit operations to daylight only for vessels transiting in and out of Mobile Harbor,” said Newell. “To address these concerns, in 2014, the Alabama State Port Authority requested that Mobile District consider widening and deepening the Mobile Harbor channel to its authorized dimensions. These improvements to the harbor would enable larger and more numerous vessels to safely use the port.” Judith Adams, public relations officer for the Alabama State Port Authority, said these types of improvements will ensure the harbor continues to keep global business flowing. “The Alabama State Port Authority's obligation is to ensure the Port of Mobile continues to provide critical infrastructure necessary to our economy, job creation, and international competitiveness,” said Adams. “Ships are getting larger and markets are continually expanding. Seaport infrastructure investments, like the deepening and widening of the Mobile ship channel, ensure … our agribusiness, mining, manufacturing, and retail shippers have access to cost-efficient ocean-carriage services necessary to compete in the global marketplace.” The four-year study is cost-shared with the Alabama State Port Authority, the project’s local sponsor. The study is investigating
USACE’s M/V Lawson in Mobile Bay.
an array of alternatives that include variations of widening and deepening the channel. The results will be presented in a “General Reevaluation Report,” or GRR. The study began in 2015. The data developed during this study will enable the Mobile District to first develop an array of alternatives and, then, to narrow these alternatives to a tentatively selected plan. The overall study will determine whether it is environmentally and economically feasible to widen and/or deepen the channel. In 1986, Congress authorized various modifications to Mobile Harbor, including widening and deepening the channel to 55 feet deep and 550 feet wide. Currently, most of the channel is 45 feet deep and 400 feet wide. By late March 2018, the team will have developed sufficient information to designate the tentatively selected plan. With additional analysis specific to that plan, the team will prepare a draft general re-evaluation report with a supplemental environmental impact statement that will be prepared and released for public review and comment in July 2018. n 47
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SAVANNAH DISTRICT ASSISTS TO KEEP COMMERCE FLOWING AFTER MAJOR HURRICANE STRIKE BY JEREMY S. BUDDEMEIER, Corporate Communications Of fice, Savannah District
hile many Savannah, Georgia, residents clogged roads returning home following Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, a small group of dedicated specialists worked to ensure a major artery into the city – the Savannah River – remained clear. Employees from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Savannah District’s Operations Division, in partnership with the Georgia Ports Authority, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Savannah Pilots Association, and the Coast Guard, worked at a feverish pace to survey the river, remove debris, and relocate buoys and navigation aids displaced by the hurricane. And though it took just three days to restore the flow of container ship traffic, each organization overcame its share of challenges. Gaining access to the survey vessels was the first speed bump, according to Jason O’Kane, chief of navigation for Savannah District’s Operations Division. In preparation for the storm, the district relocated two of its survey vessels and an emergency fuel truck to higher ground; however, the storm’s intense winds knocked down several trees, making the road to that area impassible. On Oct. 9, O’Kane and his team reached out to a Georgia Ports Authority contractor, who ferried them to their survey vessels via the Savannah River. And while the Georgia Ports Authority contractor surveyed the berths at the Garden City Terminal, the Operations
Division checked the channel between the terminal and city hall overlooking the river in downtown Savannah. O’Kane said the teams used a side scan sonar, which provided a snapshot of the river’s depth and helped identify obstructions that could impede navigation for cargo ships. Farther downstream, NOAA used its 125-foot vessel to survey the river from the northern end of Cockspur Island to city hall, while the Savannah Pilots Association covered the section from Tybee Island to the north end of Cockspur Island. The following day, Oct. 10, O’Kane and his team used chainsaws to clear the road and access the rest of their equipment. Within the next 24 hours, the four organizations responsible for surveying the river reported “all clear” to the Coast Guard, which was tackling other Matthew-related matters. In addition to rendering the Coast Guard’s Cockspur Island pier unserviceable, the hurricane’s storm surge displaced several buoys and navigation aids in the Savannah River and its approaches. Although cargo ships use GPS to determine their position at sea, they rely heavily on these buoys and navigation aids (in addition to harbor pilots) to transit safely into and out of port. The Coast Guard used four boats to efficiently restore the buoys and navigation aids, and by the morning of Oct. 12, just three days after Matthew left town, the harbor was open with only a few restrictions to traffic. n
SAVANNAH HARBOR EXPANSION BOILED DOWN: 40 MILES LONG, 47 FEET DEEP BY RUSSELL WICKE
t’s arguably one of the most important infrastructure projects in the nation, and a boon for the transportation of goods throughout the Southeast. The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, or SHEP, will deepen the Savannah Harbor 5 feet, down to 47 feet below mean sea level. That will enable modern deep-draft cargo vessels, akin to floating islands, to call more easily on the port.
Deepening the Savannah Harbor just 5 additional feet will yield an economic benefit of $282 million every year for the nation. It is a timely endeavor considering the newly expanded Panama Canal now handles the monolithic post-Panamax cargo vessels transiting the Pacific Ocean. But going only 5 feet deeper in Savannah is a vastly complex undertaking when the 40-mile channel snakes
U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS PHOTOS BY BILLY BIRDWELL
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LEFT: An aerial view of the Raw Water Storage Impoundment taken June 5, 2017. RIGHT: Speece cones, each about 22 feet tall once installed, dissolve pure oxygen into water extracted from the river, then push the water back into the river. The process will replace dissolved oxygen in the river lost as USACE deepens Savannah Harbor from its current 42-foot authorized depth to 47 feet. The replacement of dissolved oxygen lost to the deepening of the Savannah River forms one of the environmental mitigation actions taken by USACE for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.
through one of the most environmentally sensitive estuaries on the East Coast. The project will cost just shy of a billion dollars, at $973 million, according to Spencer Davis, senior project manager for the Corps’ Savannah District. Much of the cost is attributed to the intricate environmental mitigation efforts required to counter the would-be effects in the local estuary. “SHEP is perhaps one of the most environmentally sensitive civil works projects in the Corps’ portfolio,” said Davis. Despite additional costs to remain environmentally accountable, Davis said no other deepening project can compete with SHEP’s return on investment for taxpayers: a $7.30 return for every dollar spent. One of the challenges for Davis involves organizing multiple time lines within the project that affect one another. Several of the 11 major construction features are interdependent, and must be meticulously orchestrated for the project to advance. The navigation portion – the deepening itself – involves removing 24 million cubic yards of sediments from the riverbed over several years. “When a project moves that much material out of a waterway, planners need to know exactly how this impacts ecosystems in order to proceed in an environmentally friendly way,” added Davis.
One of the more prominent environmental features is designed to replace dissolved oxygen in the river during hot summer months. According to Tracy Hendren, chief of the district’s hydrologic and hydraulic engineering branch, Speece cone technology will pull large volumes of water into 20-foot-tall cone-shaped devices that will dissolve oxygen into the river water. Another significant environmental feature will re-route the flow of freshwater into the upper portion of the estuary. The design will mitigate for increasing salinity levels from the deepening, and thereby protect local tidal freshwater wetlands from saltwater intrusion. “This project is part of the solution to our nation’s need to improve transportation infrastructure and invigorate the economy,” said Erik Blechinger, deputy district engineer for planning, programs and project management for the Savannah District. “In the Southeast, the population is expected to increase significantly – more than 25 percent over the next 25 years. With Georgia being central to the Southeast, it is one of the ideal places to invest in transportation efficiencies.” SHEP is currently on schedule, with an anticipated completion time of January 2022. n
MILLENNIAL ENGINEERS BRING ENTHUSIASM, FRESH IDEAS INTO USACE BY HANK HEUSINK VELD, WILMINGTON DISTRICT
heir values are different and they like to work as a team. They’re between the ages of 18 and 36 and they’re known in their age demographic group as millennials. In their formative years, they were encouraged to help others, and they strive for authentic connections to people. They’re motivated by knowledge, and they like to ask a lot of questions. They don’t like being labeled as a one-size-fits-all generation, and they especially don’t like being referred to as millennials.
Four engineers have come on board with fresh ideas and a willingness to add their contributions to the Wilmington District. Their common bond as young engineers? They want to help their communities. “The Corps of Engineers already has a history within this country as something that’s always had the community in mind,” said civil engineer Hadrian-Lyle Leyco, a University of California San Diego graduate. “I like that kind of development where there’s work being 49
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WILMINGTON DISTRICT PHOTOS
FAR LEFT: Project engineers Joshua Kallam, left, and Anthony Byrd of the Wilmington District’s Special Operations Command Area Office, check data from the construction of the Language and Cultural Center on Fort Bragg, North Carolina. LEFT: The iconic statue of Special Forces legend Col. Arthur “Bull” Simons stands in an enclosed area before the Language and Cultural Center.
put into the community. And the Army Corps of Engineers [USACE] is a little more spread out. We have people doing dredging work, military construction, or operations and maintenance. It’s that spread of work that intrigued me, because you get to do a lot more things. It’s much more diverse job-wise.” Although not all college engineering school curriculums are the same, civil engineer Austin Balser said that when he attended Clemson University, most of his classes focused on teamwork and team building. He was encouraged to ask questions, not to challenge the status quo, but to find more well-rounded solutions to problems. “I did not go to engineering school 20 or 30 years ago, but maybe engineers in the past worked individually to find a solution to a problem that they came up with and it was the best one,” said Balser. “I feel my education emphasized more working as a group and being able to present a variety of ideas and you pick and choose the best part. You don’t necessarily have to go with the perceived best idea.” Penn State graduate and civil engineer Graham Gedman’s education was a bit different and actually mimics the education of some of his older N.C. State University colleagues. While he did work on teams in college, his professors stressed “old school” methods rather than totally relying on technology. Although he grew up with and is adept at computer technology, he prefers doing things “the old-fashioned way.” “My engineering education was great, but I think that Penn State is a little behind in the new age of thinking,” he said. “Typically the professors are older with a lot of experience. They taught us the old school way of doing things by hand, and limiting the use of newer technology. A lot of engineering schools teach using newer technology, but not the science behind it. It’s better in some ways that I can do things the old school way, but at the same time, I can’t do things the new school way. I prefer the old school way. I like to do all my calculations by hand.” Gedman, like many in his generation, said that he has a knack for using computers. He’s been able to master in only two weeks some engineering software that his colleagues tend to shy away from. “My generation’s the first generation to grow up with smart pads and cell phones and all of that,” he said. “But as far as thinking goes as [to] how I want to do things the old school way, it fits great into the way everyone else does it here. I think I have a little edge
in that. However, I have to be flexible because the old school things don’t always work.” Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico electrical engineer graduate Wilmarie Pagan is also a fan of technology, and feels that her generation is adept at computer skills and in keeping up with the latest engineering software trends. “I think that we have so many uses for computers that it really helps us to do our jobs better,” she said. “Technology is so much better now than years ago, and for us it’s easy to use because we grew up with computers and other gadgets.” Like her colleagues, she feels that working as a team accomplishes more. “We had a lot of leadership and working as groups,” Pagan said. “We had different types of engineers on projects, so it was important to know other types of disciplines in order to find solutions to problems. It’s very important to me to work together as a team rather than individually.” Although these four engineers are content and enjoying their jobs, their outlook on full-time employment is different from other generations. Some have seen their parents fired from jobs that they held for decades, only to be let go for younger and lower-paid workers. And they know that it’s common for their generation to hold several different jobs over the course of a career. They keep their options open, but so far, they enjoy the variety of jobs and mobility USACE offers. And they’re confident their voices will be heard as even more of their generation joins the workforce. “We hope to see more fresh faces to the engineering corps, and we hope to see more experienced engineers later on,” Leyco said. “We need to progress as engineers as some missions change, and we want to incorporate the knowledge from our predecessors to what we’re learning now.” Leyco added that once he gets a few years of experience, he’ll then be able to add more value to USACE. He said that his generation thinks “outside of the box,” and when he feels the time is right, he’ll suggest ways to improve the way things are done at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “You want to learn from what has already been set,” said Leyco. “You want to see what can be further developed. That’s something that’s been engrained in my generation.” n 51
SOUTHWESTERN DIVISION The Southwestern Division oversees hundreds of water resources development and military design and construction projects in all or parts of seven states. • Covers 2.3 million acres of public land and water, with an annual program in excess of $2.6 billion. • Includes four of the nation’s “Top 10” ports. • Maintains more than 1,000 miles of navigation channel, including 28 Texas ports – 10 of which are among the nation’s top 75. • Inland navigation mission includes two major waterways, a 423-mile portion of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the 442-mile McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS). • 18 locks and dams contribute to the MKARNS total of 8.5 billion in sales, 289 million in taxes, and 55,872 jobs to the national economy. • The region’s 74 multipurpose reservoirs provide 3.1 trillion gallons annually for municipal and industrial water supply and satisfy the demand for 1.8 million households and 4.5 million people.
FORT WORTH DISTRICT 819 Taylor St. Fort Worth, TX 76102 (817) 886-1306 swf.usace.army.mil/ facebook.com/usacefortworth/ twitter.com/usace_fortworth youtube.com/user/USACESWF GALVESTON DISTRICT 2000 Fort Point Rd. Galveston, Texas 77550 (409) 766-3004 swg.usace.army.mil facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict twitter.com/USACEgalveston youtube.com/user/ GalvestonDistrict
LITTLE ROCK DISTRICT 700 West Capitol Little Rock, AR 72201 (501) 324-5551 swl.usace.army.mil facebook.com/littlerockusace twitter.com/#!/usacelittlerock youtube.com/user/ USACELittleRock instagram.com/usace.littlerock/ TULSA DISTRICT Citiplex Towers 2488 E. 81st St., #188 Tulsa, OK 74137 (918) 669-7366 swt.usace.army.mil/ facebook.com/usacetulsa/ twitter.com/usacetulsa youtube.com/user/usacetulsa
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SOUTHWESTERN DIVISION 1100 Commerce St., Suite 831 Dallas, TX 75242-1317 (469) 487-7007 swd.usace.army.mil facebook.com/swdusace/ twitter.com/usace_swd youtube.com/USACESWD
• Reservoirs hold about 33.2 million acre feet of flood storage, or 13,900 Dallas Cowboys stadiums. • Reservoirs have prevented more than $112 billion in damages over the life of the projects. • Second-largest producer of hydropower in USACE; 18 hydropower plants produce enough energy to power 523,925 homes for one year (10,800 kwh/year). • Revenue from the power produced returned $150 million to the U.S. Treasury. • 90 lakes in five states welcome 80 million visitors, contributing $2.5 billion in visitor spending annually to the regional economy. • 19,000 jobs created within 30 miles of USACE lakes. • More than $58 million went to the U.S. Treasury from the division’s recreation fees. • Military missions include all or part of five states, serving nine major Army and nine major Air Force installations, covering almost a half-million square miles. • Delivered 176 projects valued at more than $4 billion in the last five years to military and interagency partners.
VA NATIONAL CEMETERY EXPANSION UNDERWAY BY DENISHA BR A X TON
USACE SOUTHWESTERN DIVISION PHOTO
n 2015, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) signed an interagency agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that allowed USACE an opportunity to provide project and construction management, engineering services, and other support to the VA. One of those new projects is the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) National Cemetery Expansion project. Located in the heart of southwest Dallas, the DFW National Cemetery overlooks Mountain Creek Lake. The cemetery’s rolling hills provide a pastoral setting for visitors as they proceed along the central boulevard to the small lake adjacent to the assembly area and committal shelters. The more than $10 million expansion project includes construction of additional pre-cast crypt fields, a new columbarium and ossuary, and other features to provide for five additional years of burials. Sponsored by the VA National Cemetery Administration (NCA), the cemetery will provide burial space for 280,000 eligible veterans and dependents when fully developed. Currently, more than 1.5 million veterans live in Texas and approximately 460,000 reside in the cemetery's service area. The cemetery is the sixth national cemetery in Texas and the 118th in the national cemetery system, with 152 developed acres of the 638-acre cemetery. It also provides nearly 41,000 casketed sites and 18,000 columbaria/ garden niches for cremated remains. “This project will enable the VA to continue to provide burial services to the nation’s veterans for five years into the future,” said Bob Hardbarger, chief of the Tactical Infrastructure Branch, of the district’s Engineering and Construction Support Office. The contract for the expansion project, which is the first of a two-phase expansion, was awarded to Missouri-based, ServiceDisabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Randy Kinder Excavating & Koehler Engineering & Land Surveying Joint Venture in April 2016. The joint venture employs a total of six veterans and two reservists, most of whom are from this area. “We are working a unique project because it is an active cemetery, with 20 to 27 funerals per day. This project is significant to us because it supports our fellow service members, veterans, and their families,” said Shawn Crawford, quality control manager for the joint venture. Using SDVOSBs is a program-imperative for the VA. The contract award is the pilot using SDVOSB Multiple Award Task Order Contract mechanism, which provides numerous SDVOSB
A “crypt field” and two of the columbarium construction sites at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery Expansion project.
opportunities for future NCA projects in the Southwestern Division area of responsibility. “We appreciate everything the Corps of Engineers has done. I’m very impressed with the professionalism and amount of knowledge the team has demonstrated,” said Deborah Kamisato, administrative officer for the DFW National Cemetery. Construction began in May 2016 and is expected to be completed in early 2018. “We are especially honored to be a part of the expansion project because it serves as a final resting place for our service men and women. The Corps is committed to the success of this project and the continued partnership with the VA to work together to support the needs our nation’s veterans,” said Calvin C. Hudson II, commander, USACE Fort Worth District. n 53
GALVESTON’S BENEFICIAL-USE PROJECT AT SUNDOWN ISLAND Protecting, restoring, and enhancing the environment BY BREE ANA MOORE, Public Af fairs Specialist, Galveston District
USACE Galveston. “We have several beneficial-use sites to include Sundown Island.” Sundown Island, also known as Chester Island, is an approximate 70-acre, beneficial use of dredged material site located in Matagorda Bay, near the Matagorda Ship Channel entrance. The island was originally a USACE dredge material placement site, with placement originating in 1962. The island became an Audubon Texas bird sanctuary in 1973. The island is leased from the General Land Office and managed by the Audubon Texas Coastal Conservation program. “The Corps coordinates with Audubon Texas during the development of maintenance dredging contracts to utilize dredged material in optimal locations,” said Aron Edwards, operations manager for
USACE SOUTHWESTERN DIVISION PHOTO
he U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Galveston District contributes to the well-being, economic success, and quality of life of local communities through beneficial use of dredged material. Annually, the Galveston District dredges approximately 30 to 40 million cubic yards of material. If placed on one city block, the material would create a mountain 14,000 feet above sea level. While undertaking its mission of keeping America’s waterways navigable, USACE is able to turn that into an added benefit for homeowners, tourists, and businesses. “The Corps routinely works with other federal and state entities to utilize dredge material beneficially whenever possible, including building marshes and nourishing beaches with sandy material,” said Lisa Finn, operations environmental resource specialist for
An equipment operator smooths out newly applied dredge material to Sundown Island while the district’s operation managers look on during a recent site visit.
USACE SOUTHWESTERN DIVISION PHOTO
New dredge material creates much-needed bare ground habitat that is important to ground-nesting colonial waterbirds and shorebirds.
the Matagorda Ship Channel at USACE Galveston. “Environmental windows such as bird nesting season are observed.” Due to the surrounding deep waters that help to keep predators away, Sundown Island became an attractive site for coastal birds. The island has become a critically important colonial waterbird rookery that includes breeding and roosting habitat for 18 species of birds, including the brown pelican, egrets, skimmers, and terns. In an average year, Sundown Island hosts more than 70 percent of the total number of nesting colonial water birds in Matagorda Bay System. In 2016, there were 20,000 pairs of breeding birds found on the island. “The application of dredge material not only helps buffer the island from the various erosion factors but, more importantly, helps to bring an important habitat type to the island. New dredge material creates much-needed bare ground habitat that is important to ground-nesting colonial waterbirds like black skimmers and shorebirds like American Oystercatchers,” said Iliana Peña, director of conservation for Audubon Texas. “Both are species of conservation concern. “The support we have received from USACE Galveston District on our Sundown Island project has been critical to the success of the birds and
the island. They have been considerate and flexible to the needs of the birds and that kind of partnership is invaluable,” said Peña. Sundown Island was recently featured on a PBS show featuring the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, showcasing how USACE Galveston District’s use of dredge material being dumped on Sundown Island helps mitigate erosion, preserve the bird habitat, and replenish Sundown’s shores. “This particular job is one where we are going to put more material on Sundown than we have in the last 10 years,” said Andrew Smith, resident engineer for the district. Historically, the island has received dredge material from Matagorda Ship Channel and Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) contracts every 12 to 16 months. Currents and ship wakes from the GIWW contribute to erosion along the northern end of the island. This is the area where a majority of the dredged material is placed, in order to re-nourish the eroding shoreline. The island recently received approximately 1 million cubic yards of dredged material from December 2016 to January 2017 under the FY 16 Matagorda Ship Channel, Peninsula to Point Comfort contract. n 55
SOMETIMES WHEN IT RAINS, IT DOES POUR BY L AURIE DRIVER, Deput y Chief, Public Af fairs
USACE SOUTHWESTERN DIVISION PHOTO
t starts with a 10-day precipitation forecast from the National Weather Service (NWS), a map that has a gold bull’s-eye showing the potential for more than 12 inches of rain within one of our lake’s drainage basins. At first, the forecast is mentioned in passing conversations between hydraulic engineers, but as the potential for heavy rain becomes closer to reality, all eyes are on the projected rainfall forecast map or QPF. As the forecast gets closer to reality, hydraulic engineers have more detailed conversations with the NWS. Does the bull’s-eye shift between lakes? Is the amount of rainfall projected holding steady? Each hydraulic engineer whose lakes may be affected, pulls out their water control plan and starts looking at “what ifs.” Even though decisions about releases from a reservoir are not made before the actual rainfall hits the ground, that doesn’t mean that the engineers aren’t working behind the scenes looking at what could happen and where. A forecast with large amounts of rain headed for the drainage basin of one of the six lakes gets Steve Bays’, a hydraulic engineer in charge of the White River System, attention early on. “How I regulate the system depends where the rain falls, how fast it falls, what time of year it falls, as well as how much runoff it creates,” said Bays. “Almost 60 percent of the drainage basin is below our high head dams.” Into which drainage basin is the rain falling, what is that lake’s water level, what is the channel capacity downstream? “Our lakes have an operating plan that outlines the parameters by which we manage them,” said Nathaniel Keen, chief of the reservoir control section. “Those operating plans were developed after looking at years of data. They are our bible on how we operate our lakes.” Many residents don’t understand why we don’t operate to a rain forecast. “Forecasts have gotten much more accurate in the past several years, but if we have a storm move just 50 miles, it makes a huge difference on how we manage that rain event,” said Keen. “Oftentimes stakeholders don’t understand how much time it takes water to travel from one lake to another in the White River System, and how if we pre-release, the danger shifts from one area to another, and sometimes a pre-release would actually increase the danger.” All the “what ifs” that the hydraulic engineers go through prior to an anticipated rain event does make a difference. During this heavy rain event, the lakes captured enough water to cover the state of Arkansas with more than an inch of water.
Steve Bays, hydraulic engineer, Little Rock District, monitors water levels.
“Our mission is to hold as much water as possible in our lakes to allow for the peak of downstream flooding to recede,” said Keen. “As soon as the peak passes, water is released at a safe amount to begin the process of lowering the lake in preparation for the next rain event.” On the White River System, high-water events and flooding have occurred in 2008, 2011, 2015, 2016, and again in 2017. “We went from 1990 until 2008 without any major flooding events, but more development in the watershed has created more runoff and weather patterns have returned to patterns more common to when the dams were first built,” said Keen. “We’ve seen more high-water events, and our dams have held a lot of water, reducing the flooding downstream. But when Mother Nature gives us 10 to 15 inches of rainfall in 30 hours, flood-prone areas will flood. That’s why the dams were built in the first place … to hold back as much of the flooding rains as possible and hopefully save lives and property.” n
U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS PHOTO BY PRESTON L. CHASTEEN
Contractors for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District use heavy equipment to move tons of dirt while working on phase II of the Cumberland Levee Repair project along the Washita River, 12 miles east of Madill, Oklahoma. The levee was over-topped and breached June 21, 2015, during a record flood event brought on by historic amounts of rainfall across Oklahoma.
TULSA DISTRICT DELIVERS THE PROGRAM ON CUMBERLAND LEVEE REPAIR PROJECT BY PRESTON CHASTEEN, Tulsa District
he Tulsa District’s Cumberland Levee found itself in some much-needed repair following high-water events caused by historic amounts of rainfall. Late spring and early summer 2015, persistent heavy rainfall-filled rivers, streams, and reservoirs in Oklahoma to maximum capacity and caused flooding throughout much of the state. Mid-June saw Tropical Storm Bill push up into the southern portion of Oklahoma, dropping as much as 15 inches of rain on an already-saturated watershed. Many district reservoirs saw pools of record during this time, as excess flood water elevated lake levels and flowed downstream. The watershed along the Washita River that feeds into Lake Texoma near Denison, Texas, was hit particularly hard and subsequently, on June 21, 2015, over-topped the Cumberland Levee, which sits at the north end of the lake approximately 12 miles east of Madill, Oklahoma. The Cumberland oil field and Oklahoma state Highway 199, which were typically given refuge from flood waters of the Washita River, were quickly inundated. As high water receded and excess water was pumped from the affected area, Tulsa District engineers went to work and the district commander, Col. Richard A. Pratt, assured the public that restoring the levee to its pre-flood condition would be a top priority for the district.
Restoring the levee would be completed as a two-phase project. Phase I of construction was authorized to proceed in September 2015, with the construction of a temporary cofferdam. The cofferdam would serve as a barrier between the Washita River and the breached portion of the Cumberland Levee, allowing work to begin on a permanent repair. “From the initial flood fight effort in 2015, throughout the entire recovery effort, especially during the two near flood events during the phase I repair, the Cumberland Levee Repair project delivery team demonstrated tremendous technical expertise and flexibility to focus immediate actions to address the emergency situation and then to develop a concise plan to deliver a quality product under those extreme and challenging conditions,” stated Project Manager Richard Balinski. “The Cumberland Levee Phase II construction contract, awarded on Dec. 6, 2016, is focused on completing permanent repairs to the levee system. Construction efforts are currently approximately 45 percent complete, progressing extremely well, and are expected to be complete in early 2018.” With phase II of the construction project nearing the halfway point, Tulsa District personnel press forward to finalize the restoration of the levee to its pre-flood condition in their continuing efforts to deliver the program. n 57
NORTHWESTERN DIVISION The Northwestern Division provides engineering services and stewardship of existing water resource infrastructure, conducts water resources development, military construction, environmental protection and restoration, and emergency response operations within its assigned areas of operations to serve the Army and the nation. On order, the division provides field force engineering services to deployed forces or other U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) elements. Military Programs The Kansas City, Seattle, and Omaha districts collaborate to execute the division’s annual military workload. Their experience includes partnering agreements with customers, in house or contracted design of projects, advertisement and award of the construction contract (bid projects, negotiated projects, best value, requests for proposals), contract financial administration, and field supervision and quality assurance inspections of the construction work underway. • Military construction • Installation support • Environmental, energy, and sustainability • Real estate • Environmental cleanup programs • Interagency support • International services Civil Works Programs The division’s annual civil works program has exceeded $1 billion each year since 2010. The program is executed by five district offices in all or parts of 12 states: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri. Regulatory and Wetland Permits Regulatory permitting efforts protect a variety of aquatic resources, including wetlands, rivers, streams, tidal waters, coral reefs, shellfish beds, and the oceans. The permit process is designed to minimize the environmental impacts of construction and dredging activities in U.S. waters and to ensure that such efforts are thoughtful and coordinated. The Regulatory Program is committed to protecting the nation’s aquatic resources, while allowing reasonable development through fair, flexible, and balanced permit decisions. Across the division, more than 7,000 permits are evaluated and issued each year. Environment and Ecosystem Programs When ecosystem structure, function, and dynamic processes 58
degrade, efforts are made to return them to a more natural condition through ecosystem-focused projects while maintaining other project purposes such as flood control and water supply. Also among these environmental missions is waterway regulation, protecting cultural resources, and natural resources management. Project Operations and Reservoir Management The varied and wide-ranging civil works mission encompasses multipurpose projects that provide benefits for navigation, flood risk management, hydropower production, fish and wildlife, environmental stewardship, recreation, irrigation, and municipal water supply. Columbia Basin • Drains 259,000 square miles • 11.4 million acre-feet of water is stored within the system • Water supply • Two municipal intakes supply 200,000 people • Irrigation for 6.5 million acres Missouri Basin • Drains 539,000 square miles • 100.8 million acre-feet of water is stored within the system • Water supply • 17 municipal intakes supply 2.3 million people • Irrigation for 900,000 acres Navigation The division is responsible for navigation channels, locks and dams, and dredging to maintain channel depths in U.S. harbors and inland waterways in the Columbia and Missouri river basins as well as the Puget Sound area. Ten of the 237 locks with USACE oversight are in the Northwestern Division – eight on the Columbia/Snake rivers, one on the Willamette River, and one at Lake Washington in Seattle. The division also maintains 22 deepdraft harbors, 20 shallow-draft harbors, and more than 1,700 miles of navigable waterways in the Columbia and Missouri basins. Columbia River • Serves 36 ports; carries 47 percent of U.S. wheat • 485 miles of navigable waterways • 56 million tons of cargo each year • Exports/imports exceed $12 billion annually Missouri River • Transports 4.4 million tons of cargo
NORTHWESTERN DIVISION • 735-mile-long Bank Stabilization and Navigation Project from Sioux City, Iowa, to St. Louis, Missouri • Channel maintenance supported by contract and USACEowned fleets located in Omaha and Kansas City districts
• Districts with the division also support the USACE role as the lead agency for Emergency Support Function 3 (ESF #3) of the National Response Plan by providing USACE personnel to support federally declared disasters when needed.
Flood Risk Management With oversight of the Columbia and Missouri river basins and Puget Sound, flood risk management is part of the division’s water management role in developing and operating the complex system of multipurpose projects. This role involves hydrologic investigations, flood risk reduction studies, project economic studies, operational planning, and seasonal and day-to-day project control. At least 35 percent of total USACE water storage capacity in the nation is within the division’s area of responsibility.
Recreation Several lake and river projects provide diverse recreational opportunities such as hiking, boating, fishing, camping, and hunting, and for those slightly more adventurous there is snorkeling, windsurfing, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, and geo-caching across the division with recreation areas including: • 64 lakes • 781 recreation sites (398 in Columbia basin; 441 in Missouri basin) • 55 visitor centers • 515 boat ramps • 9,508 campsites/430 group campsites • 11,550 miles of lake shoreline
Columbia Basin • 35 USACE dams • 1,079 miles of levees • $46.1 billion in prevented flood damages through 2015 Missouri Basin • 46 USACE dams • 1,877 miles of levees • $43.9 billion in prevented flood damages through 2015 Natural Disaster and Emergency Response The Emergency Management program plans, trains, and manages response activities for natural disasters, national emergencies, and civil support. Each district supports USACE during natural disasters and emergencies under congressional authorities such as Public Law 84-99, Flood Control and Coastal Emergency Act, etc. • Flood control and coastal emergencies authorities including federal levee and qualifying non-federal levee inspections and flood-fighting authorities • National emergency preparedness program including continuity of operations planning
NORTHWESTERN DIVISION 1201 NE Lloyd Blvd., Ste. 400 Portland, OR 97232 email@example.com (503) 808-3800 www.nwd.usace.army.mil www.facebook.com/NWDUSACE www.twitter.com/NWDUSACE www.dvidshub.net/unit/usace-nwd KANSAS CITY DISTRICT 601 E. 12th St. Kansas City, MO 64106-2896 firstname.lastname@example.org (816) 389-2000 www.nwk.usace.army.mil www.facebook.com/usace.kcd www.twitter.com/kc_usace
Hydropower USACE is the largest owner/operator of hydropower plants in the United States. Its portfolio began with the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River built in 1934. Programs such as the Asset Investment Excellence Initiative with the Bureau of Reclamation and Bonneville Power Administration will implement long-term system-wide planning for a capital improvement program to support hydropower modernization. Columbia River Basin • 21 power plants • 14,600 megawatt capacity • 50.4 million megawatt-hours annually Missouri River Basin • 8 power plants • 2,800 megawatt capacity • 7.4 million megawatt-hours annually
OMAHA DISTRICT 1616 Capital Ave., Ste. 946, Omaha, NE 68102 Omaha.USACE-PA@usace.army.mil (402) 995-2417 www.nwo.usace.army.mil www.facebook.com/OmahaUSACE www.twitter.com/OmahaUSACE www.youtube.com/OmahaUSACE www.flickr.com/OmahaUSACE PORTLAND DISTRICT P.O. Box 2946 Portland, OR 97208-2946 email@example.com (503) 808-4510 www.nwp.usace.army.mil www.facebook.com/PortlandCorps www.twitter.com/PortlandCorps www.dvidshub.net/unit/USACE-NWP
SEATTLE DISTRICT P.O. Box 3755 Seattle, WA 98124 firstname.lastname@example.org (206) 764-3750 www.nws.usace.army.mil www.facebook.com/USACENWS/ twitter.com/seattledistrict WALLA WALLA DISTRICT 201 North Third Ave. Walla Walla, WA 99362-1876 email@example.com (509) 527-7020 www.nww.usace.army.mil www.facebook.com/WallaWallaUSACE twitter.com/WallaWallaUSACE www.youtube.com/wallawallausace
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PHOTO BY FRED KRAFT; U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
FORT RILEY’S IRWIN ARMY COMMUNITY HOSPITAL OPEN TO PATIENTS BY K ANSAS CIT Y DISTRICT STAFF
e cannot honor you enough, but we can at least provide first-class medical facilities to you for your service,” said Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback at the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new Irwin Army Community Hospital (IACH) Oct. 12 at Fort Riley, Kansas. Along with Brownback, Col. John Melton, IACH commander; Brig. Gen. William Turner, deputy commanding general, 1st Infantry Division; Maj. Gen. Thomas Tempel, commander of Regional Health Command-Central; U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts; U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran; and Dr. John Fahey, Irwin family biographer, spoke at the ceremony about the advancements in the new facility and celebration of it opening. “Our team is well aware of the great gift we are receiving today from the American people,” Melton said. “This new hospital represents the unwavering commitment of our nation and military for those who serve and the families who share in that service.” The Kansas City District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, oversaw the construction of the facility, which replaced the previous hospital dedicated in 1958 to Brig. Gen. Bernard John Dowling Irwin, “The Fighting Doctor,” who was awarded the Medal of Honor for distinguished gallantry in action during an engagement in 1861. The hospital had become the Army’s oldest. The Kansas City District and architectural firms Leo A. Daly and Rogers, Lovelock and Fritz, Inc., designed the medical facility, which will serve 50,000 patients, including active-duty Soldiers, family members, and retirees at and around Fort Riley. About 1,594 clinical patients are seen every day. The project was constructed by a Dallasbased joint venture team of Balfour Beatty Construction and Walton Construction. The 552,000-square-foot facility includes a 263,000-square-foot inpatient community hospital, a 289,000-square-foot outpatient clinic, a central energy plant, an ambulance garage, and parking for 1,600 vehicles. The new facility also has an increase in available beds, with 19 in the emergency room. The project incorporated many of the latest evidence-based design principles adopted in the private sector and Department of Defense health care facilities. The two-wing, five-story building also features a new 10-bed inpatient behavioral health and psychiatric care unit. With this new
Irwin Army Community Hospital is a 47-bed hospital that opened to the public on Oct. 16, 2016. It was designed with the latest medical engineering technology to deliver the best care to “Big Red One” (1st Infantry Division) Soldiers and mission partners, their families, and retirees.
unit, care is available without traveling away from Fort Riley. Among its features are healing gardens and mediation areas including an outdoor patio available to patients surrounded by a garden of flowers and foliage. The hospital’s L-shaped design separates the inpatient care from the outpatient care clinics. The staff use their own hallways and elevators outside of the “L.” This frees up space for patients and visitors. The layout provides the shortest reasonable path from check-in to exam. It also eases the transition from one department to another should a patient require additional care. All reception areas in the outpatient side are in the atrium, giving a greater sense of openness. The atrium, or “glass wall,” lets in natural light and provides a passive solar heat in the cooler months while reducing it in hotter seasons. Additional features of the hospital include acuity-adaptable patient rooms to reduce patient transfers, patient lifts to reduce staff injuries and fatigue, and semi-decentralized nursing stations to provide patient care at the bedside. The hospital was designed using building information modeling (BIM) technology and incorporated sustainable components such as recycled materials, energy-efficient technologies, daylighting, and regionally sourced materials. The project was designed to meet and has earned the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Silver rating. Melton said none of this would have been possible without the assistance of Fort Riley and IACH community partners, Kansas, and the American people, but through them, readiness has been increased at Fort Riley. n Season Osterfeld, 1st Infantry Division, contributed to this article. 61
EVALUATING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER A collaborative process
COURTESY NORTHWESTERN DIVISION
BY NORTHWESTERN DIVISION STAFF
he Columbia River System Operations (CRSO) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is evaluating the coordinated water management functions for the operation, maintenance, and configurations of 14 federal dam and reservoir projects comprising the Columbia River System. During fall 2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, and the Bonneville Power Administration began the procedural implementation required under the National Environmental Policy Act for a new comprehensive EIS for the CRSO. The District Court of Oregon in National Wildlife Federation v. National Marine Fisheries Service ordered the agencies to complete the EIS in five years. The first stage of developing an EIS, as well as “scoping,” began with publishing a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register that notifies the public and interested parties that the development of the EIS has begun and solicits input from the public regarding the scope, resources, and issues to address in the EIS, as well as alternatives to consider in the analysis. The agencies also held a series of public meetings to engage the public in discussing how the system of dam and reservoir projects are currently operated, encourage comments on how operations could be different, and provide information on resources that are likely to be evaluated in the analysis. Thanks to the interest of citizens throughout the Northwest, more than 2,300 people attended 18 scoping meetings that were held from October 2016 to January 2017 in Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon, and via webinar.
Grand Coulee Dam includes three major hydroelectric power-generating plants and the John W. Keys III Pump-Generating Plant. The facilities provide power generation, irrigation, flood risk management, and streamflow regulation for fish migration. Additional incidental benefits include providing flows for navigation and recreation. Grand Coulee Dam is the main feature of the Columbia Basin Project.
During the public scoping period, members of the public provided input on the EIS’s development and on many issues important to them. The agencies have received more than 390,000 comments highlighting a range of CRSO topics.
WHERE WE ARE IN THE CRSO EIS PROCESS The agencies completed a review of all public, agency, and tribal comments submitted during the public scoping period and are using these comments in the development of alternatives. In addition, the information is being used to highlight specific areas of interest and resource concerns that will be analyzed in the EIS. The agencies are also finalizing a memorandum of understanding with about 25 cooperating agencies so that sovereign entities with applicable expertise and jurisdiction may assist with various parts of EIS scoping, alternatives development, model development, and analysis. Engagement strategies are being developed to continue a transparent process with agencies from federal, state, and tribal governments. Stakeholders and other members of the general public will be kept informed at major milestones. n
PORTLAND, WALLA WALLA DISTRICTS CONDUCT NAVIGATION LOCK OUTAGE FOR MAJOR REPAIRS, INSPECTIONS BY K ARIM DELGADO, Public Af fairs Specialist, Por tland District
COMPOSITE PHOTO BY KARIM DELGADO, PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE
ortland and Walla Walla districts recently completed their second coordinated extended outage of all U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)-managed navigation locks within the Columbia Snake River System to perform major repairs, maintenance, and improvements. The 14-week extended outage took place from Dec. 12, 2016, to March 20, 2017. While two-week routine maintenance closures are conducted annually, occasional extended outages are needed to maintain long-term safety and viability of the locks, several of which have served the region for more than 60 years. Extended outages allow for major non-routine repairs and improvements that cannot be completed during shorter closures. Because the region’s economy depends on the more than $20 billion of commerce passing through the entire Columbia River system each year, extended outages are comprehensively planned in advance to limit impacts to commercial river users, according to Jeff Ament, Portland District’s project manager for the extended outage. These extended outages are unique because they are planned and conducted together to reduce such impacts. While the partnership between the districts increases the complexity of the effort, Ament explained the benefit to river users is worth it. The Columbia Snake River System supports more than 49 million tons of international trade, and more than 40,000 local jobs connected to trade, according to the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association (PNWA). “If we worked on one lock every year, the river system would shut down for 14 weeks every year. The economic impact that kind of shutdown would have on river users would be terrible,” Ament said. “So, we met with them to come up with a better way.” Through those meetings, a comprehensive plan to conduct inter-district extended outages throughout the river system every five to seven years was developed. The first coordinated effort between districts was in the winter of 2010-2011. For the 2010-2011 and 2016-2017 extended outages, river users were given notice as much as two years in advance to allow time to plan. Portland and Walla Walla districts co-hosted weekly public status meetings to update stakeholders and media on work being performed at the various locks. Those affected were also invited to visit the locks to witness major performance milestones during the outage.
Crews at the Dalles Lock and Dam use scaffolding to traverse the massive downstream gate Jan. 5, 2017, as they make critical repairs and perform inspections on the dewatered lock.
Ament credited PNWA for helping amplify awareness of the extended outage to its members. PNWA’s prominence as a nonprofit trade association of regional ports and river users made it an indispensable partner during planning and execution of the closures, according to Ament. Kristin Meira, PNWA’s executive director, said USACE’s open lines of communication greatly contributed to the success of both extended outages. “The coordinated approach of these two districts means our export gateway is maintained in the most efficient manner possible, with the least impact to the thousands of American jobs connected to shipping on the river,” Meira said of this year’s outage efforts. The Columbia Snake River System comprises 105 miles of deep draft channel and 360 miles of inland navigation from the Pacific Ocean to Lewiston, Idaho. It is the top wheat-export gateway in the nation and plays a major role in ensuring farmers and manufacturers have the ability to economically export their goods into the competitive international marketplace by barge, according to PNWA. Barging remains the most fuel-efficient and safest method of moving cargo, according to a 2009 U.S. Maritime Administration study. It takes 538 semi-tractor-trailers to transport the equivalent load of a four-barge tow. Additionally, barging is credited with fewer injuries and fatalities than both rail and truck transport. Minimizing downtime during the Columbia Snake River System navigation lock outage and maintaining the locks’ operational abilities ensures the safe and reliable flow of river traffic continues for the residents and economy of the Pacific Northwest. n 63
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LAKE WASHINGTON SHIP CANAL: 100 YEARS OF COMMERCE BY PATRICIA GR AESSER, Chief of Public Af fairs, Seat tle District
PORT OF SEATTLE IMAGE BY DON WILSON
ust over 100 years ago, on July 4, 1917, the SS Roosevelt led a parade of boats into the newly constructed government locks in Seattle and a brief ceremony commenced. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported “that more than half the city’s population of 360,000 gathered for the ship canal’s grand opening ...” and Lt. Col. James B. Cavanaugh, who oversaw the project’s construction, proclaimed “the canal … is the greatest asset of the Northwest.” Saltwater bays, freshwater lakes, and heavily timbered forests surrounded Seattle when the first European settlers arrived in 1851 and transportation of natural resources was extremely difficult. In 1890, Congress authorized a survey to select the most feasible location to construct a ship canal and give an estimate of expense. Former Seattle District Commander Maj. Hiram M. Chittenden’s message to the Seattle Chamber of Commerce promoting the locks prior to construction foretold, “At least 50 cents per cubic yard will be saved on the cost of delivering gravel, sand, coal and other material.” Additionally, “The saving to our people in having commodities brought almost to their doors by water will exceed each year $750,000 the amount of the proposed bond issue to excavate the canal.” The River and Harbor Act of 1910 authorized construction, operations, and maintenance of Lake Washington Ship Canal with a double lock. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) began construction in 1911, and the first ship passed Aug. 3, 1916, with an official dedication July 4, 1917. Today, the ship canal and locks connecting the waters of Lake Washington, Lake Union, and Salmon Bay to the tidal waters of Puget Sound allow recreational and commercial vessels to travel to the docks and warehouses of Seattle’s busy freshwater harbor. Local residents consider the locks a place to bring out-of-town visitors. The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks site is among Seattle’s most visited tourist sites, receiving about 1.3 million visitors per year. A USACE calculation demonstrates the substantial benefit to the area from recreation by estimating 1.2 million visitors translates to $38,000 in spending, $15,000 in sales, and more than 240 jobs in the vicinity. The regional impacts go beyond tourism. The project materially contributes to the industrial, municipal, commercial, environmental, and recreational development of the area while serving multiple functions. Controlling Lake Washington’s elevation within a narrow range allows east-west highway traffic on Interstate 90/Washington State
Halibut schooners depart Fishermen’s Terminal headed for the locks in March 2010.
Highway 520, which is key to commerce for the ports of Seattle and Tacoma and the entire region. Since 1995, the Chittenden Locks has an average of 16,181 lockings, 44,000 boats, and more than 1.5 million tons of cargo passing through the locks annually, making it the busiest navigation lock in the United States based on lockages. Constructing the locks allowed the Port of Seattle to develop Fisherman’s Terminal, where the Alaska fishing fleet is homeported in Lake Union. Currently, Fisherman’s Terminal provides 3,309 direct jobs and a total 6,419 jobs, according to a 2016 Port of Seattle report. Cavanaugh’s and Chittenden’s optimistic claims of the locks’ economic benefits may be different than forecast, but the locks contribute greatly to the region’s economy. To honor the locks’ designer and advocate, they are named after Chittenden, district engineer from April 1906 to September 1908. They were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. As the district marks the locks’ centennial, they also look to their future. Seattle District engineers, mechanics, and electricians are working to maintain and update this facility to ensure continued performance into its next century of service to the region. n 65
SOUTH PACIFIC DIVISION The South Pacific Division is a diverse region that includes: • 10 states, 5 shared with other regions • Economies – largest in the United States, 6th in the world • 167 federally recognized Native American nations • 2,300 civilians and Soldiers • $4 billion program • 13 Army and 12 U.S. Air Force installations • 5 strategic ports • 46 dams and reservoirs • 2,286 miles of federal levees • 33 recreational areas, with 15.7 million visits annually • 300 of 1,200 threatened/endangered species
SOUTH PACIFIC DIVISION 1455 Market St. San Francisco, CA 94103 email@example.com (415) 503-6517 www.spd.usace.army.mil www.facebook.com/SouthPacificDivisionUSACE www.twitter.com/USACE_SPD www.instagram.com/USACE_SPD www.youtube.com/user/Southpacificdivision
LOS ANGELES DISTRICT 915 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1105 Los Angeles, CA 90017 PublicAffairs.SPL@usace.army.mil (213) 452-3921 www.spl.usace.army.mil www.facebook.com/ladistrict www.twitter.com/CorpsLAdistrict www.flickr.com/photos/losangelesdistrict www.youtube.com/user/USACE90017
ALBUQUERQUE DISTRICT 4101 Jefferson Plaza, NE Albuquerque, NM 87109 firstname.lastname@example.org (505) 342-3349 www.spa.usace.army.mil www.facebook.com/albuquerquedistrict www.twitter.com/USACE_ABQ www.flickr.com/photos/usace_albuquerque
SACRAMENTO DISTRICT 1325 J St. Sacramento, CA 95814 email@example.com (916) 557-5100 www.spk.usace.army.mil www.facebook.com/sacramentodistrict www.twitter.com/USACESacramento www.flickr.com/photos/sacramentodistrict www.youtube.com/user/SacramentoDistrict
SAN FRANCISCO DISTRICT 1455 Market St. San Francisco, CA 94103 firstname.lastname@example.org (415) 503-6804 www.spn.usace.army.mil www.facebook.com/USACESPN www.twitter.com/USACESPN www.youtube.com/user/USACESanFrancisco
SOUTH PACIFIC DIVISION
COURTESY OF BLM
Due to concerns that moving equipment into the area downslope of the Jemez Canyon Dam culvert might damage cultural resources, the Bureau of Land Management crew used long-reach equipment from above to repair the culverton the dam, March 2, 2017.
AGENCIES COLLABORATE FOR FLEXIBILITY, COST SAVINGS ON DAM ROAD MAINTENANCE BY ELIZ ABE TH LOCK YE AR
his past spring, the Albuquerque District used an interagency agreement for the first time to collaborate with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to repair and improve the access road and culverts on the Jemez Canyon Dam maintenance access road. The result was a cost savings with more flexibility over the use of a contract to manage the repairs. The culvert under the access road had severely eroded over the years and the road needed minor repairs to improve drainage. The existing guardrail posts on the road and along the crest of the dam didn’t meet current New Mexico Department of Transportation standards. The guardrail was too low in many locations and the posts were spaced too far apart with no offset blocks. The old rail and posts were removed, new posts and offset blocks were installed, and the guardrail was reused as a sustainability and cost-saving measure. Because the rocky nature of the area was not conducive to auger operations, it was necessary to hand dig each posthole along the majority of the access road. The grade along the access road varies from 3 percent to as high as 10 percent. Vibratory equipment was
not considered for personnel safety reasons, given the potential for falling rock, and to avoid impacts to any potential cultural resources. The district used an interagency agreement in lieu of a contract to manage the repairs, which allowed the BLM engineers and construction crew flexibility in formulating a solution to the culvert erosion problem based on their equipment and technical expertise. This is not the first time the Albuquerque District has collaborated with another government agency on a project to make repairs and save resources. The district has worked with the Bureau of Reclamation on culvert maintenance on the Galisteo Dam access road and on the Two Rivers Diamond “A” Dam Channel erosion project near Roswell, New Mexico. Collaboration with other agencies like the BLM and the Bureau of Reclamation is part of the district’s efforts to be good stewards of its limited resources. The cost ended up being less than $150,000. This was the first time an interagency agreement was used with the BLM to complete work of this magnitude for the district’s Operations Division. n
SOUTH PACIFIC DIVISION
BUILDING STRONG WATER RESILIENCY BY BROOKS O. HUBBARD IV
hen the U.S. Army announces potential build up or deployment of forces to a troubled region, you can count on combat units stopping at the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, California, for additional training to ready its Soldiers for the mission. The NTC and Fort Irwin continue to serve as the Army’s premier training center. Approximately 50,000 Soldiers train at the NTC annually and 85 percent of the permanently assigned community live on post, with an estimated daily population of 16,000 people. When those training units arrive, the population may swell to 26,000, which adds to the amount of water consumed and utilized for day-to-day operations. Without water, the NTC would not be able to meet its mission requirements. That’s where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) comes into play in providing the NTC with a water resilient solution. The Los Angeles District awarded a $100.1 million design-build construction contract to CDM Smith constructors Sept. 12, 2012, for a new water treatment facility. Work began July 15, 2013. Initial construction was completed May 1, 2016, and the plant began processing water for the installation. The plant is managed by the Fort Irwin Department of Public Works with CH2M as the operator. “The Irwin Water Works [IWW] will provide safe, pure drinking water, at low energy cost, and extends the Fort Irwin water supply for up to 60 years,” said Col. Pete Helmlinger, commander of USACE’s South Pacific Division, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Oct. 13, 2016. “Today is the culmination of years of hard work and collaboration to overcome the complex challenges of this important project in this harsh environment.”
efficiency of the water that is consumed before you look at alternative methods of conservation. The IWW plant is capable of treating up to 2.5 million gallons of water per day and removes all contaminants found in Fort Irwin’s ground water, in accordance with federal and state requirements (i.e., arsenic, fluoride, nitrate, and total dissolved solids). The plant’s total water recovery rate exceeds 99 percent with no liquid discharge. The IWW zero liquid discharge with evaporation ponds for wastewater meets the Net Zero Initiative.
THE NTC AND WATER The NTC is considered the crown jewel of the training enterprise and must be able to deliver brigade-level readiness to meet its mission goals. Without a sustainable long-term usable water supply the NTC could not meet its goals. “We are currently treating up to 2.5 million gallons of water a day,” said Christopher Woodruff, Fort Irwin’s energy project manager. “Our average usage is a little bit under 2 million gallons [of water] per day, and during the summer we can get above 2.5 million gallons.” “Unless we have enough water to support the mission here, we don’t have a mission!” said Hammack. “Ensuring that we have a sustainable water source means that we can continue to train and prepare our Soldiers to deploy around the world. Because it’s better, safer, to train here than to send an untrained Soldier into the field of battle.”
In 2011, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy, and Environment Katherine Hammack announced the creation of the Army Net Zero Initiative. The Net Zero Initiative is a holistic strategy founded upon long-standing sustainable practices and incorporates emerging best practices to manage energy, water, and waste at Army installations. “There are three tenets of Net Zero,” said Hammack. “The third tenet is net zero water, and that’s where you utilize as much water as you inject back into the aquifer so that the aquifers remain in balance. That is a challenge when we are in drought conditions, because scarcity of clean water is not only an issue here in the state of California, but it is an issue around the world and in many of the areas where our Soldiers deploy.” Hammack also stated that one of the things that net zero considers first is conservation, because a project has to improve the 68
USACE PHOTO BY BROOKS O. HUBBARD IV
THE IRWIN WATER WORKS AND NET ZERO
Christopher Woodruff, water resources manager, Fort Irwin Department of Public Works (left),briefs t hen-A ssistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy, and Environment Katherine Hammack (center), and South Pacific Division Commander Col. Pete Helmlinger (right) on the second phase of the water treatment process at the Irwin Water Works, Fort Irwin, California,Oct. 13, 2016.
SOUTH PACIFIC DIVISION
COURTESY PHOTO SGT. MAJ. SCOTT BLUM(RET. )
IRWIN WATER WORKS
Aerial view of Fort Irwin’s new water treatment plant, October 2015.The plant is the main purification system. The concrete channels around the plant were built to safeguard it from storm water events and also provide full containment of the plant‘s processing water in case of catastrophic failure. The evaporation ponds ( top) handle less than 1percentof the brine water remnants from the water treatment system.
On Sept. 28, 2016, the California Division of Drinking Water issued a final approval letter stating that the water system was returned to compliance with respect to arsenic and fluoride. The modernized domestic-use water distribution system is now the single source of water on the installation. Potable water is no longer coming from the reverse osmosis plant, and most of the reverse osmosis faucets have been disconnected, leaving the fort with a single-pipe water distribution system. More than 3 miles of pipe were constructed to bring untreated water from wells to the IWW and then improve the treated water distributed throughout the cantonment area. “Over time, a lot of the infrastructure that touches the water will last longer because the quality of the water is significantly better,” said Woodruff. “It will make the existing water heaters, water-based coolant systems, and other systems last longer. As they last longer, they will need less replacements and save the Army money.” The project was supported USACE-wide with team members from the Mobile District, Sacramento District, South Pacific Division, and the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center. n To learn more about the Irwin Water Works and the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, visit the official NTC website at www.irwin.army.
EXTREME WEATHER CHALLENGES SACRAMENTO DISTRICT mil.
BY T YLER STALKER
hat a difference a year makes. In 2016, California was in the midst of its fifth year of drought. More than 40 percent of the state remained in extreme or exceptional drought. Water conservation requirements to cut back water consumption remained a daily reality for many. On April 7, 2017, California Gov. Jerry Brown declared an end to California’s historic drought. The final tally for the five-plus years of drought? According to California’s Drought Portal: • 2012-2016 was the state’s driest four-year stretch on record. • 2015 saw the smallest Sierra-Cascades snowpack ever, with just 5 percent of average. • Extreme heat brought the first (2014), second (2015), and third (2016) warmest years in terms of statewide average temperature. Nearly all of California is considered to be out of the drought today. How does that happen? Mother Nature provides one of the wettest years on record. With record rainfall comes significant snowpack, swollen rivers, and rising reservoirs. Despite significant storage available in
reservoirs across the state, prolonged periods of rain forced the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Sacramento District to activate its Emergency Operation Center for the first time since 2006. “Sacramento District hadn’t been called upon to respond to a flood event in California since 2006,” said Paige Caldwell, readiness chief for the Sacramento District. “The fact that most of our staff weren’t involved in our response even 10 years ago presented some challenges,” she adds. “You really have to hit the ground running; there’s not much time for a learning curve, which is why we stress the importance of our training and exercise preparedness activities throughout the year.” Many within USACE and the Sacramento District have deployed in response to emergency operations across the globe, be that Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, the tornado in Joplin, Missouri, in 2011, or Hurricane Sandy in New York in 2012. But it’s really a whole new ball game when that operation occurs in your own backyard, and it can happen in the blink of an eye as each of those events showed. Northern California was spared from similar catastrophe this time, but going from drought to drenched nearly had significant consequences. 69
The badly damaged Oroville Dam spillway seen here with a massive sinkhole, February 2017.
Extended periods of rain meant the time had come to start making flood releases out of many California reservoirs to help free up storage space for future storms. About 80 miles north of Sacramento, Oroville Dam, the tallest dam in the United States at 770 feet and California’s second-largest man-made lake behind only Lake Shasta, also needed to free up storage space. As Oroville released nearly 40,000 cubic feet of water per second, just a fraction of the main spillway’s designed capability, something unexpected happened. Chunks of concrete catapulted into the air, and a steady stream of water now more closely resembled waves crashing against a jetty at the beach. Reservoir releases were reduced to assess the spillway, and within a week, the lake exceeded 3.5 million acre-feet, sending water over the dam’s emergency spillway for the first time in its 49-year history. An emergency spillway like the one at Oroville is designed to be the “fail safe” for the dam. It brings an uncontrolled flow of water down the flood management system, but its purpose is to maintain the dam’s ability to hold back water. In Oroville’s case, it’s holding back a lot of water, enough to cover the 500-plus square miles of Los Angeles under nearly 11 feet of water. When dam officials feared the emergency spillway could fail, sending water down the channel toward more than 100,000 people, USACE began shifting into emergency response mode. “We called our leadership into the office on a Sunday evening, contacted district staff that night to make sure they were safe, and discussed how we could best support the state in their efforts,” Caldwell said. 70
Luckily, the worst-case scenario – dam failure – was averted, but this was just the beginning. Sacramento’s emergency operations center (EOC) would be operational for 41 days, providing assistance to the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) not only at Oroville Dam and throughout the Central Valley. USACE provided technical assistance, sending geologists and dam safety engineers and even personnel from USACE’s Risk Management Center in Colorado to Oroville to help analyze the situation. USACE also provided technical and direct assistance to the state of California to support its efforts with flood fighting. Approximately 100 staff supported flood response efforts, including 24-hour operations for a 10-day period. “In the office, we assembled our Crisis Action Team,” Caldwell explains. “It’s a team comprised of representatives from across a variety of disciplines that come together during an emergency response event.” Planning, engineering, contracting, and construction divisions were all there. Smaller yet critical offices such as resource management, real estate, counsel, and public affairs staffed the EOC around the clock. In the field, flood fight responders applied their engineering expertise to provide technical assistance, and construction representatives were on site to provide quality assurance where direct assistance was requested. With so much activity happening in so many different directions, communication was key. “We set up multiple daily briefings and conference calls to make sure that all of our team members involved in the response were informed on the latest developments,” Caldwell said. “Each day included a morning brief with the commander and Crisis Management Team, written situation reports were posted online at the same time every day, and we followed a battle rhythm and all hazards plan that were developed before the event even began.” The EOC finally resumed normal operations on March 22, but the threat of flooding didn’t simply disappear. An above-average
U.S. ARMY PHOTO BY J. PAUL BRUTON
PHOTO BY MIKE BURNS
SOUTH PACIFIC DIVISION
Members of the California Conservation Corps work together to place sandbags around a sand boil next to a levee on Feb. 23, 2017, near Stockton, California.
SOUTH PACIFIC DIVISION snowpack, full reservoirs, and swollen rivers meant the risk would extend into the spring and summer. Pine Flat Lake, near Fresno, was one of the many reservoirs facing these conditions as the calendar hit mid-June. Eight consecutive days with temperatures in triple digits rapidly melted a layer of snowpack, filling what little space was left in the reservoir. Increased water releases out of the dam resulted, and so did localized flooding. A mobile home community and a golf course were flooded, residents were evacuated, but water made it through the water system with minimal damage. Now the focus turns to levee rehabilitation. California DWR is pushing forward with repairs to the Oroville Dam spillway. It’s expected those repairs will take up to two years to complete, with repairs to the lower chute and emergency spillway done this year to help get through the upcoming rainy season.
The Sacramento District received more than 300 PL 84-99 requests for rehabilitation assistance to damaged levees. Only a portion of those have an active status in the rehabilitation program, meaning they’re eligible for USACE assistance. While the goal is to complete repairs to return levees back to pre-flood conditions before the next flood season, which begins in November, construction of approved requests will prioritize critical repairs but work will continue beyond this year. “Given that we had high water in some areas into June, it's a big challenge to go from initial site visit to construction in less than six months while still producing a high-quality product that meets our commitments to the environment and cultural resources,” Caldwell said. While no one can be certain what this year’s flood season will look like, it’ll be difficult to find a set of challenges greater than what Mother Nature threw at Northern California in 2017. n
AFTER DROUGHT, WINTER RAINFALL CAUSES FLOODING BY NICK SIMEONE, PUBLIC AFFAIRS, SAN FR ANCISCO DISTRICT
irst the good news. Long stretches of near daily storms this past winter have ended five years of drought in California. But as the region begins to emerge from one of the wettest rainy seasons in years, it’s becoming clear that the price for ending that long dry spell is expected to total more than $1 billion in damaged property and infrastructure. It was supposed to be the winter of 2016, not this year, in which an epic El Niño would drop a deluge, but that didn’t happen. “This year’s rainy season caught a lot of the state by surprise since this season was supposed to be the La Niña year as opposed to an El Niño year,” said former San Francisco District Commander Lt. Col. John C. Morrow. Instead Mother Nature decided, El Niño or not, this would be the year that she would drop twice the amount of winter precipitation on Northern California as we normally receive. And that left multiple teams within USACE’s San Francisco District keeping a close eye on everything from dams, to debris removal, to the issuing of emergency, storm-related permits. But Morrow said the district was not caught off guard, and despite the fact that forecasts were not warning of an extremely wet 2017 winter, “we had solid plans in place to respond to heavy rainfall even though we really didn’t think we would have to exercise those this season. I have been extremely impressed with how everyone on the team has responded.” Dams have been a particular focus. “It’s been very busy with our reservoir and dam missions,” said Derrick Dunlap, the district’s deputy chief of operations and maintenance. Warms Springs Dam
in Sonoma has seen its wettest year in two decades. Coyote Valley Dam farther north in Ukiah saw levels rise this past winter to the flood storage pool stage. But unlike the dam at Oroville, neither experienced any water-related stress as they held back more than 100 billion gallons of water. But the rainy winter didn’t pass without USACE personnel being called on for emergency action. Just to the south in Big Sur, heavy rains damaged the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, which carries scenic Highway 1 through mountainous terrain, leaving restaurants, state parks, hotels, and hundreds of residents in the touristy town stranded. In response, San Francisco District regulator Janelle Leeson issued an emergency permit to Caltrans to demolish and rebuild the structure. “We’ve had more rain than California can handle and we’ve seen emergencies all over the state and this is just one of the bigger ones we’ve seen,” said Leeson, after one of her visits to the demolition zone. She spent much of the winter monitoring the project, which is expected to cost the state $20 million and take as long as nine months to complete. It’s been a season of so much rain that Gov. Jerry Brown – who just two years ago was in the Sierra Nevadas bemoaning the low snowpack level – sent an urgent request to USACE for help with what he expected to be more than $1 billion in spending on flood control projects across the state over the next two years. This will include expanding the inspection of all federal dams as well as updating federal operating manuals for California reservoirs. Chief of Engineers Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite said USACE will do what it can to provide support. n 71
PACIFIC OCEAN DIVISION The Pacific Ocean Division (POD) integrates and employs engineer capabilities to deliver solutions to promote security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and protects the nation, through its four engineer districts (Alaska, Far East, Honolulu, and Japan), located across the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) and U.S. Northern Command areas of responsibilities. • Operates in a complex and diverse region that encompasses the largest area of division responsibility within USACE. • Spans 16 time zones. • Covers 52 percent of the Earth’s surface, includes half of the world’s population. • Includes four of the most populous nations, two largest democracies, seven of the world’s 10 largest armies, and five of seven U.S. mutual defense treaties. • Enables basing, force projection, protection, and sustainment by providing Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps forces and defense agencies the infrastructure to operate effectively, sustain readiness, and enhance quality of life. POD is responsible for three of the four largest military/host-nation construction programs since the end of the Cold War – totaling nearly $26 billion.
• The $10.7 billion multiyear, massive Korea Relocation Program includes the construction of 655 new and renovated facilities, which will enable the relocation of approximately 12,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea to U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, in support of the U.S.Republic of Korea alliance. • A multibillion dollar, multiyear U.S.-Japan Defense Policy Review Initiative will ultimately result in the rebuilding of 77 percent of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni. • The Futenma Replacement Facility’s scope of work includes 200 projects, which will reduce the U.S. military’s footprint in Okinawa. These projects embrace the nation’s commitment to the U.S.-Japan alliance. • Builds partner capacity and all-hazards response through disaster risk management, technical engineering, water security, humanitarian assistance, and Foreign Military Sales activities. POD works closely with PACOM, U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC), and interagency partners in a “wholeof-government” approach to train and develop local leaders, engineers, and organizations, while conducting general
engineering tasks with partners so that they may effectively protect and govern citizens. • Conducted more than 380 partner capacity-building activities in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region since 2012, sharing best practices and lessons learned; providing subject-matter expert exchanges; enhancing trust and communication; and enabling alliances and partnerships. • Delivered more than 240 PACOM humanitarian assistance (HA) “brick and mortar” projects, such as schools, clinics, and emergency shelters since 2007. • Managing nearly 60 PACOM HA projects in seven countries. • Overseeing a $230 million construction contract for C-17 infrastructure at Hindan Air Force Station in India, under the Foreign Military Sales program. • Building partner capacity through 100-plus engagements and activities in 19 countries during FY 16-17. • Executes integrated water resource management in Hawaii, Alaska, the U.S. territories of Guam and American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. POD delivers enduring and essential water resources solutions and infrastructure, which include navigation (deep-water commercial ports, small boat harbors and harbors of refuge); flood and coastal risk management; and aquatic ecosystem restoration. • Maintains 89 harbors to ensure safe and efficient operations, enabling more than 65 million tons of cargo to pass annually in Alaska and Hawaii – locations that are highly dependent on commercial and subsistence navigation. Anchorage Harbor is designated as one of only 19 Department of Defense “strategic seaports.”
PACIFIC OCEAN DIVISION Bldg. 525 Fort Shafter, HI 96858-5440 (808) 835-4715 email@example.com www.pod.usace.army.mil/ www.facebook.com/PODCorps HONOLULU DISTRICT U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bldg. 230 Fort Shafter, HI 96858 (808) 835-4004 www.poh.usace.army.mil www.facebook.com/HonoluluDistrict twitter.com/CorpsHonolulu www.youtube.com/HonoluluDistrict www.flickr.com/HonoluluDistrict
• Maintains 273,600 square miles of wetlands, about 7,390 miles of coastlines, 34,960 miles of tidal coastlands, and 89 ports or small boat harbors. The professional management of these resources has resulted no serious environmental incident or loss of aquatic habitat for 25 years. • Takes its role as environmental steward very seriously. • Protects the nation’s aquatic resources, while allowing reasonable development through fair, flexible, and balanced permit decisions. Notably, the state of Hawaii is ranked first in the nation, with 454 listings of endangered species. • Processed approximately 1,300 regulatory program actions in 2016, balancing reasonable development with protection of the waters of the United States. • Protects the public and restores the environment through the Defense Environmental Restoration Program for Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) in Alaska and Hawaii, with 83 projects at $32 million in clean-up actions during FY 17. One example is the Waikoloa site on the island of Hawaii, where approximately 28,000 acres of this 100,000-plus acre site have been cleared of 2,400 munitions and explosives of concern. This is the largest, active FUDS site nationwide. • Supports FEMA under the National Response Framework, with engineering resources for disaster response and the recovery of public works and critical infrastructure in a region where 80 percent of the world’s natural disasters occur. • Depends on a diverse and exceptional blend of all engineering and support competencies from its 1,600-strong POD team of active-duty military, U.S. and host-nation civilian engineers, scientists, and support staff to accomplish its mission. Agile and adaptive leaders and empowered team members are the strength and foundation of Pacific Ocean Division.
JAPAN DISTRICT U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Unit 45010 APO AP 96-338-5010 (011) 81-46-407-3021 www.poj.usace.army.mil/ www.facebook.com/JapanEngineerDistrict www.youtube.com/user/USACEJED Far East District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Unit 15546 APO AP 96205-5546 (011) 82-2-270-7501 www.pof.usace.army.mil www.facebook.com/USACE.FED.Korea twitter.com/FarEastDistrict www.youtube.com/user/FarEastDistrict www.flickr.com/photos/fedpa
ALASKA DISTRICT U.S. Army Corps of Engineers P.O. Box 6898 Anchorage, AK 99506-0898 907-753-2520 www.poa.usace.army.mil www.facebook.com/AlaskaCorps twitter.com/AlaskaCorps www.youtube.com/user/AlaskaCorps www.flickr.com/AlaskaCorps
PACIFIC OCE AN DIVISION
USACE’S FAR EAST DISTRICT PLAYS KEY ROLE AS RELOCATION OF U.S. FORCES IN REPUBLIC OF KOREA MOVES FORWARD BY ANT WAUN PARRISH
PHOTO BY ANTWAUN PARRISH
he U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Far East District is overseeing the design, construction, and execution of a multi-year, massive effort currently underway in the Republic of Korea. The plan is part of two separate bilateral international agreements between the United States and the Republic of Korea. Upon completion, the Far East District will have overseen the construction of 655 new facilities, more than 40 miles of water piping, and another 40 miles of new roads. The Yongsan Relocation Plan and the Land Partnership Plan agreements were signed by the United States and the Republic of Korea more than 13 years ago. The Yongsan Relocation Plan relocates most U.S. forces and Headquarters United Nations Command activities from the Seoul metropolitan area to areas south, most notably to U.S. Army Garrison (USAG) Humphreys. The Land Partnership Plan consolidates and relocates U.S. forces outside of Seoul, provides U.S. forces dedicated time on Korean training areas and ranges, and ensures safety easements are
provided and enforced. The intended end state, outlined in an update to the Pacific Ocean Division commander dated Aug. 17, 2016, and published by the district’s Korea Program Relocation Office (KPRO), is the consolidation into two enduring hubs at Camp Humphreys and near Daegu, South Korea. These will provide improved command and control and return land that is classified as key and valuable to the Republic of Korea. The United States-Republic of Korea alliance continues to focus on advancing combined capabilities, and through this program, enable basing and force projection by providing the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps forces and their families with housing, hospitals and schools, headquarters, and support facilities to operate effectively, sustain readiness, and enhance quality of life, ultimately building regional security in the Asia-Pacific [space]. This immense project’s estimated total is $10.7 billion, with the vast majority of the cost paid by the Republic of Korea. The size of Camp Humphreys is expected to be similar to Washington, D.C. On scale, Humphreys will grow from 1,210 acres to 3,538 acres, with a population increase from 9,000 to 36,000. This is the largest base relocation in the Department of Defense. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Far East District has been at the forefront of this move for more than a decade. The relocation project conforms to the district’s mission to provide planning, engineering, design, and construction management services in direct support of U.S. Forces Korea (USFK). The district fulfills this by working closely with the Korean Ministry of National Defense and the U.S. Forces Korea Relocation Office as construction on the peninsula continues.
The newly built Humphreys West Elementary School opened officially for students June 2017.
PHOTO BY ANTWAUN PARRISH
Camp Humphreys hospital’s construction in progress, March 29, 2017.
The facts and figures spell out the magnitude of how this project changes the land development, utilities, and infrastructure of the Camp Humphreys area. District engineers were tasked with overseeing raising land above the 100-year flood elevation marker, and providing adequate utilities, communications, and roads. The landfill data reports an import of 17.6 million cubic meters of fill, with truck total miles equaling 60 round trips to the moon. District engineers also helped manage in the creation of 16 miles of sewer, 988 miles of cable, and 504 miles of conduit as the installation grew. Dr. Thomas Karnowski, the Far East District KPRO chief, identified four critical components within this transformation, which include establishing new alliance warfighting command structures, improving deterrence and warfighting capabilities, right sizing force structure based upon South Korean and U.S. enhanced capabilities, and consolidating U.S. forces into two enduring hubs, creating a less intrusive presence while posturing our forces for better peninsular and regional security. According to Karnowski, “Strategic communication is that which is required to operate effectively and successfully in a governance environment that is inclusive of the generally accepted craft practices of the country where a program is under construction.” The strong partnership and alliance foundation built over the years has enabled the transformation of Camp Humphreys from a small, sleepy installation to the biggest U.S. Army Garrison in Asia. Col. Joseph Holland, former USAG Humphreys commander, was part of the relocation plan from 2015 to 2017. He shared his experience as the leader of Camp Humphreys and how this massive project affects the dual nation relationship.
“I’ve been elated to serve as a U.S. Soldier in the Republic of Korea in my two years of command. It is great to have enabled the readiness of our Republic of Korea-U.S. alliance, especially at such a pivotal time as we have experienced from 2015 to present,” said Holland. “While we have been hard at work to support USFK and Eighth Army transformation and relocation to USAG Humphreys, I have been astounded at how much Korea is a model for all of the elements of national power: diplomatic, informational, military, economic, and social/political aspects.” Some of those projects transforming the landscape include the hospital and ambulatory care center, downtown area projects such as the main post exchange and movie theater, new schools, and new headquarters buildings for USFK and Eighth Army. The hospital is a key project in the expansion of the Camp Humphreys community due to the importance of having sufficient medical treatment for the increased population size. The hospital facility is an impressive structure and has gone through its own set of challenges, but is now on a path to completion. The estimated cost of construction for the hospital is $225.6 million. During a recent meeting held at the district’s medical resident office (MRO), all organizations involved had a chance to sync and discuss all outlined concerns and progress. Bruce Kim, resident engineer of MRO, explained that developing a hospital is a bit more tedious than most projects, because each room is different based on its function. He went on to explain that although hospitals are a complicated system, having a good working relationship with the contractor, health facility planning organization, and all the stakeholders is vital and has contributed to the success of this 75
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project. “We have overcome some early obstacles and have experienced a big turnaround,” said Kim. The success was not only headed by Kim, but his deputy resident engineer, who has a long history with the Far East District and is excited about the direction the completion of the hospital is headed. Harvey Robinson, deputy resident engineer of MRO, explained some of the specifics of how current hospitals are now designed and built and what will make this hospital different than others built in the past. “Hospitals are now being designed for patients’ comfort and warm feeling,” said Robinson. “They [medical professionals] feel that by giving them a good feeling, the patient recovers faster. They also have accommodations for the family. It’s more of an environment thing that is important in newer hospitals, such as this.” Robinson stated that it was nice to feel that they’re accomplishing something positive. Although confident and ready to see the hospital completed, he didn’t lose sight of what must continue for the project to succeed. “Most importantly, relationships between all the key players are key to a project like this,” said Robinson. The Far East District also oversaw the construction of a new downtown area at Camp Humphreys. This area includes a post exchange, food court, and other amenities. Although the same facilities are already available at Camp Humphreys, it’s important to build them in the new location for people who live and work farther away from these older sites. This is especially important for many service members who are unaccompanied and not allowed to drive a personal car. The youngest demographic group on Camp Humphreys will also benefit from another completed project that caters to their developmental needs. The Humphreys West Elementary School groundbreaking was in June 2013 and was established for Design Construction Agent (DCA) acceptance in February 2017. Myles Esmele, project engineer from the family housing resident office, worked as the project engineer for the development of the facility. He joined the project midway and felt a since of accomplishment when the school was ready to be handed over to the Department of Defense Education Activity. The project took a little more than four years to complete, and during that time, only a few challenges arose. “One of the challenges was getting into the project mid-stride; it’s common in overseas U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ districts to have members that come and go, and I was no exception,” said Esmele. “So on top of getting up to speed on the existing challenges, I had to prepare for any issues to come.” The school was built in order to handle the increased population at U.S Army Garrison Humphreys. It is able to house about 875 students, according to Esmele. “Aside from accommodating a larger amount of students, it’s the capability to enroll in different schools,” said Esmele. “It may or may not happen at the K-6 level, but having friendly
competition in sporting events down the line is a welcome notion.” One of the biggest projects completed this year was the Eighth Army Headquarters building. The construction for this building began in June 2013 and the ribbon was cut on the new facility on July 11, 2017. Its headquarters moving to Humphreys is monumental, and signifies how far along the district has come in the Korea relocation program. Beginning in the summer of 2017 all Eighth Army personnel will be assigned directly to Camp Humphreys instead of Yongsan. Lt. Gen. Thomas S. Vandal, Eighth Army commanding general, said recently at the Eighth Army Headquarters ribbon-cutting ceremony that Camp Humphreys has tripled in size and will be the largest continuous and most populated overseas installation, with hundreds of new facilities, including vehicle maintenance facilities, troop barracks, family housing, and shopping areas. He said most of the remaining construction is expected to be finished in the next 12 to 18 months, adding that completion will trigger the moves of the remaining units. “Once complete in 2020, the transformation will reflect the enduring commitment of both the [South Korean] and U.S. governments to this great alliance,” he said. The 65th Medical Brigade cut the ribbon for the largest U.S. Army dental facility during its grand opening on May 30, 2017. Carius Dental Clinic is a state-of-the-art facility, with 79 treatment rooms capable of offering a complete range of oral health care service for 30,000 Soldiers and their families. U.S. Forces Korea Headquarters building is also set to open soon. Other projects set to be finished within the next year include the downtown project, 2nd Infantry Division Headquarters, and the new headquarters for USACE’s Far East District. The district has worked on a multitude of projects throughout the peninsula in its 60-year history; however, this is the most challenging project to date. The Yongsan Relocation Plan and Land Partnership Plan are extensive, and not only relocate forces but prove the adaptability of the U.S. military components. Karnowski is keen on strategic communication and how it contributes to the success of this and any other project. He outlined some key success factors in how he and his Korean counterparts came to work together. He stated that written communication must have a common language and understanding, and verbal communication must be respectful in order to build relationships and trust. He and his counterparts had to establish designs and set standards that are achievable with the given capabilities and capacities of the region, and they had to plan for and mitigate communication failures. Moving forward, Karnowski said it will take these factors to ensure completion of the program and to continue to protect the interests of both nations on the peninsula. As of July 2017, the Korea Relocation Program is 78 percent complete, with an estimated 85 percent completion rate by the end of the year. n
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A ROAD TO SAFETY
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Government-to-government partnership helps build critical infrastructure in Bangladesh. BY DENA O’DELL , AL ASK A DISTRICT, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
n early 2 016, Mitch Nelson heard a stor y that moved him. As an agriculture development officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Nelson was part of a team interviewing local villagers in Jessore, Bangladesh. The residents told him the story of a pregnant woman who died during childbirth in July 2015 because the road to their village was impassable by rain and mud. Not only could an ambulance not reach her, they couldn’t carry her to safety or get her help. In a village in Barisal, Bangladesh, residents face a similar situation. A dirt road is their only path to a primary school and cyclone shelter. During large rain storms, both facilities are rendered useless as the road quickly turns to heavy clay and mud. During the rainy, monsoon season – typically from June to October – dirt roads in rural areas of the country are almost impassable, making it difficult for farmers to get their crops to the market, children to get to school, and for the local populace to get to emergency cyclone shelters or receive emergency care. Under the U.S. government’s Humanitarian Assistance Program, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Alaska District’s Asia Office is collaborating with USAID and the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) of Bangladesh by assisting with the construction of roads, market places, and irrigation projects in the first government-to-government agreement in the country. The government-to-government effort puts the execution of the work in the hands of the host nation. “The partnership allows the U.S. to work alongside host nation governments, assisting them in taking ownership of the projects,” said Mike Macmillan, chief of the Alaska District’s Asia Office. “The capacity-building practice allows host nation countries to become self-sufficient.” USACE’s role in the process is to assist LGED with developing, reviewing, and accepting the design standards and cost estimates for the projects, as well as to oversee LGED’s quality assurance program, and inspect and accept the completed work. So far, the program has exceeded expectations, Nelson said. “It has allowed us to take this project to a higher level beyond just a [government-to-government] agreement,” he said. “It has allowed for a synergistic effect with LGED being so impressed with learning from [USACE] that it wants to expand these concepts to other projects.” Since the program’s inception in 2012, six roads have been built in Jessore, Bangladesh, and the construction of 30 more roads is underway, said Rob Leach, project manager with the Alaska District’s Asia Office. The roads in Jessore and Barisal are among those selected for improvements to support agricultural development under USAID’s Feed the Future program, Leach said. Funds from the program are used to rehabilitate and upgrade unionand village-level earthen roads, upgrade and construct agricultural markets and collection centers, and to improve farm-level irrigation and drainage systems. “Although these roads were selected primarily as infrastructure improvements to support agricultural development under USAID’s Feed the Future program, the benefits go way beyond enhancing agriculture,”
Unpaved roads become impassable during the rainy season, making it difficult or impossible for farmers to get their crops to the market, children to get to school, and for the local populace to get to emergency cyclone shelters or receive emergency care.
Leach said. “These roads are constructed to resist seasonal flooding, as well as severe storm events. Where roads have been improved, residents now have reliable access to emergency services under all conditions.” The importance of the road construction to the villagers became evident when Nelson and his team went to scope the Barisal road. “The entire village waited for our scoping of the road in 100-degreeplus heat all day to greet us,” he said. The road was completed in summer 2017. The government-to-government agreement has been extended for two years – through December 2018 – to allow for 44 kilometers of roads, 18 market and collection centers, and 1,000 hectares of irrigation to be constructed. The key to accomplishing a successful mission is working with committed individuals, Leach said, who described all of his counterparts in Bangladesh as conscientious, capable, innovative, and committed. “We work with some of the best people in Bangladesh,” he said. “LGED has really shown commitment to continue and be innovative in terms of how it meets standards.” Additionally, Leach said he would like to see the government-to-government concept expand in the future for the delivery of other forms of aid. “We’re in the business of delivering humanitarian assistance,” he said. “That’s the whole mission of the [USACE Alaska District’s] Asia Office. This is a different model, but nonetheless, it’s a legitimate way to deliver. This is a very good model because it helps develop the capacity of the host nation to deliver for itself.” The Pacific Ocean Division of the Humanitarian Assistance Program, which oversees the Alaska District, has executed more than 60 humanitarian assistance construction projects and conducted more than 70 partner capacity-building activities in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Some tangible symbols of its commitment of humanitarian assistance include schools, shelters, clinics, and bridges. n
TRANSATLANTIC DIVISION The Transatlantic Division (TAD) provides design, construction, and related engineering services directly supporting U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and other activities within the CENTCOM area of operations to help establish regional security and stability. The division engages with CENTCOM and its component services, U.S. federal organizations, and foreign government agencies under established governmental agreements for programs and projects that strengthen enduring U.S. interests. The division and its districts, task forces, and critical assets engage, execute, and evolve in the CENTCOM area of operations – the 20 countries stretching from northeast Africa across the Middle East to Central and South Asia – to provide engineering solutions to the nation’s toughest challenges. TAD’s subordinate units: • The Transatlantic Middle East District executes military construction and Foreign Military Sales projects, with approximately $2.5 billion currently in construction. The district is conducting planning and preparation for an additional $4.2 billion of projects in the pre-award stage. Active projects are in Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. • Through the Transatlantic Afghanistan District, USACE is completing facilities for the Afghan Infrastructure Program that provide reliable infrastructure, such as water and power, to
the local populace; and constructing facilities for the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police to promote regional stability. In 2017, the district awarded 45 contracts valued at $88 million and had 57 projects in construction totaling $188 million. • Task Force Essayons, in Kuwait and Iraq, provides planning, engineering, design, environmental support, and contract construction services for U.S. military units engaged in operations to defeat Daesh, also known as ISIS. • Mosul Dam Task Force serves as the engineering and technical advisor to the Iraq Ministry of Water Resources in its efforts to reduce the risk of dam failure by reestablishing maintenance grouting at Mosul Dam. TAD’s critical assets: • The Technical Center of Expertise for Aircraft Hangar Fire Protection provides fire protection engineering assistance to USACE offices involved in designing and constructing fire protection systems for aircraft hangars. • The Center of Standardization for Non-permanent Facilities ensures Unified Facilities Criteria compliance with all non-permanent facilities, and it ensures the safety of existing facilities used in military contingencies. • The Contingency Recruitment and Administration Division recruits and services individuals deploying to the CENTCOM area of operations for TAD’s contingency missions.
TRANSATLANTIC DIVISION U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 201 Prince Frederick Dr. Winchester, VA 22602-4373 firstname.lastname@example.org (540) 665-4085 www.tad.usace.army.mil www.facebook.com/USACETransatlanticDivision www.flickr.com/photos/134806149@N08/
TRANSATLANTIC AFGHANISTAN DISTRICT email@example.com (540) 678-2984 www.tad.usace.army.mil/About/ TransatlanticAfghanistanDistrict/ www.facebook.com/ UsaceTransatlanticAfghanistanDistrict/
IMAGE COURTESY TAD
MIDDLE EAST DISTRICT U.S. Army Corps of Engineers P.O. Box 2250 Winchester, VA 22604-1450 firstname.lastname@example.org (540) 665-5085 www.tam.usace.army.mil www.facebook.com/usacemed/
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TASK FORCE ESSAYONS ENABLES THE WARFIGHTER BY LT. COL . E VAN TING, Deput y Commander, Task Force Essayons
PHOTO COURTESY TASK FORCE ESSAYONS
he Transatlantic Division (TAD) activated a scalable unit, Task Force Essayons (TFE), May 19, 2017, in Taji, Iraq, as the “one door to the Corps” for all U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) activities supporting Combined Joint Task ForceOperation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR). In recent history, USACE has activated units in support of operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. This activation is a continuation of USACE’s efforts to provide a robust response to the warfighter. TFE enables the warfighter, with their forward engineering presence, with design, construction, real estate leasing, contracting support, base camp master planning, and environmental management capabilities. The task force is comprised of 130 Soldiers and Department of the Army civilians. Most are volunteers, some from smaller USACE elements spread throughout the operational area, and many deployed from various USACE stateside districts, all eager to answer the call. Task Force Essayons brings a unity of effort to all USACE forces supporting OIR. Brian Phillips, the liaison officer for TAD to U.S. Army Central Command (USARCENT), said USARCENT made the task force its “one door to the Corps.” Under this concept, USARCENT employs the task force as its sole point of contact to coordinate requests for USACE enterprise support. “We have worked hard to unify the USACE resources in theater under one command, Task Force Essayons,” said Donny Davidson, Task Force Essayons deputy engineer for programs and project management. “I view the initial groundwork as a key component that enables this organization to maximize efficiencies and provide scalable, responsive, and reliable forward engineering support to the warfighter.” Some of the units the task force supports include CJTF, Special Operations Joint Task Force, and the Coalition Joint Forces Land Component Command (CJFLCC) for OIR. One of the most valuable competencies Task Force Essayons provides to these units is the capability to utilize reachback support accessing the hundreds of experts in a wide variety of construction, engineering, and contracting disciplines throughout the whole of the USACE enterprise. "The engineering expertise the task force brings to the coalition joint operations area will help guide our construction efforts and posture our base camps for the remainder of our mission here in Iraq and Syria,” said Col. Aaron Magan, an engineer with CJTF-OIR. “The reachback capability that allows us to access the might of the entire USACE enterprise is now available to the Coalition Joint Task Force in an even more responsive form as Task Force Essayons is here with us in theater, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” “Task Force Essayons represents how the OIR mission is evolving. As Iraqi security forces and the Coalition Joint Forces Land Component Command for OIR prepare to take the fight against ISIS further west, the operational environment and basing requirements become more
Task Force Essayons personnel provide base camp master-planning services to Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. The Task Force provides forward-deployed planning, design, and contract construction capability to support U.S. military units.
complex,” said Maj. Otty Medina, the CJFLCC deputy engineer. “The Task Force will provide additional depth of engineering expertise to design and construct infrastructure that will directly enable coalition support to the Iraqi government.” In addition to supporting other commands, TFE will coordinate and synchronize its efforts with adjacent engineer units to complement other combat engineering assets in theater. "[Task Force Essayons] provides significant technical engineer capability that will allow us to provide advanced engineering expertise above and beyond the contingency designs the 420th can provide,” said Lt. Col. Todd Starin, the 420th Engineer Brigade deputy brigade commander and executive officer. “This will improve the quality of support to our stakeholders across the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.” During the activation ceremony, Col. Corey Spencer, the Task Force Essayons commander, noted the importance of this mission and the effort it took to prepare for it. “Simply, this team is a great asset for any unit it provides support to, but the meaning of the task force can best be expressed by the people it supports,” Spencer said. “This special occasion marks a new beginning for this team as it officially activates Task Force Essayons in Iraq. It’s been a lot of hard work to get where we’re at today, but this is only the beginning, and it is time to roll up our sleeves and get busy supporting the warfighter.” Task Force Essayons falls under the command of the Transatlantic Division, USACE’s major subordinate command responsible for all USACE operations in the 20 countries in U.S. Central Command. n Those interested in deployment opportunities with USACE can find more information at www.tad.usace.army.mil/Careers/Deployments. 81
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CENTER OF STANDARDIZATION FOR NON-PERMANENT FACILITIES HELPS MEET OPERATIONAL NEEDS BY JOSEPH A. MACRI, Director, Public Af fairs, Middle East District
U.S. ARMY PHOTO BY SHANNON HODGES
s anyone ever tasked with allocating MILCON, or military construction, dollars for projects knows, they will very rarely have enough money to do everything they want to with it. There will always be trade-offs. Minimizing those trade-offs and maximizing those dollars is an area the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Center of Standardization for Non-Permanent Facilities (CSNF) takes great pride in; however, it often doesn’t come to mind because of the word “non-permanent” in its title. “What we would like people to understand is that ‘permanent’ and ‘non-permanent’ are not just descriptors; they are actually specific codified guidelines and criteria that designate what is or is not required in a building,” said Dale Hartmann, chief of the center. According to Hartmann some non-permanent facilities built by the center can have a lifespan from a couple of months all the way up to 25 years with proper maintenance. Underneath the blanket term of non-permanent facilities are sub-categories of construction levels. There’s “initial,” which is up to six months and is often some type of fabric construct.
Model of an open-bay-style sleeping area from the Center of Standardization for Non-Permanent Facilities (CSNF). The CSNF has multiple off-the-shelf designs for barracks and other facilities that can be configured in a variety of ways for multiple kinds of use.
“Temporary” would be anything from six months up to two years, and there’s “semi-permanent,” which can have a building lifespan of up to 25 years with proper maintenance. This can actually lead to a large cost savings to customers, according to Hartmann. These delineations can be particularly useful in overseas contingency operations where permanent facilities are not allowed to be built in locations that are not “enduring.” Butx= even when you have the option of choosing between permanent and temporary barracks, the non-permanent option may provide you more bang for the buck. “What I try to convey to people is that by using the Center of Standardization for Non-Permanent Facilities, they can actually save quite a bit of money that can be used to provide a greater level of protection or amenities than they might get in a permanent facility,” he said. “The flexibility we can give commanders can be particularly useful in a contingency environment.” Hartman provided a hypothetical example, where the center could build a non-permanent facility with protection from direct and indirect fire for much less than the cost of a permanent one. Non-permanent facilities are also able to house more personnel than a permanent one as they don’t have the same space requirements as a facility designated permanent; what you lack in space you might be able to make up for in more amenities for less money. Additionally, maintenance costs will generally be much lower. Tara Paxton, a project manager also with the center, said they are also able to keep costs down because they have a stockpile of off-the-shelf designs able to be quickly customized to meet virtually any need. “One of the best things about the Center of Standardization for Non-Permanent Facilities is that we make it our business to know all of the criteria for various structures and requirements and we’ve got off-the-shelf designs ready to go. That’s the ‘standardization’ part in our title, and this can lower customer costs as well as construction time. These aren’t just barracks either. We’ve got over 40 ready designs that cover everything from chapels to medical and recreation centers to command posts. We also have pre-designed interiors and site layouts based on set requirements – for example, a 100-man base camp,” said Paxton. Paxton stated that within those off-the-shelf designs, they offer a wide range of options in terms of meeting an individual requirement’s needs.
U.S. ARMY PHOTO BY SHANNON HODGES
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3-D-printed models of various housing designs produced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Center of Standardization for Non-Permanent Facilities. The center has designs available for everything from individual housing units to large-scale barracks complete with overhead coverage that can protect against direct and indirect fire.
“As an example, USACE’s Mobile District is currently using one of our designs to build housing for the Navy that is meant to last 25 years,” Paxton said. “At the same time, we have small base designs being used by the Coast Guard at Port Everglades [Florida] that are
meant to be ‘temporary’ and will have an approximately two-year lifespan but will meet the permanent standards. The center is an expert in non-permanent facilities; therefore, when an organization needs a relocatable building, as they did for Port Everglades, we are called to provide our standards and knowledge of relocatable buildings. It all depends on specific needs. There’s a misconception that if the funding comes from military construction money, then you must build a permanent facility. This isn’t actually the case. We could build a ‘semi-permanent’ facility that would have a 25-year lifespan and meet all of a unit’s requirements for less than the cost of a permanent one.” Paxton also cited another common misconception that people frequently have. “People often think ‘non-permanent’ means trailers or metal, but we can do concrete frames, drop ceilings, and many other amenities in a non-permanent structure that would look very much like you’d expect a longer-term facility to look like,” she said. Although the CSNF falls under USACE’s Middle East District, it can provide designs to any government entity and can tailor the designs to almost any use, from basic shelter on a training range to long-term housing after a natural disaster, and has the capability to model all of these designs on a state-of-the-art 3-D printer. n Those interested in utilizing the CSNF can contact them at TCXCOSMED@usace.army.mil or call 540-665-2684.
AFGHAN FEMALE ENGINEERS BUILD CAPACITY, GENDER EQUALITY BY U.S. ARMY SGT. 1st CL ASS E.L . CR AIG AND U.S. NAV Y CMDR. JAMES WILTR AUT
f you opened your local newspaper or went online to read a story of a young woman, a civil engineer, overseeing the construction of a national police academy facility dedicated to training 300 female students, you might not think it’s a big deal. Unless the facility is located in Kabul, Afghanistan. The project is in the hands of 28-year-old Shaista Hirray, Transatlantic Afghanistan District local national quality assurance representative (LNQAR), a woman who has dreamed about a job like this since she was in high school. The Afghan National Police Academy project, scheduled for completion in June 2019, includes the demolition of an existing water tower, an elevated water tank, and three buildings; construction of a new water supply system; reconnection of an existing sewer collection system and an existing communication and electrical system. “The very special thing about the project is that it belongs to women, and I am really proud that I’m working on such a project. I feel that I support women by working on this project,” said Hirray.
As the project’s LNQAR, Hirray walks through the project site every day, inspecting the work of a variety of craftsmen, to make sure that the contractor is following the standards, specifications, and contract requirements. She provides weekly and monthly reports to the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and attends a weekly progress meeting with the Transatlantic Afghanistan District and contractor. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Afghanistan District’s LNQA program has been in existence since 2003. There are currently 115 LNQARs working on construction projects throughout the country. Hirray is one of only two women LNQARs in Afghanistan. “To have female engineers working on a women’s participation project for the Afghan National Police tells a story of empowerment. Shaista and Malalai [Taher] are using their expertise in engineering to make a difference in their communities,” said Christopher Shaidnagle, Kabul resident office deputy engineer. “They both have inspiring personal stories that will be beneficial for future 83
PHOTO COURTESY TRANSATLANTIC AFGHANISTAN DISTRICT
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Malalai Taher, Afghan quality assurance representative working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, discusses engineering with fellow engineer Shaista Hirray in Kabul.
generations and vital to the building of a stronger Afghanistan, where both men and woman have equal rights and job opportunities.” Taher, 31, is another LNQAR working on the Women’s Participation Program (WPP) for the Afghan National Police. She enjoys her work despite being the only female on her worksite of more than 70 of her Afghan countrymen. As a small girl, she heard that women could not be engineers but decided then she would set out to prove the naysayers wrong. “Even though I still struggle, I continue each day to pave a way for those who are coming behind me. Of course, there are some problems I still face, but to reach my goal, I have to be strong and ignore negativity,” said Taher. According to Taher, there are women working as engineers in Afghanistan, but they only work in the offices; they do not work on the job sites. According to Hirray, who graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Bakhtar University in Kabul, “women are very rare in construction and engineering. I can say that in Kabul, in a class of 50 engineering students, only three of them would be women. “This is Afghanistan, and everyone is surprised when they see a woman with a hard hat and a personal protective vest. Seeing an Afghan woman engineer, some of our people are very happy but lots 84
of them will make negative comments. I stood up and fought to get where I am because I love to work and use the opportunity that the U.S. government gave to Afghanistan.” Hirray said, “My slogan is that I work because I am an engineer, not because I am a woman! I want to be judged on my own abilities and hard work. I want to show everyone that despite cultural problems in Afghanistan, a woman can stand beside a man and can perform well like a man.” Hirray’s role in the construction project falls under the auspices of the Women's Participation Program. Stephenie Jonas-Sullivan, senior gender adviser to the Ministry of Interior at Headquarters Resolute Support, describes this effort as “a concerted attempt to increase participation of Afghan women within the Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces [ANDSF] to provide more diversity in perspective, resulting in a more comprehensive approach to operations.” According to Jonas-Sullivan, “greater participation of women increases the country's capability. Our desired end state is to increase women's participation, provide safe and secure working environments, institute reforms to address gender inequality in Afghanistan, and reduce the risk of sexual/gender-based violence.” “These efforts will allow Afghan women to serve in critical policy and decision-making roles within the government of the Islamic
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Republic of Afghanistan and contribute to an increasingly credible, effective, affordable, and sustainable ANDSF,” said Jonas-Sullivan. From Hirray’s perspective, “the Women’s Participation Program will cultivate gender equality and enable women to be confident and capable leaders, whether in the workplace, community, society, or their own family. “It will strengthen the capacity of women to provide awareness about gender issues and will raise the issue with the public about equal treatment of women with men," said Hirray. "I can say this program will make women think about how important they are to the society and the world, and hopefully they will become
more conscious of their own abilities; that without her, this world will be incomplete." As for her own future, Hirray would like to start a construction company for women; one in which, as she put it, “I can hire women more than men in each section of the company. I would like to develop women‘s capacity in the engineering field in Afghanistan. That is my big dream, and I want to use the abilities of women and show the world that women can run a company in the field of engineering.” Both Hirray and Taher believe that the future for women engineers is bright in Afghanistan, and both are proud of their part to pave the way for future generations of women engineers. n
SMARTPHONE TECHNOLOGY TO ENHANCE CAPABILITIES BY BRITNE Y L . WALKER AND AHMAD JAWID
oon, getting eyes on construction sites in Afghanistan will be simpler than ever with the use of smartphone technology and an online collaboration tool, said Michael McNary, deputy director, Transatlantic Afghanistan District Information Technology. The Transatlantic Afghanistan District (TAA) is testing smartphone technology that will help USACE engineers who, due to security concerns and a reduction in international forces, are unable to physically get to construction sites and provide contractor oversight. “The technology is called ‘over the shoulder,’ and it leverages commercial services such as video chat and virtual meeting spaces to share and record video from remote locations,” said McNary. The technology allows Afghan local national quality assurance representatives (LNQARs), who provide daily project oversight, to use their smartphone camera and video chat capabilities to provide realtime visuals to TAA’s resident engineers and construction representatives logged into the virtual meeting space, he stated. From the virtual meeting space, engineers and project managers are able to address project concerns and provide direct guidance to workers at the construction site to meet contractual specifications according to plan, McNary explained. With the increase in client requests for five-story buildings, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) faces a challenging situation requiring out-of-the-box thinking and more time on site with USACE experts. The district needed to identify a solution that would allow as many engineers as possible, including remote local staff and reachback to the United States, to be a part of oversight of construction projects. “Initially, in the very early stages, we looked into using body cameras, but giving that type of equipment to LNQARs to take to certain
locations we felt was unnecessary added danger,” said Anjna O’Conner, TAA’s deputy district engineer for programs and project management. “We realized we didn’t need to invest in any new technology; we needed to use the simplest form of what we already had to get the job done at a working level.” It’s a low-tech concept for LNQARs to communicate with experts, she stated. TAA currently has 57 active projects, and many of them are in provinces too hard to coordinate support for coalition members to get there by ground or air. On average, working in a contingency environment like Afghanistan, it’s normal for TAA’s project managers and engineers to visit construction sites once every three to four weeks. Before the implementation of the smartphone technology, USACE engineers primarily relied on daily progress photographs taken by LNQARs to make assessments, which is satisfactory, but real-time interactive assessment is preferred. TAA conducted successful trial runs of the over-the-shoulder technology at a Women’s Participation Program site at Camp Pamir in Mazar-e-Sharif and during a USACE executive governance meeting in Washington, D.C. “The use of this type of technology that helps us conduct better oversight is long overdue. I can see this technology having application in many of the things the Corps is expected to execute, from flood fighting to making technical assessments anywhere in real time by experts located in the United States,” said Col. Jon Chytka, former TAA commander. “The TAA staff is looking forward to use this technique as a re-occurring part of the oversight portfolio.” Once fully operational, this technology will be the first of its kind to be utilized within Afghanistan in support of USACE project execution and mission success. n 85
U.S. ARMY ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER BY DEBR A VALINE
he U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) supports the nation and armed forces. ERDC research and development saves Soldiers’ lives, improves homeland security, enhances the economy, reduces disaster risks, and improves the environment. ERDC technologies and expertise support warfighters, military installations, and USACE civil works missions as well as other federal agencies, state and municipal authorities, and U.S. industry through innovative work agreements. ERDC research and development focuses on five primary technical areas: • Engineered resilient systems – virtual prototyping environment; computational proving ground; and trade-space analytics; • Environmental quality and installations – adaptive, resilient, and sustainable installations and infrastructure; military materials in the environment; and risk-based decision analysis; • Geospatial research and engineering – superior situational awareness for the warfighter enabled through enhanced geospatial capabilities for data, analytics, information, and decision frameworks. Geospatially enable the Army’s Common Operating Environment computing environments through advanced geospatial processing, exploitation and dissemination, mission planning, and standards and sharing; geospatial engineering and intelligence data analytics, tactical decision aids, data representation and geospatial narratives, terrain analysis, and phenomenology; human geography remote sensing, assessment of population dynamics, host-nation stability indicators, and operational impacts of infrastructure and culture within densely populated and complex areas; • Military engineering – deployable force protection; environmental effects on sensor performance; adaptive protection; austere entry and maneuver; weapons effects; and antiterrorism; and • Water resources/civil works – inland and coastal navigation hydropower; flood risk management and coastal systems; water supply and emergency management; environmental restoration, regulation and stewardship; water resources infrastructure; and system-wide water resources.
ERDC Headquarters is located in Vicksburg, Mississippi, along with four of its seven laboratories – the Coastal and Hydraulics, Geotechnical and Structures, Environmental, and Information Technology laboratories. Other laboratories include the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign, Illinois; Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, New Hampshire; and the Geospatial Research Laboratory in Alexandria, Virginia. These laboratories provide a wide range of research expertise that can collectively address diverse and complex challenges. ERDC has a staff of more than 2,100 engineers, scientists, and support personnel, with an annual research program budget exceeding $1.1 billion. Its staff includes more than 1,100 engineers and scientists, many with advanced degrees (31 percent hold doctoral degrees and 44 percent have master’s degrees). The center has $1.4 billion in research facilities, including unique national assets. It manages the Department of Defense (DOD) High Performance Computing Modernization Program and five DOD Supercomputer Centers around the country. ERDC’s Vicksburg center hosts the DOD’s largest and most powerful supercomputer, putting ERDC in the top tier of computing capacity. Other world-class facilities include one of the world’s most powerful centrifuges, blast effects simulators, physical models of river and coastal projects, specialized chemistry and analytical labs, frost and ice engineering facilities, a large shake table, and a 1,800-foot coastal research pier. ERDC’s research is recognized throughout the Army, DOD, the nation, and internationally. ERDC – Innovative Solutions for a Safer, Better World. n
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center 3909 Halls Ferry Rd. Vicksburg, MS 39180-6199 (601) 636-3111 ERDCinfo@usace.army.mil
The Coastal Amphibious Research Buggy (CRAB) parks in the surf zone as researchers collect sediment samples and sensor data from breaking waves. The CRAB serves as a 35-foot-tall mobile research platform, and is one of several specialty vehicles available to researchers at Duck.
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER PHOTO
USACE FACILITY SERVES AS EPICENTER OF COASTAL RESEARCH After 40 years, the Field Research Facility at Duck, North Carolina, continues to revolutionize coastal engineering. BY MIKE W. PE TERSEN, Public Af fairs, Engineer Research and Development Center
long an idyllic stretch of beach on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) keeps constant watch over the coast. For 40 years, the Field Research Facility (FRF) at Duck, North Carolina, has provided the Army and the scientific community unparalleled insights on a dynamic environment.
Part of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s (ERDC) Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, FRF Duck serves many purposes. Primarily, it provides constant observation and data on near-shore processes, with an expanding and evolving array of sensors to measure coastal storms, waves, currents, and
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER PHOTO
seafloor morphology. FRF Duck also features a 1,840-foot research pier, specialized amphibious vehicles, and custom-built instrumentation that does everything from measuring waves with radar to capturing changes in water conditions across the Currituck Sound. It is a permanent base of operations for physical and biological studies of the coastal environment. Data is constantly collected to measure waves, currents, and seafloor morphology – especially during storms. The facility was established in 1977 on a former U.S. Navy rocket and bombing range, providing site conditions needed for coastal engineering and observation and enabling the Corps of Engineers to maintain a continuous record of data gathered from the field. Since the 1980s, experts have converged on FRF Duck for large, collaborative field experiments. Eventually these gatherings drew more than 100 students, faculty, and researchers, transforming Duck from a sparsely manned research outpost to a hub of the coastal science community. “The Field Research Facility is really a gem of the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory,” said Dr. Jane Smith, senior research scientist at ERDC in Vicksburg, Mississippi. “The big field experiments like SUPERDUCK and SandyDuck were a great opportunity to get in the field for a few weeks, collect data, and develop models collaboratively. It brought the coastal research community together.” Over her 34 years as a researcher, Smith has seen the contributions of FRF Duck make a positive impact. “The biggest contribution is the long-term record of wave and coastal processes collected there. You can’t go to a conference without hearing researchers say, ‘We used data from Duck.’ That 40-year record doesn’t exist anywhere else,” Smith said. “We also discovered shear waves at Duck, and learned a lot about natural and nature-based features: how dunes evolve, and how they protect the coasts.” “In 2013, the FRF was reorganized to better collaborate with the coastal researchers at the Coastal Hydraulics Laboratory in Vicksburg and enhance research capabilities,” said Jeff Waters, supervisory research scientist and branch chief at FRF Duck. “Another goal of the reorganization was to develop tools and technology built upon the Corps’ long-term investment at Duck.” The team at Duck grew accordingly, and now is home to a larger team of 24 research scientists, engineers, and support staff. One of the first efforts after reorganization was to make the wealth of knowledge at Duck more accessible to researchers worldwide.
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT With 40 years’ worth of varying types of data, one of the first challenges the team at Duck took on after reorganizing was the Field Research Facility’s Data Integration Framework. “We decided early on we wanted to improve access to data,” said Michael Forte, research physical scientist at FRF Duck. “We’ve been collecting all kinds of data sets here – wave, wind, currents, tide, beach morphology, radar, LIDAR [Light Detection and Ranging] – so over the years, you can imagine data formats change, with different quality assurance, quality controls, and storage types.”
Since opening in 1977, the Field Research Facility (FRF) at Duck, North Carolina, has collected data on every major storm within 150 miles. Data and research from FRF Duck have improved the understanding of nearshore processes and helped reduce risk from coastal storms.
The FRF team, including a retired member, dug into a record reaching back to when magnetic tape roamed the Earth and ensured everything was in a consistent format with the right quality control and metadata to meet international standards. Standards were also established to ensure new data is collected in the same format and is readily available through a THREDDS [Thematic Real-time Environmental Distributed Data Services] data server. For geospatial data, there is a separate but similar process on an Affiliated Resource Center server in partnership with USACE’s Mobile District. “There’s a lot of power in the way users can come in and access data in a variety of program languages to interact with the data on the server without pulling it to their machine,” said Forte. “When you’re doing research, a majority of the time is often spent gathering the data, doing quality assurance and quality control, then getting that data into the format you need to do your analysis. Now, with this new system, the data is in a central location with metadata.” The metadata provides context to researchers, supplying details that make data discovery easier and faster. The Data Integration Framework is a model of how knowledge management serves scientists and engineers around the world. It also paved the way for the Coastal Model Test Bed.
SMARTER MODELS Numerical models developed at ERDC’s Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory are used by engineers, scientists, and coastal planners in USACE, as well as public and private agencies to simulate complex scenarios at a reasonable cost. The Coastal Model Test
Bed has been developed to evaluate and refine these models using Duck’s historic record and ongoing data collection. “Typically when researchers are doing numerical models, they have limited data to work with – sometimes just two or three storms. They’ll use one storm to set the model up and another to validate it,” said Waters. “What we’re doing here now is running models continuously and checking them against our expanded data observation network, which allows us to look at how the model operates and look for what improvements can be made.” The test bed accomplishes a side-by-side, real-time comparison of model outputs and real-world data, allowing researchers to improve the accuracy of models as well as better understand the sensitivity to different tunable parameters, and reduce uncertainty. “The role of the test bed is to translate the data we collect here into the input format the model expects,” said Dr. Spicer Bak, a research physical scientist running the Coastal Model Test Bed. “We run the model, archive the data, plot out some of the live results, and perform analysis.” The researchers at FRF Duck plan to publish a paper on their initial results later this year. Currently, the test bed is focused on wave modeling, with an aim to eventually integrating modeling beach morphology. “The focus is to isolate pieces and see how the model is responding to all the components,” said Bak. “A lot of these models are built one on another. Everything is in a way intertwined.”
“SHOREBIRDS” As decades of observation at Duck provide greater understanding of the process, researchers are still exploring new ways to gather and apply data. Remote sensing research at Duck started as a military mission, supporting logistics-over-the-shore and similar missions, but like much of the research and development at ERDC, researchers quickly recognized an opportunity to leverage this technology to reduce risk from coastal storms. “The focus of my research has always been to better understand what happens during storms. Coastal storms are when some of the largest changes to our coast happen,” said Dr. Kate Brodie, research oceanographer at FRF Duck. “In order to make observations during storms, you’re not going to be in a boat in the surf zone. If you put a sensor on the seafloor, it’s a 50-50 chance it will be there after the storm to get your data back. The best way to be able to make these measurements during storms is to develop remote sensing tech that allows you to remotely observe what’s happening on the beach and in the surf zone.” Brodie and her fellow researchers are also developing new applications of unmanned aerial system (UAS)-based technology to transition existing tower-based technology out of the research world and into operational engineering. Small UAS allow coastal managers and districts to simulate the view from FRF Duck’s 40-meter fire tower – from which much of the nearshore remote sensing community has developed their algorithms – without needing new infrastructure. As part of remote sensing, FRF Duck recently hosted a three-week collaborative field experiment evaluating how UAS technology can
be used to improve USACE’s flood risk management actions. During the experiment, ERDC labs worked with the U.S. Geological Survey, Naval Research Laboratory, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and industry to collect data and compare and contrast systems. The participants were able to share data and assess the capabilities of systems already in use by researchers and engineers. Brodie and her teammates are also using terrestrial LIDAR scanners. This allows researchers to map around 40 kilometers of beach topography in a few hours, measure inundation and dune erosion during hurricanes and nor’easters, as well as get 3-D imagery of breaking waves across the surf zone, increasing the spatial resolution of wave data by two to three orders of magnitude, she said.
CATCHING WAVES Continuing the coastal discovery at Duck, researchers are working on ways to measure suspended sediment in the surf zone using a combination of optical and acoustic scatter sensors and samples taken from waves as they break. They’re able to do this thanks to the Coastal Research Amphibious Buggy, an observation and control platform mounted on a 35-foot-tall wheeled tripod that provides a stable research platform in the surf. When Patrick Dickhudt, research oceanographer at FRF Duck, was first starting the experiment, he sought advice from peers who had worked in the surf zone. The response he got was not particularly encouraging: “We tried a few times, but it’s too hard, so we gave up.” “One of my areas of expertise is making these types of measurements, so hearing that was sort of a challenge to me,” Dickhudt said. “So far it’s been pretty encouraging.”
LOOKING FORWARD Research oceanographer Kent Hathaway arrived at FRF Duck in 1985 as a student intern. The facility was relatively new, with computing resources limited to what he summarized as “basically a couple teletype machines,” and a comparatively small amount of sensors and gauges. Among his first duties was troubleshooting code for the first directional wave analysis program. The reputation FRF Duck has established over time as a worldclass facility isn’t driven by data, though, according to Hathaway. “What’s made us so popular is not just our amphibious vehicles and logistical capability. It’s our staff. It’s our team effort out here,” he said, citing the operations team as example. “The folks in our machine shop are amazing. A researcher can bring them a job and say, ‘I need this delicate gauge mounted in this exact spot.’ The operations team will come back with a plan and work it out.” When he arrived, Hathaway assumed he’d be a short-timer at Duck. More than 30 years later, Hathaway still looks forward to what’s next. “If it’s coastal research, this is one of the first places people are going to look to. They know they can show up and we’ll make it happen,” Hathaway said. “We’ve got a really good crew. It’s exciting to see where we go in the future.” n
NEW SYSTEM RECYCLES WATER FOR DECON OPERATIONS Decontamination Effluent Treatment System conserves water during cleanup. BY ROBERT DEDE AUX , Public Af fairs, Engineer Research and Development Center
USACE PHOTO BY STACY TENNISON, U.S. ARMY ERDC PAO
hether an explosion of radioactive material in a large city or a lone military convoy hit with a chemical improvised explosive device, prevention is ideal but cleanup is imperative. The amount of usable water needed in both scenarios would be in short supply. New technology will provide water to troops and first responders in the event of a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) incident. The Environmental Security Engineering Team of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Environmental Laboratory recently demonstrated the effectiveness of the Decontamination Effluent Treatment System (DETS) in treating wastewater from CBRN decontamination (DECON) operations at ERDC’s campus in Vicksburg, Mississippi, on June 27, 2017. “We are seeking a solution to something that hasn’t been addressed before,” said Dr. Victor Medina, an engineer in the Environmental Engineering Branch and the project’s principal investigator. “This project focuses on the wastewater generated from decontamination after a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear attack. The Army, DOD [Department of Defense], and EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] currently have no capability to treat or recycle the contaminated effluent from its aqueous-based CBRN decontamination operations on site.” CBRN agents exist due to wartime activities, industrial production, and advances in agricultural sciences. Decontamination following a CBRN event requires a large amount of water resulting in contaminated wastewater. This contaminated wastewater, or effluent, is potentially dangerous to the warfighter, local populations, the environment, and could possibly ruin publicly funded and owned wastewater treatment facilities. DETS conserves water and can substantially reduce disposal costs for wastewater. The treatment system reclaims more than 80 percent of the influent clean water that can be reused for additional vehicles and equipment decontamination, reducing water needs by 60 to 70 percent. Treated water can also be returned to the environment, and the volume of water requiring disposal can be reduced by more than 80 percent. During the demonstration, the area’s storm water drainage was blocked then routed into the DETS for treatment. Vehicles were sent through the decontamination area, where personnel washed the vehicles then recycled the effluent from the underlying drainage pipes. The DETS separated the contaminated effluent from the drain into usable water stored in reclaimed water tanks and potentially harmful wastewater rejected from the system was stored in wastewater tanks. The clean reclaimed water was then used to clean the next contaminated vehicle. After the cleanup procedures, the recycled water inside the reclaimed water tanks tested negative for all harmful contaminants.
Scientists and researchers at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center demonstrate the Decontamination Effluent Treatment System (DETS). The area’s drainage was securely blocked off then routed into the DETS for filtration.
The system uses a multi-unit process including sand filtration, water softening, granular activated carbon, and reverse osmosis to purify water. “This system is the first portable system ever designed for the treatment of decontamination water,” said Medina. “As such, it is designed to treat virtually any contaminant that could be found at its target flow rate of 10 gallons per minute. It is also designed to have a low capital cost to allow the system to be disposed of after use if necessary due to highly toxic contaminants.” Contaminated effluent creates storage, transportation, and treatment problems. There is a great need for a technology that safely decommissions water-based CBRN contamination while reducing logistics costs. DETS has the potential to greatly decrease the amount of contaminated effluent released into the environment. Medina’s team, funded by the Environmental Quality and Installations program, has worked for the past three years on the DETS technology to treat virtually any CBRN-contaminated area and minimize DECON water requirements. This treatment system is easy to deploy, operate, and maintain, greatly reducing liabilities. The Environmental Security Engineering Team was instrumental in the success of the demonstration and research. Scott Waisner, ERDC research engineer, led the DETS construction effort and the setup of the demonstration. Dr. Edith Martinez conducted testing on the system components. Jared Johnson, ERDC research and environmental engineer, designed and implemented the DETS control systems. “Water is something we need and the resources are becoming hard to come by. It’s often challenging to get water sources into [combat] theatre,” said Medina. “Our goal is to treat, reuse, or recycle the water for military readiness, and we hope the technology created will have spin-off value to solve water problems that exist in U.S. communities.” n
U.S. ARMY ENGINEERING AND SUPPORT CENTER, HUNTSVILLE Huntsville Center’s five portfolios support a wide array of programs COMPILED BY DEBR A VALINE, U.S. ARMY ENGINEERING AND SUPPORT CENTER, HUNTSVILLE
he U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville (Alabama) – Huntsville Center – is unlike other U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) organizations. The center is not defined by geographic boundaries; its missions provide specialized technical expertise, global engineering solutions, and cutting-edge innovations through centrally managed programs in support of national interests. Huntsville Center’s more than 1,000 employees manage nearly 3,000 ongoing projects at any given time. These projects fall into one of five portfolios: Medical, Facilities and Base Operations, Energy, Operational Technology, and Environmental. The portfolios comprise more than 40 different program areas, as well as seven mandatory centers of expertise and five technical centers of expertise, and 17 centers of standardization. Projects are generally broad in scope, require specialized technical expertise, centralized management, or are functions not normally accomplished by a headquarters, USACE organizational element. For information on the full scope of programs, visit www.hnc.usace.army.mil.
MEDICAL PORTFOLIO The Huntsville Center’s Medical Portfolio includes the USACE Medical Facilities Mandatory Center of Expertise and Standardization (MX) and a Medical Division. The MX partners on a global basis with the USACE project-delivery teams, regional business centers/
divisions, stakeholders, and geographical districts to provide design acquisition strategy, design development, and technical oversight during design and construction for all medical projects. The MX is centrally funded during the design phase of any medical project, and its use is mandatory for all Department of Defense (DOD) medical facilities. The MX also is available on a reimbursable basis to provide support for others. The center’s Medical Division offers programs that support new and renovated military health care and research laboratory facility construction projects worldwide by offering a simplified process to respond to the growing operation and maintenance (O&M) needs of DOD medical facilities, as well as other medical facility project support services; Medical Repair and Renewal for designs, repairs, replacement, renovation, sustainment, restoration, or modernization of medical facilities; and Medical Outfitting and Transition (MO&T), providing medical support services and initial and sustainment outfitting and transition. The MO&T program also provides for the procurement and installation of medical equipment, furniture, and artwork. Recently, MO&T worked with USACE Baltimore District – responsible for construction of the facility – to assist the U.S. Army Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Maryland, relocation into the largest and most complex bio-contamination facility ever designed.
The Chemical Warfare Materiel Design Center oversaw final safety actions for the required Pre-Operational Survey at two Redstone Arsenal sites preparing for intrusive operations. Key safety checks on air quality detection devices, decontamination operations, and overall work site operations were conducted.
“Building, transitioning, and outfitting new or refurbished laboratories, clinics, or hospitals is a function of [the] U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and we’re proud to be a part of the team that shares in the success of the Army Medical Command’s global mission,” said Julia Chlarson, the MO&T branch chief.
PHOTO BY MARK THOMPSON
FACILITIES AND BASE OPERATIONS PORTFOLIO The Facilities and Base Operations Portfolio includes programs that help installations meet needs in facilities reduction; facilities repair and renewal; access control points; barracks and administration furniture; routine installation base operations support; maintenance, inspections, and repairs; and emergency response actions for Defense Logistics Agency petroleum facilities on military installations worldwide; and, through the Range and Training Land Program mandatory Center of Expertise (CX), reviews designs, conducts construction inspections, and ensures Army standards are met. The CX provides planning, MILCON programming and development of standard designs for Army automated ranges, and DD Form 1391 preparation and validation.
One partner for Base Operations (BASEOPS) support is the 88th Readiness Division (RD), U.S. Army Reserve. The 88th RD presents a unique challenge in that its units are widespread over a large geographic area consisting of 19 states. Huntsville Center’s Office of Small Business Programs set up a virtual industry day that allowed small businesses from across the region to participate. The event allowed 225 attendees at 33 Procurement Technical Assistance Centers in all 19 states an opportunity to gain an overview of requirements and ask questions. “I believe our agency was the first to do a virtual industry day that included partnering with external resources such as the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers and the Small Business Development Centers across 19 states,” said Karen Baker, Huntsville Center’s deputy for Small Business. “This tool is an economical means for both the government and the business community. It allows Huntsville Center to achieve market research as required in the Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 10 and develop better acquisition packages in the long run.”
William J. Eggleston III, right, a safety engineer with the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville's Safety Office, explains a solar array project at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to summer hire Lorraine Rosello Del Valle; Erika Cosper, a Pathways intern; and Jacob Morrison, a summer hire, during a recent trip to Fort Campbell.
ENERGY PORTFOLIO Huntsville Center’s Energy Portfolio includes everything from initial surveys that identify energy conservation measures (ECMs) to installing identified ECMs using third-party financing. Using Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC), the contractor provides capital and expertise to make infrastructure energy improvements to significantly reduce energy utilization and cost. The Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) Program supports Office of Energy Initiatives (OEI) tools to execute third-party financing investment in renewable-energy-source power generation. Utility Energy Services Contracting (UESC) is similar to ESPC, but works with the utility provider rather than the energy services company. Fort Campbell, Kentucky, used two of Huntsville Center’s energy programs, UESC and PPA, for a two-phase project to install solar panel arrays that are providing 5 megawatts of renewable energy for the installation, which is enough energy annually to power 463 homes. Phase one incorporated a Utility Energy Services Contract for a 1.9 megawatt array executed through a 10-year contract with Pennyrile Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation and a $3.1 million grant from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Phase two used a 27-year Renewable Energy Service Agreement and an $800,000 grant provided by the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program to install the remaining 3.1 megawatt array. The Energy Execution Program allows for O&M funding of smaller energy-related projects that DOD installations desire to accomplish as funds become available.
Operational Technology programs manage interconnecting and automated building control systems, such as electronic security, utility monitoring and control, cybersecurity, metering, and information technology. The Electronic Security Systems (ESS) Mandatory CX reviews all design and test submittals for Army ESS. ESS also provides technical, engineering, acquisition, and fielding support to all federal agencies. Utility Monitoring and Control Systems (UMCS) Mandatory CX reviews all design and procurement packages; provides technical assistance, criteria, guidance, and training; and executes projects for DOD and other federal agencies. The Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Cybersecurity Technical CX provides engineering design and execution of compliant solutions to reduce and/or eliminate ICS Cybersecurity vulnerabilities. A large part of this program’s portfolio centers on achieving the authority to operate on DOD networks via the Risk Management Framework process. Army Metering is installing 13,000 meters and a global meter data management system to track, record, and report energy consumption. This is an Army centrally funded program. Information Technology (IT) Systems programs include USACE-IT, which delivers value through information technology acquisition and project management for the USACE-IT network and all peripherals; high-performance computing, which supports the DOD High Performance Computing (HPC) Modernization Program through procurement of numerous HPC systems (supercomputers) with over five PetaFLOPS of computing capability and more than 50 petabytes of mass storage archives; Communication Infrastructure and Systems Support (CIS2), which delivers value through operational technology acquisition, project management, and financial management excellence; and Medical Communication Infrastructure and Systems Support (MCIS2), which supports the entire DOD medical community in the procurement of hardware, software, and technical services related to facility systems. The MCIS2 program worked with the Los Angeles District and the Health Facility Planning Agency to ensure facilities-related communications systems and communications infrastructure maintenance and upgrades were installed at the Weed Army Community Hospital, Fort Irwin, California, prior to the hospital opening in September 2017. “Working with the Los Angeles District, we provided key guidance in the development and execution of the facility-related information technology portion of the integrated master schedule,” said Kevin Miller, the Huntsville Center project manager. “This enabled all dependent medical systems to remain on schedule and acquire their certification testing and staff training for opening day.”
ENVIRONMENTAL PORTFOLIO The Environmental and Munitions Center of Expertise (EM CX) fosters trust, innovation, communications, quality, and knowledge throughout the environmental community of practice to realize a
PHOTO BY ROBERT WHITNEY
OPERATIONAL TECHNOLOGY PORTFOLIO
healthy, secure, safe, and sustainable environment for this and future generations. The EM CX provides quality assurance for all USACE environmental remediation work, expert technical assistance to USACE offices worldwide, and technical expertise to DOD and Environmental Protection Agency panels and advisory committees, as well as promotes technology transfer and lessons learned, develops guidance documents, and develops and instructs high-level training. This portfolio also includes the Military Munitions Design Center and Remedial Action Team that conducts ordnance investigations, remedial designs, and clearances of Formerly Used Defense Sites, range support actions and construction sites; and the Chemical Warfare Materiel Design Center, which provides support to Department of the Army, DOD, State Department, and Defense Threat Reduction Agency worldwide and investigates and remediates chemical munitions. The Facilities Explosives Safety program offers technical expertise to the U.S. Army and all of USACE in the design and construction phases of any facility that will house ammunitions and explosives. Other programs supporting environmental efforts include global operations in Afghanistan to conduct land mine and range clearance, environmental footprint reduction, and Task Force POWER (Protect Our Warfighters and Electrical Resources); Missile Defense Agency (MDA) support in Poland; and land mine clearance at the Story Training Area in South Korea. Huntsville Center also is the Ballistic Missile Defense Systems (BMDS) Mandatory Center of Expertise, which supports MDA’s BMDS program. Two long-term environmental projects to remediate chemical warfare materiel and conventional munitions are underway at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. At Redstone Arsenal, the 20- to 30-year, $500 million-plus project is inspecting 17 sites where it is suspected that chemical munitions were buried in underground trenches. The 17 sites of high priority are sites with munitions and explosive concerns. According to Huntsville Center Project Manager Ashley Roeske, multiple sites are being investigated to determine the nature and extent of contamination associated with the disposal and suspected burial of World War II-era munitions and explosives of concern, including chemical warfare materiel. Through records, historical research, sampling and previous cleanup efforts, the Army has put together a detailed picture of what was potentially buried in approximately 6 miles of trenches at Redstone Arsenal after World War II. They include U.S. mortars and projectiles as well as ordnance brought from Great Britain, Germany, and Japan for disposal. Results of these investigations will be used to develop a final Recommended Action Plan for subsequent remediation efforts. At Martha’s Vineyard, Huntsville Center is partnering with the New England District to clean up military munitions from three Formerly Used Defense Sites. All three areas were used to train and practice bombing maneuvers during World War II. In all its projects, Huntsville Center partners with USACE divisions and districts in the planning and on-site execution of projects. This coordination and definitization of roles and responsibilities between the Huntsville Center and the geographic district ensures that USACE is providing the best possible services to our customers and stakeholders.
BY THE NUMBERS The U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville: • Provides specialized technical expertise, global engineering solutions, and cutting-edge innovations through centrally managed programs in support of national interests. • Certified, professional workforce of more than 1,000 employees with an expeditionary mindset capable of pioneering solutions to unique, complex, and high-risk missions in strengthened partnerships with the USACE enterprise, key Department of Defense stakeholders, and strategic allies. • Has programmatic and functional boundaries in lieu of geographical boundaries, executing programs and projects that: - A re national or broad in scope; - Require integrated facilities or systems that cross geographical division boundaries; - Require commonality, standardization, multiple site adaption, or technology transfer; - Require a centralized management structure for effective control of program development, coordination, and execution; and - Require functions to be performed that are not normally accomplished by a headquarters USACE organizational element. • Annually obligates more than $2 billion through some 5,000 contract actions. • Manages nearly 3,000 ongoing projects at all times. • Supports five business portfolios: medical, facilities and base operations, energy, operational technology, and environmental. The portfolios comprise more than 40 different program areas, as well as seven mandatory and five technical centers of expertise, and 17 centers of standardization.
P.O. Box 1600 Huntsville, AL 35807 256-895-1694 www.hnc.usace.army.mil www.facebook.com/HuntsvilleCenter twitter.com/CEHNC USACE Environment: go.usa.gov/Kj3w
249th ENGINEER BATTALION (PRIME POWER) BY STAFF SGT. JEREMY NISSLY, Prime Power Public Af fairs Representative
eadquartered in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, the 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power) is the only power generation battalion within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The unit is staffed with expertly trained power technicians able to operate a wide array of power plants, and provide electrical troubleshooting expertise, contract oversight, and project management. The battalion traces its roots back to the Army Nuclear Power Program’s Engineer Reactors Group as early as the 1950s. The Nuclear Power Plant Operator’s Course continued until 1977, when the program changed to diesel-driven generators. Since then, Prime Power has been a function within USACE; first as a component of the Facilities Engineering Support Agency and finally all Prime Power detachments were consolidated into a battalion-sized element on Nov. 16, 1994, upon reactivation of the 249th Engineer Battalion. In addition to its power-generation history within USACE, the 249th is rich in history as a construction engineer unit. In 1945, the battalion built a bridge across the Rhine River in Germany that allowed George S. Patton’s Third Army to advance, shortening the length of the war. The battalion had many other post-World War II missions; it assisted during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and continues to provide heavy construction support today. The battalion has five companies, each strategically aligned to support their own combatant commands and FEMA regions: • Company A: Schofield Barracks, Hawaii • Company B: Fort Bragg, North Carolina • Company C: Fort Belvoir, Virginia • Company D (Reserve): Cranston, Rhode Island • Headquarters Company: Fort Belvoir, Virginia
MISSION On order, deploy worldwide to provide prime electrical power and electrical systems expertise in support of military operations and the National Response Framework. The 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power) is a versatile power-generation battalion assigned to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that provides commercial-level power to military units and federal relief organizations during full-spectrum operations. Additionally, the commander serves as the commandant of the U.S. Army Prime Power School, the institution responsible for the development of Army and Navy power-generation specialists. The organization is charged with the rapid provision of Army generators to support worldwide requirements.
SUPPORTING COMBATANT COMMANDERS Prime Power assets are used when the demand for power exceeds the efficient output of tactical generators, where reliable commercial power is not available or practical. In terms of a growing forward operating base, the typical prime power plant would be installed after a few hundred Soldiers have occupied the area. One plant can produce three megawatts of power more efficiently than the typical grid of tactical generators. Prime Power non-commissioned officers ([NCOs], military occupation specialty “12P”) currently support many power plants worldwide, including those at critical missile defense sites. The expert training provided to these NCOs at the Prime Power School enables them to troubleshoot electrical and mechanical faults in any electrical system, which makes them highly useful to commanders. In addition to operating power plants, Prime Power NCOs support commanders by providing contract oversight. These Soldiers are highly trained in industry standards, and they’ve put this training to good use by inspecting the performance of work performed by contractors to ensure safety and cost savings.
DISASTER RELIEF The battalion always has teams ready to deploy immediately when requested to support Emergency Support Function #3 of the National Response Framework (NRF). Teams are highly trained to quickly and accurately assess the power demand of shelters, hospitals, and other critical facilities in order to coordinate tactical generator placement. Once the generators arrive, Prime Power NCOs oversee the installation and operation of the plants to continue to provide critical power until the power grid is back online. Elements of the 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power) were deployed to the Wall Street financial district after the attacks on the World Trade Center. Prime Power NCOs figured out a way to connect a series of tactical generators into the grid in order to restore power to the nation’s financial center. Soldiers from the battalion were heavily involved during hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Teams deployed throughout the affected areas, providing power to critical facilities and later powering pumps to drain the affected areas. In October 2016, the battalion deployed to multiple locations on the East Coast in response to Hurricane Matthew. Staff Sgt. Scott Brandon of B Company, 249th Engineer Battalion, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was one of the many Prime Power Soldiers deployed in the response. When asked what he thought about NRF responses, he said, “Being able to participate on NRF missions is the most
USACE STAFF SGT. SCOTT BRANDON, SENIOR POWER STATION ELECTRICIAN, BRAVO COMPANY, 249TH ENGINEER BATTALION (PRIME POWER), FORT BRAGG, NORTH CAROLINA
Staff Sgt. Scott Brandon (photographer), Sgt. Ortiz, Sgt. Poseno, and Spc. Reyes double checking all connections to the switchgear after installing a temporary power plant at a hospital in North Carolina.
rewarding part of this job. The hours are long, the weather is usually bad, the work can be dangerous, but helping Americans in need is why we all do what we do.”
THE U.S. ARMY PRIME POWER SCHOOL The Prime Power School has been a part of USACE since the 1950s, when its mission was to train nuclear power plant operators. Today, the school provides training to all 12P Prime Power NCOs as well as Navy Seabees assigned to Mobile Utilities Support Equipment. The school is the source of future talent for the battalion, since nearly 100 percent of service members trained at the school will be assigned to work in one of the companies after school. The school is known as the most academically challenging school in the Army. Graduates of the course perform many of the tasks that are typically performed by electrical and mechanical engineers. Upon graduation, students receive 38 credit hours from an accredited university. The philosophy of training is to teach the students “why” so they can figure out the “how” in any situation. This culture makes graduates extremely versatile. In 2011, the school moved from Fort Belvoir, Virginia, to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, where it operates today. The new Prime Power School also includes a facility to teach Soldiers the additional skill of overhead power distribution, referred to as “linemen.” n
BY THE NUMBERS • 4,160 volts = the output voltage of Prime Power generators • 120/208 volts = output voltage of organic transformers • 3,000,000 watts (4,021 horsepower) = the power one platoon’s plant can provide • 2,439 = number of households one Prime Power platoon can support (@ 1.23 kilowatt hour each) • 4 = number of Prime Power platoons per company • 3 = active-duty Prime Power companies • 1 = Reserve component company with 1 Prime Power platoon • 3 = platoons of MOS 12P power distribution (linemen) in the Reserve company
U.S. ARMY ENGINEER INSTITUTE FOR WATER RESOURCES
he U.S. Army Engineer Institute for Water Resources (IWR), with its National Capital Region (NCR) headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, was established to provide forward-looking analysis to aid the development of the USACE Civil Works program. IWR’s mission emphasizes the linkage of planning, socio-economic, environmental, hydrologic, and engineering risk considerations within a contemporary evaluation and investment decision-support framework for water resources systems, global change, sustainable development, and collaborative problem-solving. The institute has offices in five locations, including its office in Alexandria, Virginia, which includes the Navigation and Civil Works Decision Support Center (NDC), the Conflict Resolution & Public Participation Center of Expertise (CPCX), and the International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM). ICIWaRM is affiliated with the United Nations and involves collaborative relationships with universities and nongovernmental organizations. IWR’s
remote centers include the Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC) in Davis, California; the Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center (WCSC) in New Orleans, Louisiana; and the Risk Management Center (for dam and levee safety) with offices in Golden, Colorado, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. IWR’s NCR office houses the USACE chief economist and a diverse multidisciplinary workforce specializing in the advancement of planning methodologies, developing and applying procedures for evaluating multipurpose water resources investment alternatives involving both monetary and non-monetary outputs, and conducting a wide range of special investigations commissioned either by the Congress, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), and/or USACE Headquarters, including strategic studies aimed at informing agency decisions on the future direction of the Civil Works program. The NCR office also includes the secretariat for the U.S. Section of the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (also known as PIANC), a global forum for
BY KELLY BARNES
professional organizations to share and exchange knowledge of worldwide trends and challenges in port and waterway development and management. NDC provides a critical mass of expertise focusing on the management of infrastructure utilization and performance information for USACE programs and projects spanning civil works business lines. NDC directly supports the USACE navigation, hydropower, recreation, environmental compliance, water supply, regulatory, homeland security, emergency, and readiness functions as well as those of other federal, state, and local agencies, plus those in the private sector with interests in water transportation. NDC also provides integrated business information in support of USACE operational decision-making, and includes financial, output, and performance measurements that are used in the development and defense of the USACE civil works budget. NDC’s WCSC specializes in the collection and synthesis of all U.S. waterborne commerce statistics and vessel movement data, along with maintaining information on vessel characteristics, port facilities, dredging cost, and performance data and information on navigation locks. The mission of the CPCX is to help USACE field practitioners anticipate, prevent, and manage water conflicts, ensuring that the interests of the public are addressed in water resources decisionmaking. The CPCX provides technical assistance and training to USACE division and district offices as well as other stakeholders on collaborative processes, facilitation, public involvement, risk communication, and collaborative modeling (shared vision planning). CPCX also supports USACE-HQ on relevant aspects of national initiatives and policy development and coordinates USACE’s cross-cutting Collaboration and Public Participation Community of Practice. The Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC) is world renowned for its applied software model development, training, and consulting in hydrologic and hydraulic engineering, water resources planning, and water systems management. The primary mission of HEC is to support the nation in its water resources management responsibilities by enhancing USACE technical capacity in applied hydrologic and hydraulic engineering. Its additional mission goals include providing technical leadership in improving the analytical methods for the hydrologic aspects of water resources planning and in the delivery and application of the integrated suite of models serving as
the USACE Water Management System, which is used by the Major Subordinate Command and districts, in the real-time operation of reservoirs throughout the nation. HEC models represent state-ofthe-art tools that are widely used throughout the world. The mission of the Risk Management Center (RMC) is to support the USACE Civil Works program by providing a nationally consistent context for managing and assessing risks associated with dam and levee systems across USACE, to support dam and levee safety activities throughout USACE, and to develop policies, methods, tools, and systems to enhance those activities. The RMC also assists USACE Headquarters in the technical and policy oversight of infrastructure safety decisions, and serves as an independent technical adviser to USACE senior leadership, maintaining and developing risk competencies and helping ensure consistency of risk assessment processes, the application of risk criteria, and the basis for decision-making on dam and levee safety projects across USACE. ICIWaRM was established in collaboration with other U.S. agencies, academic institutions, and organizations sharing an interest in the advancement of the science and practice of integrated water resources management around the globe. ICIWaRM was formalized as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) “Category 2” water center in 2009, the first such center in the United States. ICIWaRM serves as a nexus for technology transfer, integrating new ideas, advancing practical scientific and technological applications of integrated water resources management approaches developed both in the United States and by partner nations within UNESCO’s International Hydrological Program (IHP). The center focuses on water security, adapting to global change, applying collaborative approaches, and ensuring environmental sustainability, consistent with U.S. government goals for international water resources. ICIWaRM is also the Technical Secretariat for IHP’s Global Network on Water and Development Information for Arid Lands, or G-WADI. n 7701 Telegraph Rd., Casey Bldg. Alexandria, VA 22315-3688 (703) 428-8250 www.iwr.usace.army.mil/ IWR@usace.army.mil
IWR’s mission emphasizes the linkage of planning, socio-economic, environmental, hydrologic, and engineering risk considerations within a contemporary evaluation and investment decision-support framework for water resources systems, global change, sustainable development, and collaborative problem-solving.
412th THEATER ENGINEER COMMAND BY SGT. 1st CL ASS CLINTON D. WOOD
Army Reserve Soldiers work to connect two large sections of a modular floating bridge (MFB) during Operation River Assault, a bridging training exercise involving Army engineers and other support elements to create an MFB on the water across the Arkansas River at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, using Improved Ribbon Bridge bays.
the Secretary of the Army (SA) as the Army Service Component Command (ASCC) of U.S. Pacific Command. In October 2017, the 412th TEC assumed responsibility of U.S. Southern Command and U.S. Northern Command from the 416th TEC. At the same time, the 416th TEC assumed responsibility of U.S. European Command and U.S. Army Africa/Southern European Task Force, an operational-level Army force designated by the SA as the ASCC of the United States Africa Command. On order, the 412 Theater Engineer Command mobilizes and deploys to a theater of operations as the senior engineer headquarters to provide mission command of assigned or attached units in support of ASCC assured mobility, protection, logistics, and infrastructure development lines of operation. In addition to providing wartime support, the 412th performs key roles in large-scale training exercises, in contingency planning, and in-theater security cooperation plan engagements. Two theater-level exercises that the 412th Theater Engineer Command headquarters participate in annually are Key Resolve and Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG), both sponsored by the Eighth Army and USARPAC in Korea. Key Resolve, a command and control exercise conducted in accordance with the 1953 South Korean-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty, lets U.S. and South Korean service members work together in much the same way they would in the event of a military engagement with North Korea. This multinational training exercise enhances U.S. and Republic of Korea (ROK) forces’ operational capabilities to increase alliance readiness, protect the region, and maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula.
U.S. ARMY RESERVE PHOTO BY MASTER SGT. MICHEL SAURET
he 412th Theater Engineer Command (TEC), headquartered at the George A. Morris U.S. Army Reserve Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and its counterpart, the 416th Theater Engineer Command, are the only two units of their kind in the American military – and the world. They provide command and control of theater-level engineer operations levels above brigade in support of unified land operations. The two TECs have mission command of all Army Reserve engineer assets, dividing their areas of responsibility roughly along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, with the 412th TEC overseeing all U.S. Army Reserve engineer units east of that line. The 412th commands three brigades and seven direct reporting units (DRUs), totaling nearly 13,000 Soldiers. The brigades are the 411th Engineer Brigade based at New Windsor, New York; the 302d Maneuver Enhancement Brigade based in Fort Devens, Massachusetts; and the 926th Engineer Brigade located in Montgomery, Alabama. The DRUs are the 206th Digital Liaison Detachment, the 207th Digital Liaison Detachment, the 20th Military History Detachment, the 368th Forward Engineer Support Team-Main, the 608th Construction Management Team, the 310th Construction Management Team, and the 475th Explosive Hazards Coordination Cell. The TEC is commanded by an engineer major general who focuses the proper emphasis on unit training/readiness during peacetime employment and the proper emphasis on the theater engineer mission set during wartime. The 412th provides theater-wide engineer support as well as engineer support to forces deployed within a joint operations area, geospatial support, construction, real property maintenance activities, line of communications sustainment, engineer logistics management, and base development, theater infrastructure repair, or development as required. It serves as the senior engineer headquarters for the theater Army, as well as all assigned or attached engineer brigades and other engineer units. When directed, it may also command engineers from other services and multinational forces to provide oversight of contracted construction engineers. The TEC’s combat capabilities consist of mobility augmentation, clearance, and sapper companies, which are comprised of elite Army engineers. The construction capabilities are vertical, horizontal, engineer support, and multirole bridge companies. The 412th mobilizes and deploys to any theater and operates as the senior engineer headquarters to command, plan, and control engineer assets within the theater of operations and act as the senior engineer adviser to the theater commander. The TEC deploys an early-entry deployable command post (DCP) with all these capabilities, and the DCP can be expanded and tailored to the operation as the mission requires. The 412th Theater Engineer Command is aligned with U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC), an operational-level Army force designated by
Ulchi Freedom Guardian is the U.S.-ROK annual joint combined and simulation-supported command and control exercise. It takes place electronically across six installations on the Korean Peninsula and select military and government installations in the United States. UFG is being conducted to keep alliance military forces ready to maintain security on the Korean Peninsula and stability in Northeast Asia. The 412th TEC also supported 7th Army’s Joint Multinational Readiness Center in 2016 by rotating engineer units in and out of Hohenfels, Germany, for construction projects. Most of the units participating in these overseas missions and exercises were conducting their two-week extended combat training (ECT). As a key responsibility, the TEC oversees the training of its Soldiers and subordinate units. During 2016, the command enabled Soldiers from 400 subordinate units to attend numerous major events, exercises, or operations across the continental United States and the world. One of the command’s bigger ECT exercises is the annual Operation River Assault, a training exercise that involves Army Reserve engineer units and assets assigned to both theater
engineer commands. This exercise provides the unique environment to train, develop, and sustain bridging, construction, and combat engineering Soldier skills at the platoon, crew, and squad levels. It also provides a combined arms environment for military police, medical, public affairs, and aviation to train in technical skills in support of engineer missions. The culminating event is a wet-gap crossing of the Arkansas River via a floating Improved Ribbon Bridge. River Assault involves several units to include bridging, sapper, mobility, construction, and aviation companies. n
412th Theater Engineer Command 1265 Porters Chapel Rd. Vicksburg, MS 39180 (601) 631-6103 www.army.mil/412thtec www.facebook.com/412TEC www.twitter.com/buildtoserve www.flickr.com/photos/76064486@N06/
BY THE NUMBERS • Provides command and control of theater-level engineer operations levels above brigade in support of unified land operations. • Mission command and oversees all Army Reserve engineer assets east of the Mississippi River. • Commands three brigades and seven smaller direct reporting units, totaling nearly 13,000 Soldiers. • Combat capabilities consist of mobility augmentation, clearance, and sapper companies (combat engineers). The construction capabilities are vertical, horizontal, engineer support, and multirole bridge companies. PEACETIME EMPLOYMENT • Executes mission command of all Army Reserve engineer units east of the Mississippi, with additional military police, chemical, and signal units, ensuring trained and ready forces are available to U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) and U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC). • Supports and participates in FORSCOM/USARC training exercises in the continental United States (CONUS) and combatant command/Army service component command (COCOM/ASCC) exercises and training opportunities outside the continental United States to maintain unit readiness. • Maintains constant communications with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Army Service Component Commands (ASCCs) to ensure continuous support focused on the long-term goals of both organizations in their areas of responsibility. • Maintains communications/ties with sister service engineer organizations, in order to enhance joint readiness and interoperability. WARTIME EMPLOYMENT • Manages and executes the ASCC’s maneuver support mission at theater level. The TEC is modular and scalable, enhancing its versatility. (It deploys in part, combination, or in its entirety.)
• Executes mission command for all Army theater engineer assets in the ASCC AOR and is expandable enough to manage the joint, allied/coalition engineer effort, as well as many contracted construction operations. • Supports engineer operational-level planning, coordination, and technical services supporting the ASCC, Geographic Combatant Command (GCC), or Joint Task Force (JTF). • Participates in joint civil engineering support planning in support of the ASCC/COCOM. • Provides command and control of theater-level engineer operations levels above brigade in support of unified land operations. • Provides trained and ready forces in support of global operations utilizing the Army Force Generation model; and provides policies, guidance, resourcing, and administrative support as an operational command over assigned Army Reserve units. • Provides command and control of assigned or attached engineer brigades, groups, and other engineer units engaged in general, geospatial, and combat engineering missions for an ASCC or JTF. • Provides engineer support to joint exercises, humanitarian civil assistance, exercise-related construction, installation-related construction, and theater-security cooperation plans and partnership for peace missions. Operates as the senior engineer headquarters to command, plan, and control engineer assets within the theater of operations. The TEC supports a JTF in a theater. • Develops and validates plans, procedures, and programs for theater-level engineer mission command and support to the ASCCs. • Communicates to the ASCCs the capabilities of the theater engineer commands and opportunities where the TEC can support those commands.
416th THEATER ENGINEER COMMAND Joint forces and the Blackfeet Nation BY SGT. 1st CL ASS JASON PROSEUS
INNOVATIVE READINESS TRAINING Throughout the United States there are huge needs for infrastructure development, health care support, diving, transportation, and cybersecurity in communities that don’t have the necessary means to provide for themselves. The “Bright Idea” – which is an actual award given by Harvard University, and presented to the Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) program – was that the military trains to be able to fill these needs when asked to go abroad and serve their country. The idea was that if we’re going to spend money on this needed training, and spend money supporting the need in these
A Soldier from the 317th Engineer Company guides the backhoe driver – a Seabee from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 14 (NMCB-14) – to a specific depth for the creation of a drainage system, June 6, 2017. The 317th and NMCB-14 combined their training efforts to provide horizontal construction for the Blackfeet Indian nation in Browning, Montana.
communities, why not benefit both sides of need? Thus began the IRT program, which allows communities to share their need, and allows all branches and components of the military to bid on these projects to fulfill their training needs.
THE 317th ENGINEER COMPANY The 317th Engineer Company, from Homewood, Illinois, is one of the down-trace units of the 416th Theater Engineer Command. The unit is made up of experienced engineer Soldiers, Soldiers with limited experience, and young Soldiers who have only recently finished training. For the last few years, unit personnel haven’t had a chance to practice their skills as a horizontal construction unit. “We were supposed to do something like this two years ago, but we had to help with the brigade’s war games. They nixed our construction and we got to be QRF [quick reaction force],” said Spc. Thomas McSorley, a horizontal construction engineer with the 317th. “We spent our annual training, last year, moving our equipment from Kankakee [Illinois] to Homewood.”
U.S. ARMY PHOTO BY STAFF SGT. JASON PROSEUS
ear the base of the Rocky Mountains, just east of East Glacier Park Village and Glacier National Park, sits the small town of Browning, Montana. The town sits among the rolling green hills that eventually flatten out and mark the westernmost part of the Great Plains. The area is exceptionally rugged with extremely cold winters, wind gusts that can reach over 80 miles per hour, and once held the record for the greatest 24-hour temperature change of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (from 44 degrees to minus 56 degrees). Browning is the seat of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The Blackfeet, a tribe that can trace its lineage back many years, are a proud people known for hunting the bison, and protecting their land. “We became great warriors, because we jealously protected our land. You protect your hunting ground because that’s how you survive. We were what sociologists call ‘hunter-gatherers,’” explained Harry Barnes, chairman of the Blackfeet Tribal Council. Currently, there are projects in the town that need to be taken care of, like the expansion of a housing development that provides affordable housing to locals, and a one-and-half-mile stretch of road that is severely rutted and causes difficulties for access of emergency and civil services. “It wouldn’t be done. That’s the reality of it. We don’t have the money. If we used our tribal funds, and hired local people, it would take away from more important projects,” said Barnes. The town of Browning is mired in poverty, with few job prospects. “We’ve had to report an unemployment rate of 75 percent in the past,” said Barnes. “We are a proud people. But we have more need than feed. We have a whole lot of things that need to be done, but not a lot of money. The tribal government has a very finite amount of revenue, so programs like health care delivery and education take up these resources.”
The 317th took advantage of IRT by sending 44 pieces of heavy equipment to Browning, along with three rotations of about 30 Soldiers each, to receive training and help the community with the projects. The project was managed by Sgt. 1st Class Ljubomir Bratic, with the assistance of the project noncommissioned officer in charge, Staff Sgt. Jonathan Kline. Some Soldiers came in slightly apprehensive about operating the massive equipment, but know that the practice they got would build their confidence. “For me personally, I’m a little scared of it, just because of the power, but once I get used to it, I’m more comfortable, I’m a lot more efficient,” said McSorley. “Once I get used to it, I know where the limits are, again.” Other Soldiers come into the project excited and ready to be at the controls of the massive iron dinosaurs. “That one is the HYEX,” says Kendra Townsell, a horizontal construction engineer with the 317th, as she points to the large excavator looming 15 to 20 feet in the air, atop a mound of dirt. “That one is my favorite. When you grab a scoop of dirt and lift, the back comes up off the ground, and it’s scary, but then, when it comes slamming back down, it’s so awesome,” said Townsell. “If you tip over in it, you can just extend your bucket, and stop yourself from falling. But, if you tip that over, you had to try.” The 317th also received support from the Navy Seabees. The Seabees come from Atlanta and belong to Navy Mobile Construction Battalion 14 (NMCB-14) of the 7th Naval Construction Regiment. Their job on this project is to provide help in operating the equipment, and to help train the operators on the equipment. This training also provides them with the ability to use equipment that may operate differently from what they are used to. “This training here is a great chance to get hands-on [experience]. Some of the equipment we’re touching here, like for example, that dump truck, is different than the ones we use. It’s not radically different. It’s the same concept,” said Equipment Operator 2nd Class Daryl Burnside from NMCB14. “Let’s say, heaven forbid, worse-case scenario, whatever war it is, we get sent somewhere, we need to know how to operate the equipment. Lives could be at stake.” For the first 30 days on the ground, the unit completed small jobs at the housing expansion project in order to gain the practice needed to operate the equipment. Then the work begins on the Blevins Road construction. The main benefit of the IRT mission, for the unit, is that all Soldiers of every military occupational specialty in the unit will receive hundreds of hours of training in their specific job, explained 1st Lt. Michael Gratzke, the planning officer for the project. “Every single Soldier and Seabee is getting real-life, hands-on training to be able to provide a high-quality product for the Blackfeet Nation.” n Editor’s note: At press time, this project had been completed.
BY THE NUMBERS The 416th Theater Engineer Command (TEC) is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Reserve Command that provides engineer-planning support to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), and U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). In October 2017, the 416th will continue to support CENTCOM, and transition support with the 412th TEC to support U.S. Europe Command (EUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), while the 412th will take over support of NORTHCOM and SOUTHCOM. The 416th is headquartered near Chicago, Illinois, in the suburb of Darien. The 416th TEC conducts theater-level engineer operations supporting a joint force executing full-spectrum operations while providing combat-ready trained and lethal forces to support mission requirements worldwide. The TEC provides support of global operations using the Army Force Generation model; and provides policies, guidance, resourcing, and administrative support as an operational command over assigned Army Reserve units. On order, the TEC mobilizes and deploys to a theater of operations as the senior engineer headquarters to provide mission command of assigned or attached units in support of the Army Service Component Command’s (ASCC) assured mobility, protection, logistics, and infrastructure development lines of operation. The 416th TEC leads over 150 different companies and detachments in 26 western U.S. states and the District of Columbia, encompassing more than 12,500 Soldiers, two engineer brigades, one maneuver enhancement brigade, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contingency response unit (CRU). The 416th TEC contains engineer units that specialize in technical engineer support. These units comprise the CRU: two Forward Engineer Support Teams-Main (FEST-M), 10 Forward Engineer Support Teams-Advance (FEST-A), 10 Engineer Facility Detachments, and two Construction Management Teams. These units are capable of providing myriad engineer services: • construction management for theater-level troop/activity concentrations and facilities; • facility engineering and management to support base development; • infrastructure engineering planning and technical expertise, contract construction, real estate acquisition/disposal, environmental engineering and geospatial support; • initial infrastructure assessments and surveys; and • operational and engineering mission command support for disaster relief missions and overseas contingency operations. Recent deployments include operations Desert Shield/Storm, Enduring Freedom, Freedom’s Sentinel, Iraqi Freedom (OIF), New Dawn, and Inherent Resolve. During the first deployment in support of OIF, the command oversaw the planning and construction of several prisoner-of-war camps, U.S. military logistics bases, and a 230-mile-long Inland Petroleum Distribution System – the largest-ever constructed in wartime by the U.S. Army – from Kuwait through the southern desert of Iraq to ensure the availability of fuel for the units moving forward. The 416th TEC serves as the principal engineer force provider and engineer planner for annual exercises across the globe such as Beyond the Horizon in Central and South America. Beyond the Horizon emphasizes humanitarian assistance every year in a different Central or South American nation. The 416th Theater Engineer Command motto is “Serving by Building.”
An Army Geospatial Center team member prepares a BuckEye Arrow unmanned aerial system prior to a geospatial datacollection mission in support of Special Operations CommandCentral in Lebanon.
U.S. ARMY GEOSPATIAL CENTER
he U.S. Army Geospatial Center (AGC) is a direct reporting center under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to provide timely, accurate, and relevant geospatial information, domain expertise, training, and reach-back capabilities to warfighters across the operational environment. As a knowledge center for geospatial engineering expertise, the AGC coordinates, integrates, and synchronizes geospatial information requirements and standards across the Army, and develops and fields geospatial systems and capabilities to the Army and the Department of Defense (DOD). The AGC supports the Army, DOD, and the nation through: 1) Enterprise development and system acquisition support – synchronizes geospatial policies, priorities, program strategies, and technologies across Army acquisition ensuring efficient
integration; provides geospatial domain expertise to Army programs and Network Integration Evaluations; develops, acquires, and fields engineer and intelligence capabilities; and evaluates the Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities. 2) Warfighter support and production – collects, creates, and provisions strategic-operational-tactical imagery, elevation data, geospatial information, and mission-related products; provides information on water location quantity and quality; and provides training, technical support, and reachback capabilities to the field. 3) Research, development, technology, and evaluation (RDT&E) – conducts RDT&E focused in current and emerging geospatial technologies that will help characterize and measure phenomena within the physical (terrain) and social (cultural) environments encountered by the Army.
IMAGE PROVIDED BY THE U.S. ARMY GEOSPATIAL CENTER
BY STEPHEN J. SMITH
One of the AGC’s primary goals is to enable an Army Geospatial Enterprise (AGE), which addresses geospatial capability gaps preventing systems from achieving a true common operating picture. The AGE enables horizontal and vertical dissemination and the exchange and synchronization of geospatial feature data between echelons. It improves continuity of operations during unit Relief in Place/Transfer of Authority, and enhances and extends the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s data holdings with Army-produced operational and tactically relevant geospatial information. The AGE enhances Soldier situational awareness and leads to information superiority and improves commanders’ military decision-making process, ultimately improving the probability of mission success. n
PHOTO BY THOMAS COX, U.S. ARMY GEOSPATIAL CENTER
U.S. Army Geospatial Center Humphreys Engineer Center, Cude Building 7701 Telegraph Rd. Alexandria, VA 22315-3864 AGC.Publicaffairs@usace.army.mil (703) 428-3736 www.agc.army.mil/ www.facebook.com/USACEAGC twitter.com/ArmyGeospatial www.youtube.com/user/ArmyGeospatialCenter
A U.S. Army surveyor at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, training to use AGC's next-generation Survey Global Position Systems that are embedded with spoofing and jamming detection provided by the product director, Combat Terrain Information Systems.
BY THE NUMBERS • Civil Works: AGC is engaged in the management of various civil works projects, dam safety management, inland waterways navigation, and civilian disaster relief efforts both in the continental United States and outside of it. AGC is the USACE Survey Engineering and Mapping Technical Center of Expertise. • Inland Electronic Navigational Charts (IENCs): The U.S. inland navigation system consists of 8,200 miles of rivers maintained by USACE in 22 states, and includes 276 lock chambers with a total lift of 6,100 feet. To support efficient, effective, and safe navigation, AGC develops, updates, and publishes electronic charts for the inland waterways. This highly structured data format is commonly used for electronic chart applications and will be used to support all inland navigation. • Geospatial Library Services: -The Common Map Background (CMB) provides digital map and image data to the warfighter. CMB utilizes a comprehensive digital data library and custom ArcGIS toolset designed to dramatically reduce the time and expense required to acquire, manage, and distribute geospatial information. -The Geospatial Information Library focuses on physical geography, terrain analysis, and military hydrology, and provides support to all authorized Army, Department of Defense (DOD), and other government organizations. -The AGC Imagery Office (AIO) functions as the U.S. Army’s commercial imagery acquisition agent and monitor. This action is designed to prevent Army agencies and organizations from duplicating imagery acquisition/data purchases. The AIO is also designated as the repository of selected commercial satellite/aerial imagery and AGI data pertaining to terrain analysis and water resources operations. The AIO repository is accessible to DOD users via an online search-and-discovery application requiring user registration. • T he High Resolution 3-D (HR3D) Data Collection program is composed of geospatial sensors, airborne platforms, processing systems, and dissemination capabilities of the BuckEye collection systems. The goal is to rapidly collect, process, and disseminate high-resolution, high-accuracy geospatial data in support of tactical operations. The resulting unclassified color imagery and LIDAR elevation data support improved battlefield visualization and operations planning. • T he Warfighter Products and Support: -The Urban Tactical Planner (UTP) assists with the planning and visualization of military operations in the world’s urban areas. The urban environment is displayed as an aggregate of features that affect urban area operations, such as building form and function (broken out as polygons of like building types), building height, vertical obstructions, terrain features, bridges, lines of communication, key cultural features, landmarks, etc. -The Engineering Route Study (ERS) is designed to provide basic information on the major surface transportation systems in conjunction with terrain and climate data. The ERS is intended to provide data at the country or operational level to assist the warfighter in planning a variety of missions including military operations, humanitarian relief, transportation studies, and drug enforcement. -The Instrument Set, Reconnaissance and Surveying (common name: ENFIRE) is a tactical engineering tool set designed to modernize the collection and dissemination of engineer information to support construction management and survey units. It enables the user to auto-populate bridge, road, hasty minefield, IED, and other engineering data on standard Army forms in a digital format, manage construction projects (to include design/build), and support route clearance.
USACE FINANCE CENTER BY R ACHEL A. THORNE
PHOTO COURTESY USACE FINANCE CENTER
n 1996, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Finance Center (UFC) was officially established to reduce the cost and improve the overall quality of financial management for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Development and deployment of the Corps of Engineers Financial Management System (CEFMS) along with operating finance and accounting functions was consolidated into one location at USACE Finance Center in Millington, Tennessee. UFC is primarily responsible for setting the strategic direction and providing operational finance and accounting functions by assisting USACE worldwide with day-to-day support. This support includes, but is not limited to, the full range of customer service, payments, disbursing, accounting, and financial reporting for civil works and military programs’ appropriated funds, and revolving and trust funds. In addition, UFC is responsible for performing research, analysis, development, installation, and systems maintenance for the Corps of Engineers Financial Management System (CEFMS). This mission is accomplished with a dedicated, professional staff of accountants, accounting technicians, information management personnel, and various other support personnel. Along with the desire to maintain a highly motivated staff, the Finance Center is always aware and concerned about the costs of operation. UFC proactively searches for ways to reduce costs by identifying and eliminating duplicative processes, taking advantage of leading technology, and encouraging e-commerce. The center strives to achieve the commander’s vision while continually improving business processes and financial systems. The Finance Center’s Vision Statement includes four major tenets: • The premier, world-class provider of finance and accounting services. • The trusted, innovative financial partner of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. • One organization, one identity. • The employer of choice, providing a progressive and professional work environment. First, UFC aims to be the premier, world-class provider of finance and accounting services. In efforts to remain competitive and a best value to customers, the UFC will endeavor to adjust its structure to meet the needs of USACE, the Army, and all valued customers to further enhance performance in finance and accounting and revolutionize effectiveness. Second, UFC aspires to fully satisfy customer requirements and aggressively resolve problems in order to deliver best value, quality services. These high-quality results are achieved by implementing performance metrics to drive best business practices. Since the mission encompasses the world and brings together many diverse program areas of USACE, the Finance Center partners with the districts, divisions, labs, and separate field operating activities to
Kevin Heath, USACE disbursing officer, provides assistance to employees at the USACE Finance Center.
leverage on the complex, fully integrated financial management system, CEFMS, to provide world-class support and accomplish the mission. Today, UFC and all USACE activities can query financial data in real time through a web browser. This innovative capability is demonstrated by increased use of e-commerce and e-government technology providing a paperless, seamless environment, increasing accuracy and lowering costs for customers. As a result, the UFC is truly the financial partner at work. Next, the third tenet, the consolidation of the UFC, was necessary to allow the USACE to improve its internal operations; standardize and integrate the financial operations, procedures, and systems; implement best business practices; and reduce cost to the customers. Under this principle, the UFC persists to improve corporate quality and value. Finally, the Finance Center supports continuous learning for the workforce to ensure critical, high-quality skill sets. One of the main goals is to be able to develop the next generation of leadership by investing in the employees. Receiving a “Best Place to Work” award, UFC communicates openly and honestly; treats everyone with fairness and respect; follows through on commitments; and demonstrates accountability and integrity as a team. n 5722 Integrity Dr., Building 787 Millington, TN 38054-5005 (901) 873-9000 www.usace.army.mil/Finance-Center/
USACE MARINE DESIGN CENTER Boats to build
BY ED VOIGT, Public / Legislative Af fairs, Philadelphia District
eeping the nation’s waterways open for business is no small task. For the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), it involves some 2,500 working vessels, from hopper dredges to floating cranes to survey boats. Supporting that far-flung fleet – repairing and renovating existing boats, designing, and procuring new ones – is the responsibility of USACE’s Marine Design Center (MDC). Founded in 1908, MDC has long been co-located with the Philadelphia District for contracting and staff support. But it operates as a USACE national organization. “We are a fully cost-reimbursable, shared resource,” said William F. Gretzmacher III, the director of the Marine Design Center. “The Corps has a lot of floating equipment, but it’s widely dispersed. A district such as L.A. [Los Angeles] or New England may only have a couple of boats. So if something goes wrong, or they need a new boat, we’re the logical place to turn to. We’ve got that expertise.” Its team of 30 people, including naval architects, marine engineers, and project managers, is well suited to troubleshoot as well as create. (They contract with A-E firms to help manage additional design workloads.) “Somebody will call and say, ‘I have a problem with shafting. What should I do about it?’ We get inquiries like that all the time. If it’s marine related, we see more of it than anyone else,” he said. Most of MDC’s work is internal to USACE, but they also welcome interagency customers. Recently they provided concept designs to the Coast Guard to replace its inland fleet of cutters and to the
USACE MARINE DESIGN CENTER PHOTOS
NASA employed the USACE Marine Design Center to refit its Space Shuttle-era Pegasus barge to accommodate the massive core stage of the next-generation Space Launch System rocket.
The all-aluminum, high-speed catamaran survey boat H.R. Spies was recently delivered by the Marine Design Center to the Philadelphia District.
National Park Service for a supply vessel for Liberty Island National Park; and they worked with NASA to lengthen the Pegasus barge to haul a new, longer generation of rockets to Cape Canaveral, Florida. Essentially a combined engineering and construction management firm, sometimes MDC will design a vessel from scratch. “We do a lot of one-off workboat applications,” Gretzmacher said, referring to custom designs. “We’re only going to build one or two. It’s not like the Coast Guard building a whole class of cutters, with tour-of-duty operator rotations and crew reassignments. In the Corps, we have people who will stay with a vessel for 15 or more years.” Other times MDC’s role is more limited. “There are some craft you can basically order off a menu from a manufacturer through a pre-priced schedule. But many districts would rather have us handle it, simply because we know more about boats,” he added. The Marine Design Center recently delivered the high-speed catamaran survey vessel H.R. Spies to the Philadelphia District. Currently under construction are several projects, including a new heavy-lift crane barge to replace Rock Island District’s Quad Cities, while in the early design phase is a battery- and diesel-powered hybrid vessel to replace New York District’s DCV Driftmaster. Driving all its work is the MDC’s customer focus. “We understand that each of our customers has a mission uniquely important to the nation. We strive to deliver a product that supports that mission safely, reliably, sustainably, and cost effectively.” n
The Olmsted Locks and Dam project has twin 1,200-foot lock chambers and will produce average annual economic benefits to the nation of more than $640 million.
In this issue of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Building Strong®: Serving the Nation and the Armed Forces publication, stories highlight c...
Published on Feb 20, 2018
In this issue of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Building Strong®: Serving the Nation and the Armed Forces publication, stories highlight c...