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IMAGE COURTESY OF HONOLULU DISTRICT

PACIFIC OCE AN DIVISION

The pre-final architectural rendering of the FY 2021 Wheeler Army Airfield maintenance hangar designed by the Honolulu District.

expertise in the Pacific basin for the Alaska, Far East (South Korea), and Japan districts in USACE’s POD. “This capability is of vital importance to our regional customers,” said Todd Barnes, Honolulu District’s chief of engineering and construction. “We interact with U.S. territorial and independent island governments, state and local authorities, and numerous U.S. and international agencies in our area of responsibility. The REC’s work in the island territories and countries is especially crucial since harbor and shore protection projects directly impact commerce and quality of life for residents.” Honolulu District’s nearly 12 million square miles of geographical area of responsibility – the largest in USACE – crosses five time zones and the international dateline. Centrally located at district headquarters at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, are the REC’s three departments, composed of architects, planners, and mechanical, electrical, and civil engineers. The center also provides cost, construction design, and value engineering services. According to Kevin Araki, REC chief, the center is an invaluable resource for USACE, Honolulu District, and U.S. strategic partners in the district’s expansive Indo-Pacific area of responsibility. “Developing and maintaining technical competency through experience of design and construction project nuances for Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Hawaii, as well as having the stability of an experienced staff, enables the REC to mobilize experienced teams to help solve complex engineering problems regionally in an expeditious manner,” Araki said.

The sister districts, which also provide engineering services work on behalf of overseas U.S. military commands, utilize Honolulu District’s REC to learn and improve the quality, timeliness, and product cost and services that are provided to local customers in order to exceed stakeholder expectations. The REC delivers world-class expertise in all architectural and engineering disciplines necessary to assure quality products are delivered to valued customers in the Military Construction, Civil Works, and Interagency and International Services programs. The center’s services range from interpretation of technical criteria and independent technical reviews during the planning and design stages of a project to shop-drawing review, responding to contractor’s inquiries, and resolution of technical issues during construction phases of projects. Previously known as the Regional Technical Center (RTC), the branch was combined with the district’s Regional Design Center in 2015 to form the REC. “This [consolidation] reduces the risk from fluctuations in design and high-level technical review workloads by combining the staff with the flexibility and versatility to take on both design and technical reviews,” said Barnes. “The development of our relationships with and knowledge of the engineering practices of our sister districts, along with knowing specific project histories, continues to be valuable,” Barnes concluded. “For example, the Yongsan Relocation Program [movement of the U.S. 8th Army to Pyongtaek from Seoul] spanned more than a decade in design and construction. The REC was heavily involved in providing our engineering services to Far East District for this massive transition.” n 109

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Building Strong, Serving the Nation and the Armed Forces, 2020-2021  

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