Page 1

Vol. 82, Issue 1

Fall 2010

The Prospector

San Joaquin County meets

The District & National Public Lands Day


1,100+people can’t be wrong

Pg. 28

has a new home (Pg . 16)


Slurry at

GUY WEST BRIDGE is a good thing, right? Pg. 8

Forget Hollywood, IronMan works in Sacramento ... ’ and he s part of regulatory


From the jungle to the Hill - the deadly R APTOR

Is Big Brother really tracking the district’s vehicles? Find out on page 23.

New Districtbuilt UAV facility will support worldwide military missions

(All from the comfort of Northern California)

Planting Windmills in the Utah A photo story Desert

Col. Bill Leady US Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District

The new Commander of the Sacramento District.

2010 Fall Edition




2 Col. Leady tours the Sacramento District 4 Meet the Contracting Division 7 FUDS clean-up at Hamilton 8 Guy West Bridge levee work completed


9 Sac State students tour District levee site 10 Safety Office hosts safety manager conf. 12 Peck Ha is an Ironman 14 Regional Leadership Development class


15 $125.9 million contract for Folsom Dam 16 F22 has a new home at Hill AFB 18 District employees recognized at conf. 19 San Joaquin County meets the Rock


20 News around the district 22 New UAV facility at Beale opens 23 There is no Big Brother 25 Behind the scenes of the O-Plan video


26 Birth of a windmill 28 National Public Lands Day


On the Cover Col. Bill Leady, commander of the Sacramento District. Photo by Michael J. Nevins Photo Illustration by Carlos J. Lazo

The Prospector is an unofficial publication authorized under the provisions of Army Regulation 360-1. It is published by the Public Affairs Office, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, 1325 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. Telephone: (916) 557-7461; Fax (916) 557-7853; e-mail: mil. This publication is available on the Sacramento District’s Internet homepage, at www.spk.usace., and will be printed and mailed to those requesting it in writing. Editorial views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Corps of Engineers or the Department of the Army. Follow the Sacramento District on our social media sites; - com/sacramentodistrict - and

Commander’s Way Ahead Working Hard to Accomplish Our Mission “Criticism

i s n e c e s s a ry a n d u s e f u l ; i t i s o f t e n

i n d i s p e n s a b l e ; b u t i t c a n n e v e r ta k e t h e p l a c e

o f a c t i o n , o r b e e v e n a p o o r s u b s t i t u t e f o r i t .”

- T h e o d o r e R o o s e v e lt

This is my first Commander’s Way Ahead column and I am thrilled to be writing it. It is truly both an honor and a privilege to be here in Sacramento on the USACE team. My first impression is that the district is huge, incredibly busy and full of talented professionals, who are working hard, each and every day. You truly are improving the quality of life for the American public through our civil works program and our recreation program; you are supporting our nation’s military by providing tremendous facilities through our military construction (MILCON) program; you are making our federal government stronger and more effective by building facilities and providing services through our interagency support programs; you are protecting and restoring the environment through our regulatory program, our environmentally-focused civil works projects, and our hazardous, toxic and radiological waste (HTRW) remediation program; and finally, you are standing ready to provide leadership and technical expertise during a crisis through our emergency response operations. I joined the team near the end of fiscal year 2010, and the district’s efforts to close out our program and execute our budget have been both impressive and motivating. We ended the year “green” in all areas of our program. Green is just a color code that means we executed 95 percent or more of our budget. It is not the rating that is important but, rather, what the rating means. Green means that we did what we said we were going to do, and - more importantly - it signals to our partners, customers, headquarters and Congress that the Sacramento District keeps its commitments and gets its mission completed. Brig. Gen. Donahue, the South Pacific Division commander, likes to say, “The test of first rate work is that you finish it.” The whole district did first rate work for FY 2010! The district has really had some notable accomplishments in the last couple of months. First, we successfully executed a Civil Works Review Board (CWRB) for the Natomas Basin Interim - General Reevaluation Report (GRR). This is a major milestone and the first successful CWRB for the South Pacific Division in the last few years. Now the Natomas Basin project, a $1.1 billion levee rebuilding project, can go to Congress for authorization, and if authorized, it will eventually be built by the district. We also awarded a $126 million contract for the Joint Federal Project spillway

Col. William J. Leady

at Folsom Dam. This project is important to the region and the district. For the region, it will improve our ability to manage water during high water events. And for the district, this massive project is a great opportunity to build the team and pass on experience from one generation of professionals to the next. With my initial observations, my guidance from higher headquarters, my own thoughts on leadership, and most importantly, my discussions with the district’s division chiefs, I drafted my vision for the Sacramento Distinct (see text box). My vision is how I would like everyone in the district to view us as an organization, and how I’d like everyone we work with - our partners, customers and stakeholders - to “see” the district, as well.

Commander’s Vision for the Sacramento District The Sacramento District is a team of professionals dedicated to delivering enduring, innovative and sustainable engineering solutions to the public and our partners through: • Enduring civil works and military projects • High-quality engineering, design and construction management • Environmentally-sustainable projects • Leadership and technical expertise during emergencies

I enjoy reading history and biographies. Theodore Roosevelt is a man I consider to be an American lion. As I close I would like to leave you with one of my favorite quotations from Roosevelt. The passage below is from a speech he gave at the Sorbonne in Paris, France in 1910. His words are particularly meaningful to this district and to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, because we are people who have to get things done. “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Building Strong!

Col. Leady tours the Sacramento District Photos by Michael J. Nevins, Chris Gray-Garcia, DeDe Cordell and Tyler Stalker Public Affairs Office

Right: Col. Bill Leady explains how the Joint Federal Project’s new auxiliary spillway will help reduce flood risk for the Sacramento region to a radio station reporter during a media site visit at Folsom Dam in Folsom, Calif., Oct. 8. Leady provided interviews to five local television and radio stations during the event, which gave local media a tour of the project site to get footage of the project, get a status update and interview project officials.

Left: Col. Bill Leady films a message for the district from Pine Flat Lake, Calif., Oct. 5. Leady toured several of the district’s dams and parks throughout central California in the first week of October.

Right: Col. Bill Leady explains how the Joint Federal Project’s new auxiliary spillway will help reduce flood risk for the Sacramento region for a local television station during a media site visit at Folsom Dam in Folsom, Calif., Oct. 8. The JFP is a collaborative effort between the Corps and the Bureau of Reclamation to enhance Folsom Dam operations and reduce the Sacramento region’s flood risk.


The Prospector Left: U.S. Rep. Dennis Cardoza (center) joined Col. Bill Leady (left) and officials from the city of Newman, Stanislaus County and the California Department of Water Resources for an update meeting on flood risk reduction measures under the Orestimba Creek Feasibility Study Aug. 25 at city council chambers in Newman, Calif. “I’m proud of the plan we’ve developed together,” Leady said. “It’s the lowest-cost solution, it’s going to work, and it’s environmentally sustainable.” The Sacramento District aims to complete the study in 2011.

Right: Col. Bill Leady (center) joined state and local agencies to break ground on construction to strengthen the 7.6-mile-long ring levee that surrounds the city of Marysville, Calif., Sept. 20. Pictured with Leady are (from left to right) Bill Harris, Mayor of Marysville; John Nicoletti, Yuba County Supervisor; U.S. Rep. Wally Herger; and Mark Cowin, Department of Water Resources Director.

Left: Col. Bill Leady (right) greets Maj. Gen. John P. McLaren Jr., commander of the U.S. Army Reserve’s 80th Training Command, as U.S. Rep. Doris O. Matsui (center) looks on prior to a ribboncutting ceremony at the B.T. Collins USAR Center in Sacramento, Calif., Sept. 10. The ceremony was to officially open the new $6.8 million High Tech Regional Training Site Maintenance Facility built by the Sacramento District. Matsui sponsored the project, which will provide state-of-the-art data and voice services, modern administrative offices, 12 learning center classrooms and computer labs.


It all starts with them. Every levee improvement project, every military child development center, every Corps project. All of them come across their desks first.

Meet the Sacramento District’s

Contracting Division


Pictured above: (Front row, from left to right) Samantha Plank, Nicole May, Cheryl Gannaway and Gregory Tom. (Back row, from left to right) Duane Bell, Connie Newell and Ryan Bayless. Next page: (Front row, from left to right) Collete Nalley, Jessica Cokley, Judy Grant (former chief of the contracting division) and Patricia Christie. (Back row, from left to right) Sabrina Daniels, Lelani Banks, Christopher Swendsen and Bill Nevius.

The Prospector

Story by Carlos J. Lazo, Photos by Michael J. Nevins Public Affairs Office It was the 23rd hour of the 30th day of the 12th month. The 11th hour was upon them. The pressure was on. Everyone was tired, and yet, there they were: signing documents six hours after everyone else in the building had gone home. It was just another Sept. 30 for the contracting division. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District’s contracting division was responsible for 588 actions in the last month of fiscal year 2010, which ended Sept. 30. Actions include new contracts; modifications or additions to current outstanding contracts; and task orders, which can best be described as small contracts that fall under a larger contract for one specific project. Those 588 actions totaled more than $206 million. Two hundred and six million dollars put into the economy. “Out of our total year’s obligations of $523.8 million, that $206 million was about 40 percent; all in the last 30 days,” said Sue Yarbrough, chief of the contracting division. Yarbrough is the new chief of contracting, starting this past summer. Obligations refer to the funds appropriated by Congress every year for Corps projects, distributed through the Corps’ headquarters to its district offices. “When I say obligated, I mean that a contract has

been awarded and the funds for that project are obligated by the contract award,” said Yarbrough. “That means they can’t be used for any other purpose and unless the contract is modified those funds will be paid to the contractor.” “It’s a financial term meaning that the funds are encumbered towards a purpose.”

Sue Yarbrough, the new chief of the contracting division.

But the process for those contracts takes time. Before it has a groundbreaking or it reaches a construction milestone or has a ribbon-cutting ceremony, every project must have a contract.

The Corps of Engineers employs engineers, architects, quality assur-

-Continued on following page


ance specialists, real estate agents, and other professionals. But what it doesn’t have are construction workers. When a project is ready to go from the drawing board to the real world, private businesses are the ones laying the foundation and raising the walls, not the Corps of Engineers. That is why the contract for a project is so significant. The contract answers very important questions about the project, among them; how much will it cost; who is the contractor or business responsible for building it; and how long is it going to take to complete? But how does the contract process begin? “It usually starts with the project manager coming to us,” said Samantha Plank, a contract specialist with the district. Plank works with project managers from the district’s military construction division, which oversees construction projects on military posts and bases. After project managers bring them the information about the project, the contracting specialist gets to work researching. One of the more important things they research is whether “a small business can do the contract,” said Plank. “The technicians and project managers provide us the (specifics) and we talk to the bidders,” she said. “We always try to work with small businesses in mind,” said Plank. Overall, the Corps awarded more than $9 billion in contracts to small businesses nationwide this fiscal year, said Corps commander Lt. Gen. Robert L. Van Antwerp. “Contracts to small businesses help support the local economy and put people to work,” said Yarbrough. “Often, small business firms are the best firms to work on our projects and are able to give the extra time and attention to detail that a larger firm may not. They are willing to take on smaller projects at reasonable prices.” The process of awarding does not end


there, said Plank. Both the contract specialist and the project manager still need to ensure the best and most capable business receives the contract.

sions) all pitched in to give us the best information they could and spent long hours with us, especially the last week or two,” said Yarbrough.

“I think it’s important because the government and the taxpayers want good value for their money,” said Yarbrough. “We need to select the best contractors so that we have good quality services and construction, that are long lasting, and at reasonable prices.”

There were many contracts for high-value projects awarded by the contracting office during the month, including a $125.9 million contract for the Joint Federal Project at Folsom Dam in Folsom, Calif. The project, a joint venture between the district and the Bureau of Reclamation, is designed to increase the amount of water the dam can hold and more safely release it when necessary.

Ensuring that the best contractor with the best price is found and chosen is one reason why so many contracts get pushed into the final month of the fiscal year, said Plank. Yarbrough agrees it takes time, but warns of the consequences of rushing in. “If we don’t take the time to select the best contractor we may end up with an unfinished project or one that is just barely acceptable,” she said. “Quality takes time.” But Yarbrough also understands the need to put people to work sooner than later. To keep things moving, while maintaining the same quality, the contracting division has divided their specialists into sections. Specialists continuously work with the same project managers within a distinct division, like Plank does. There are differences in contracting for military construction and civil construction, said Yarbrough. Building barracks on an Army post will entail different requirements and timeframes than repairing a dam or improving a levee. “It’s helpful to develop working relationships with the project managers and to understand the process, to have the same contract specialists and contracting officers working together routinely,” said Yarbrough. “It really is a team effort,” said Plank. “Everyone is involved in awarding the contract.” “The project managers, planning, engineering and construction (divi-

Contracts for projects like the Joint Federal Project have an immediate impact on the local economy, said Yarbrough. “Many of those contracts are for construction and environmental services, which put a lot of people to work,” she said. “When you actually get to notify the contractor, that’s exciting,” said Plank. For Yarbrough’s part, she’s both glad the month is over and proud of her team’s accomplishments. “We went into the month of September with a ton of work to do,” said Yarbrough. “At the end of it all, I breathed a huge sigh of relief...we made it through my first fiscal year end as the district contracting chief... with no money lost, and some very happy customers.” Money is “lost” when a contract for a project is not awarded, which can cause appropriated funds for that project to expire. Customers can range from various branches of the military to small cities in rural areas. Air Force bases in Utah requiring a new facility to California cities with levee repair needs are all customers of the Sacramento District. This year, the district’s military and civilian customers received all of their obligated funds. “I could not have been more proud of my team and the whole Sacramento District,” said Yarbrough.

The Prospector

Sacramento District conducts walkthrough of FUDS site

Story and Photos by Carlos J. Lazo, Public Affairs Office A walkthrough of the former Hamilton Army Airfield was conducted by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District representatives for members of the Hamilton Restoration Advisory Board and the public Aug. 19.

The NAF was previously used for rifle and pistol ranges, a skeet range, grenade practice, and an antenna support facility, which housed several fuel tanks. These uses resulted in soil contaminated with lead, petroleum, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and dioxins. The cleanup will include excavating, staging and testing the soil.

Soil that does not meet state contamination levels will be removed and hauled to appropriate landfills; soil that meets state reuse levels Karole Ward (center), a Corps senior project manager, conducts a will be used for safety brief Aug. 19, ahead of a tour of the Corps’ environmental nearby construction restoration work at the former Hamilton Army Airfield. projects such as in Led by Karole Ward, senior project the core of the Bel Marin Key V flood manager for the project with the Saccontrol levee, to build an access road ramento District, the walkthrough con- for nearby wetland restoration. centrated on the former base’s north antenna field (NAF), the final portion A large portion of the nearby wetlands of the base to require environmental have been restored through ongoing cleanup. The Corps of Engineers is work by the Corps’ San Francisco cleaning up the NAF under the DeDistrict. partment of Defense’s Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS) program. Last fall, work was done at the NAF in

preparation of the proposed cleanup. Roads were improved to support the heavy equipment; vegetation and other materials were removed, and surveys were completed. Preparation is now complete and the district is ready to move forward with the cleanup at Hamilton. The district worked closely with state regulators on putting into place a plan for the removal of contaminated soil. Incorporated into this plan are health and safety procedures, dust mitigation protocols and a tailored transportation plan with neighboring communities to minimize the impact on them during the removal. Upon completion of the NAF project, the Corps of Engineers will evaluate the effectiveness of the cleanup. Once the remediation is complete, the State Coastal Conservancy will incorporate this area in their ongoing wetland restoration project. Photo Above: Wetlands near the former Hamilton Army Airfield’s north antenna field (NAF). Soil at the NAF will be tested for contaminants. Contaminated soil will be hauled to an appropriate landfill, while clean soil will be used for nearby wetland restoration.


GUY WEST BRIDGE District completes levee upgrades in five weeks

Story by Tyler Stalker Public Affairs Office Photo Courtesy of Stacey Councilman Following five weeks of continuous construction, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District reopened the Guy West Bridge at California State University-Sacramento to pedestrian and bicycle traffic Aug. 23. Construction crews worked seven days a week to meet the project schedule, which was planned to avoid disrupting the annual Eppie’s Great Race triathlon and the start of CSUS’s fall semester. Cutoff walls were installed more than 70 feet deep into two, 450-foot stretches of American River levees, reducing the risk of flood waters seeping through or under them. “This was a complex job with a narrow construction window,” Corps project manager John Hoge said. “The project delivery team did a great job coordinating with each other and university officials to provide a successful levee rehabilitation project for the city of Sacramento.” Authorized by the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1996, the levees at the Guy West Bridge were among the last remaining sites to be upgraded by the Corps, the state of California and the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency under the American River Common Features project. Between 2000 and 2002, more than 20 miles of cutoff walls, designed to stop seepage, were built into American River levees. Areas complicated by utilities, bridges or power lines were set aside for later construction.


Left: Aerial view of Guy West Bridge.

Below: CSUS students at Guy West Bridge.

The Prospector Sac State students tour levee upgrade project with Corps engineers Story and Photo by Carlos J. Lazo Public Affairs Office

With hard hats, safety glasses and reflective vests in hand, engineering students and teachers from California State University – Sacramento went from the classroom to the field.

The slurry wall also prevents tree roots, animals and water from creating a tunnel that could compromise the levee. Following the mixing site, a tour of the excavation site was provided for all students.

This was thanks in part to a recent CSUS graduate, Joshua Wagner, who wanted to provide current students the opportunity to see what real-world engineering is all about.

Two weeks into construction, students were able to see ongoing excavation around an electrical line that runs underneath the bridge.

Wagner, quality assurance representative on the Corps’ American River Common Features project, and other engineers with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District, led an on-site visit for CSUS students and teachers of a levee-improvement project at the Guy West Bridge here July 31.

The line is surrounded by a concrete encasement, left in place, with construction ongoing around it to get the slurry wall to full depth.

Guy West Bridge is a pedestrian bridge, built to scale of the Golden Gate Bridge, which spans the American River. The bridge connects the campus of CSUS and the Sacramento neighborhood Campus Commons. Students were shown all aspects of the project, from the slurry mixing site to the excavation site on the side of the bridge, and the quality assurance lab. The field trip was organized by Wagner, who wanted to provide students an opportunity to see a Corps project up close. “The goal was to get aspiring engineering and construction management students a hands-on experience,” said Wagner. “To actually be out on a slurry wall project and see every little bit that’s going on.”

Rounding out the tour was a walkthrough of the control lab, where on-site testing is conducted. The lab is used to monitor the density and viscosity of the slurry being mixed onsite. The site tour reminded Wagner of a similar and memorable visit he had as a student. “The one that is most memorable to me was the Folsom Bridge project near the Folsom Dam,” he said. “It really gave me a chance to see the scope and the size of the operations and get a real feel for what is going on.” Assisting Wagner with the site visit were Sacramento District employees and recent University of California - Chico graduates Shauna England, Michelle Lockhart and Jacqueline Steiner. England had a similar experience when she was still a student.

Following a safety brief, students and teachers were given a tour of the entire construction site, beginning with the mixing site, where the slurry is prepared and pumped to the excavation site.

“I was given the opportunity to come out to the field and do a tour of a similar nature as a student,” England said. “It meant so much to me, and I’m trying to give that back to the students.”

The slurry used on site is a mixture of water, bentonite and cement and is used to create a barrier that helps to prevent seepage through or under the levee.

She also sees the importance in providing a hands-on and real-world example to students outside

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Safety Office shows recognition, appreciation for bike safety workshops Story and Photo by Hunter Merritt Public Affairs Office U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District Chief of Occupational Health and Safety Marjorie McDonald (left) presents an award to Tyler Newell, bike shop manager for Peak Adventures at California State University-Sacramento, for training he provided to district employees earlier this year. Newell conducted two bicycling safety workshops in May, which covered advice on repairing or changing flat tire

tubes and on general rules of the road for bicyclists. The educational effort was a collaboration between the district’s safety office and the employee council’s environmental sustainability sub-committee, to encourage bicycling as a safe, inexpensive, clean, ecologically-minded and healthy alternative form of transportation to work for employees.

District hosts annual South Pacific Division Safety Manager Conference

Story by Eric Radecki Photo by Marjorie McDonald Safety and Occupational Health Office The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District’s Safety and Occupational Health Office hosted the South Pacific Division’s (SPD) safety manager’s conference here Oct. 8. Attendees from the South Pacific Division included safety and occupational health chiefs, SPD safety manager Marsha Gilbert, and Richard Wright, Chief of Safety for USACE Headquarters. Attendees discussed various topics including: employee safety and occupational health, drug testing, water safety, and public safety. Meg Phillips, a member of the American Society


of Safety Engineers, and Women in Safety Engineering, presented an overview of fall protection and the importance of an independent and professionally-engineered fall protection system. She hosted a detailed forum with the Sacramento District’s safety and occupational health office staff and the construction division’s quality assurance staff following the presentation. Attention was focused on Corps projects, techniques, and fall protection system designs she had worked on; including lessons learned through field experience and planning. The three day conference aimed at reinforcing the importance of com-

munication across division lines and relationships with other safety managers and leaders. “It was a great opportunity to get together and meet,” said Marjorie McDonald, chief of occupational health and safety office with the Sacramento District. “Having Richard Wright here was an added bonus as we were able to look outside divisional issues and discuss where the Corps is going in terms of implementing a Safety Management System.” Photo: Edward Stewart (left), quality assurance specialist, speaks to conference attendees.

The Prospector


Peck Ha – You’re an IRONMAN! Story by Robert Kidd, Public Affairs Office, Photos Courtesy of Peck Ha With his sparkling smile and understated nature, Peck Ha doesn’t look like the red and gold robot man from the comic books – but he’s a superhero, for sure. He earned the right to be called an Ironman June 27 in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, after swimming 2.4 miles, bicycling 112 miles and then running 26.2 miles – all in 14 hours, 12 minutes and 39 seconds. Peck, a regulatory project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District, spent most of his free time in the past two years training to be ready for the grueling endurance event. Peck competed at the Coeur D’Alene Ironman as part of Team Trevor – a group of athletes remembering six month old Trevor Kott of Cameron Park who lost his life to leukemia. Team Trevor seeks to raise awareness of and participation in the National Marrow Donor Program registry. The 7 a.m. mass start for the triathlon was daunting.


When the gun fired, Peck and 2,999 other competitors rushed into the cold water of Lake Coeur d’Alene, beating the water into white foam. Before training for the Ironman, he didn’t have much swimming background. “I could only get from one end of the pool to the other,” he remembers. One hour and 42 minutes later, Peck left the lake, changed into cycling clothes and jumped on his bike. There were no team cars rolling along the route to feed or offer mechanical support to the racers. Ironman is an individual effort. The only help allowed during the competition is at the official aid stations -- located every ten miles on the bike course and every mile of the run. They include a buffet table of fuel for the body. Peck remembers two favorite foods during the event: a triple-deck sandwich of peanut butter, jelly and Shot Blocks (energy gummies); and the satisfying taste of clear, warm

chicken broth. “After awhile, you just can’t stand anything else sweet,” says Peck. Throughout the day, his moral support crew of six friends from Northern California watched for him along the course and shouted their encouragement. Some 12 hours into his race, his friends were sipping beers and leading the cheer on a patio bar as Peck passed by – running a marathon. Only rarely did the competitors speak to one another, he says. “Your name is on your race bib, so sometimes another racer would call me by name and give encouragement.” Everyone was hurting. Everyone was trying to save energy – in order to finish. Four miles from the end of his run, the sun was setting. “I felt a little disappointed, as I really hoped to finish in the daylight,” says Peck. He saw his friends right before

The Prospector

Below: Ha rides during the bicycle event.

The idea for the original Ironman Triathlon arose during the awards ceremony for the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay (a running race for 5-person teams). Among the participants were numerous representatives of both the Mid-Pacific Road Runners and the Waikiki Swim Club, whose members had long been debating which athletes were more fit, runners or swimmers.

the finish line, ran to the side and hugged them, then crossed the line at 9:12 p.m. as the announcer said, “Peck Ha, you’re an Ironman!” “I remember the pain setting in as the adrenalin drained away. I ate three pizzas and a root beer right after the race,” he remembers. “Then we went back to the hotel and watched (via the Internet) other competitors finish until the midnight cutoff. The next morning, I woke up and made breakfast for everyone.” For the day, he estimates burning 10,000 calories; only able to replace about 3,000 calories during the same time, which caused him to lose about two percent of his body weight. Has he changed since getting into triathlons? “I lost some weight, gained some strength, improved my overall health and endurance and most of all – I’m mentally stronger,” says Peck. “I’ve become very in-tune with my body – I can tell when I need to fuel up, when I need hydration and which foods I can tolerate the easiest during long events.”

Peck thanks his friends for their support during the event. “If I were to ever do another Ironman – it would

have to be a very special event,” says Peck.

Ha’s Stats Swim: 2.4 Miles Bicycle: 112 Miles Run: 26.2 Miles Total time: 14 Hours, 12 Minutes, 39 Seconds Estimated amount of calories burned: 10,000 Estimated amount of body weight lost: Two percent

On this occasion, U.S. Navy Cmdr. John Collins pointed out that a recent article in Sports Illustrated magazine had declared that Eddy Merckx, the great Belgian cyclist, had the highest recorded “oxygen uptake” of any athlete ever measured, so perhaps cyclists were more fit than anyone. Collins and his wife Judy had taken part in the triathlons staged in 1974 and 1975 by the San Diego Track Club in and around Mission Bay, Calif., as well as the 1975 Optimist Sports Fiesta Triathlon in Coronado, Calif. A number of the other military athletes in attendance were also familiar with the San Diego races, so they understood the concept when Collins suggested that the debate should be settled through a race combining the three existing longdistance competitions already on the island: the Waikiki Roughwater Swim (2.4 mi./3.86 km), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 mi./185.07 km; originally a two-day event) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.219 mi./42.195 km). Until that point, no one present had ever done the bike race. Collins calculated that by shaving 3 miles (4.8 km) off the course and riding counterclockwise around the island, the bike leg could start at the finish of the Waikiki Rough Water and end at the Aloha Tower, the traditional start of the Honolulu Marathon. Prior to racing, each athlete received three sheets of paper listing a few rules and a course description. Handwritten on the last page was this exhortation: “Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life”, now a registered trademark.

Ha celebrates during the swim event.


South Pacific Division graduates 2010 Regional Leadership Development class Story by South Pacific Division Public Affairs Office Brigadier Gen. Rock Donahue, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Division, presided over the Class of 2010 Regional Leadership Development Program (RLDP) graduation ceremony at the division headquarters Sept. 17 in San Francisco, Calif. Attendees at the ceremony included other USACE district commanders, Senior Executive Service members, district deputies for project management, and division staff. Donahue said RLDP is all about developing future leaders. “I believe everything rises and falls on leadership,” Donahue said. “The Army’s definition of leadership is characterized by influencing, operating and improving,” Donahue said. “So when you think leadership, remember it’s all about influencing people through purpose, motivation and direction; operating to accomplish the mission; and finally it’s improving the organization, whether you have a staff of two or 200,” he added. “South Pacific Division was among the first in the Corps to develop a regional program to develop leaders,” Donahue said. “It’s our top priority because the return on investment for both our organization and the individual is enduring.”

private sector. RLDP is also open to partner federal agencies and project sponsors. Past alumni include graduates from the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Reclamation, the Port of Los Angeles, the Santa Clara Valley Water District, and the Riverside County Flood and Water Conservation District. The class of 2010 briefed division and district senior leaders on their class project: To develop a set of LEED-like standards to apply to USACE civil works projects, specifically flood risk management. Allison Bremner, a planner with the San Francisco District, and Bob Kidd, public affairs specialist with the Sacramento District, reported that the class reviewed six sustainability system rating methods for their applicability to Corps civil works, including the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building credits and Civil Engineering Environmental Quality Assessment and Award Scheme (CEEQUAL). They identified 196 standards in areas as diverse as contracting, cultural resources, energy, public involvement, soils and vegetation, water quality and wildlife habitat.

SPD launched the RLDP Program in 2000, pioneering USACE efforts to groom future leaders with a broad perspective on USACE and the region.

“We need to help people understand that sustainability will pay off for civil works projects,” Bremner said. “We interviewed people who used green design and construction for vertical construction and found it paid back with reduced operations and maintenance costs.

More than 170 students have graduated in the decade since – many successfully competing for promotion and new assignments within USACE, other federal agencies and the

“Now the question is whether that applies to horizontal civil works design and construction. It’s possible that if we build a project to be sustainable it may be more cost effective throughout


the life of the project,” Bremner said. The class recommended that USACE partner with the American Society of Civil Engineers and SPD’s Sustainable Engineering Center to develop accredited standards and a numeric rating system. The class’ project is exactly the kind of work the course is supposed to prepare each individual participant to do by themselves, Donahue said. “Our goal is to give you the skills, knowledge and attributes you need to become senior leaders in the Corps, the Army, and the federal government,” Donahue said. “We are extremely proud of you.”

The 12 graduates include five planners, two project managers, two public affairs specialists, one regulator, one hydrologist, and one work force specialist from the Division and its four districts South Pacific Division Scott Nielsen Heidi Liebel Albuquerque District Kelly Allen Tamara Massong Sacramento District Katie Huff Bob Kidd Karin Lee Los Angeles District Marriah Abellera Steve Frost Heather Schlosser San Francisco District Allison Bremner Caleb Conn

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Corps awards $125.9 million contract for Joint Federal Project at Folsom Dam

Story by Tyler Stalker, Photos by Michael J. Nevins Public Affairs Office The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District awarded a $125.9 million contract Sept. 24 to Granite Construction Company of Watsonville, Calif., to build the control structure for the new auxiliary spillway at Folsom Dam. The contract award, which came in more than $70 million below initial government estimates, marks the start of the third phase of the Joint Federal Project, a partnership between the Corps and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to improve the dam and reduce the Sacramento region’s flood risk. “Today’s contract announcement is great news for the people of Sacramento,” said U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento). “The Joint Federal Project has come a long way since 2005. This additional spillway next to Folsom Dam is a crucial project and will reduce the flood risk for much of

Top Photo: Construction on the auxiliary spillway at Folsom Dam May 14, 2010. Below Photo: Artist rendition of the completed auxiliary spillway.

Sacramento, providing a 200-year level of protection in a cost-effective manner. “The project team has done a tremendous job; the region can be proud of their efforts. And I am committed to continue to work with the Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, California Department of Water Resources and the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency to ensure this project gets done.” The Corps will oversee construction of the control structure, with work expected to begin in January 2011 and continue for 45 months, including nine months of additional excavation. The project’s first two phases, completing most of the site excavation, were managed by the Bureau of Reclamation. “This award marks a very important step towards reducing flood risk along

the entire lower American River,” Corps project manager Jason Magness said. “We’re excited to take the reins from the Bureau of Reclamation and continue to make progress.” The Corps is also moving forward with the design of the remaining phases. In the fourth phase, the Corps will build a 3,000-foot spillway chute and stilling basin, which will slow water leaving the dam to a level that can be contained by downstream levees. Lastly, the Corps will build a 1,100-foot approach channel connecting the new spillway to the dam. Together, the improvements will allow the dam to hold more water, and more safely release it when necessary. Three firms submitted sealed bids for the contract Sept. 20, with Granite Construction submitting the lowest bid. The firms submitting bids were Barnard-Shimmick Joint Venture of Bozeman, Mont., and Kiewit Pacific Co. of Concord, Calif.

The Raptor’s

Corps-built F-22 facility opens at Hill Air Force Base Story and Photos by Carlos J. Lazo Public Affairs Office

U.S. Sen. Robert Bennett, U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop and other representatives from the state of Utah joined U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Andrew E. Busch, commander of the Ogden Air Logistics Center, and other Air Force and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers representatives for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a new F-22 facility Sept. 9. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District built the $39.2 million facility, officially known as the F-22 Fuel Composite Overhaul Test Facility. “As a senator from Utah, I am grateful


that Hill is growing,” said Bennett. The 75,000 square-foot facility will be primarily used for painting, and was built to fully accommodate the F-22 aircraft, known as the Raptor. “This building is here because of teamwork,” said Busch. “This is an excellent example of teamwork that is needed to be able to sustain the Air Force for the next several generations.” The facility includes three paint booths, a maintenance bay and administrative and supply offices.

Each paint booth is capable of housing on F-22 aircraft and is supported by machines that allow for the complete control of the atmosphere inside the booth. The temperature, humidity and airflow are all monitored by the machines, providing the pristine conditions for painting. “They control the environment inside to make the painting application for the composite paint,” said Jason Redeen, project engineer with the

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New Home

Workers will be able to select a tool from a list, and the machines within the room will find and provide the tool to the worker. Sacramento District’s Utah resident office. “It’s one of a kind for the F-22.” The resident office oversaw the construction of the facility. The facility’s maintenance bay includes a three-ton crane and a completely mechanized tool room.

Safety was also an important part of the design of the facility. “Because this is a fueled aircraft hanger – aircraft come in here fueled – it poses a hazard for explosive reasons,” said Redeen. “We have a foam dump system. It’s like a secondary fire protection system.” Each paint booth and the maintenance

bay have large ducts in the ceiling that deliver the fire-retardant foam. The ducts have two doors or openings, which prevent paint fumes from entering the foam dump system during normal operations. In the event of a fire, the doors would open simultaneously, one dumping foam and one pulling air out. During testing, the foam system performed extremely well.

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District employees recognized at annual Summer Leaders Conference Story and Photos by Katrina Natividad Public Affairs Office

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District’s program manager for the American River Watershed Program, Creg Hucks (center), accepts the Ronald J. Ruffennach Communicator of the Year award from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commander Lt. Gen. Robert L. “Van” Van Antwerp (left) and Command Sgt. Maj. Micheal L. Buxbaum at the Corps’ annual Summer Leaders Conference in Seattle Aug. 2. Hucks received the award for his work in establishing a multi-agency communications team to ensure the Corps and its partners communicated effectively with the public and stakeholders about the program.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District’s Utah resident office resident engineer, Timothy Willard (center), accepts the Construction Management Excellence award from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commander Lt. Gen. Robert L. “Van” Van Antwerp (left) and Command Sgt. Maj. Micheal L. Buxbaum at the Corps’ annual Summer Leaders Conference in Seattle Aug. 2. Willard and his team completed $165 million in military construction projects at Army and Air Force installations throughout Utah.

Sacramento District’s 2010 Regulator of the Year Story by Michael Jewell, Photo courtesy of Reece James Regulatory Division Nathan Green, a senior project manager in Grand Junction, Utah, is the recipient of the 2010 Randy Snyder Regulatory Excellence Award. Green is recognized for his outstanding service from January 2009 to December 2009 in support of the Sacramento District’s regulatory mission. During that time, Green demonstrated an exceptional level of customer service and teamwork, while successfully balancing the needs of the public and strong protection of the aquatic environment. His ability to work with others, along with his solid knowledge and skills, served the District well in resolving many complex regulatory permit and enforcement issues in Colorado and Utah. The Regulator of the Year award was established in July 2002 to honor the memory of Randy Snyder, who was killed in a tragic automobile accident. Snyder served as a regulatory project manager in the Grand Junction office for nearly 10 years prior to his death.


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A General conversation South Pacific Division commander sits down with local partners to discuss water initiatives Story and Photos by Carlos J. Lazo Public Affairs Office

Representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, San Joaquin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office, the California State Assembly and other local districts met in Stockton, Calif., Aug. 17 to discuss flood risk reduction and water initiatives in San Joaquin County.

ground to get a better appreciation of what the Corps and our partners and stakeholders are dealing with,” said Donahue, “it helps me to understand and convey those same messages.” Corps Sacramento District representatives also participated in the meeting, which was held at the Robert J. Cabral Agricultural Center. Alicia Kirchner, chief of planning for the Sacramento District, was part of a Delta discussion panel, which fielded questions from the audience on flood risk reduction issues in and around the California Bay Delta.

Top Photo: Brig. Gen. Scott F. “Rock” Donahue, South Pacific Division commander.

During the event, Donahue was briefed on ongoing projects and studies in the county to reduce flood risk.

“We have a couple of feasibility studies underway,” said Kirchner. “The Delta Islands and Levees Feasibility Study - being cost-shared currently with the State of California and the Lower San Joaquin River feasibility study, which

Right Photo: Michelle Williams, project manager for the Lower San Joaquin River Feasibility Study.

“Anytime I can get on the

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Organized by the San Joaquin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, the event hosted Brig. Gen. Scott F. “Rock” Donahue, commander of the Corps’ South Pacific Division, and included a tour of local flood projects in and around Stockton and other San Joaquin County cities.

Alicia Kirchner speaks to the audience during a Delta discussion panel.


Ground broken on new child development center project at Army Depot San Joaquin Captions and Photos by Todd Plain Public Affairs Office Above: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District representative Larry Smith (far right) joined installation commander U.S. Marine Corps Col. Adrian W. Burke (center) to break ground on a new child development center at the Defense Distribution Depot – San Joaquin Aug. 17. The 8,000-square-foot facility, with construction overseen by the Sacramento District, will meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification standards. “It is comforting knowing that the parents of these children do not have to worry about their children while they are performing their mission here at the depot,” Burke said. The CDC “will house 45-50 infant through pre-school aged children,” Corps project manager Duane Balch said. Expected completion of the center is late 2011. Left: Sacramento District chief of military construction programs Steve Saepoff (center) shares a smile with Defense Logistics Agency installation support site director Rod Tatman (left) and Col. Burke.

U.S. Rep. praises Sacramento District’s Utah resident office for work at Hill

Caption and Photo by Carlos J. Lazo Public Affairs Office From left to right; Shirley Marquise, administrative assistant; David Smeraldo, chief construction inspector for the resident office; Anthony Joseph, construction inspector; Jason Redeen, resident engineer; Brett Kearl, civil engineer; Adam Ashton, construction inspector; Fred Nightengale, project engineer; Rob Moore, president of Big-D Construction, Inc.; Timothy Willard, resident engineer; U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, Utah’s 1st District; Norbert Suter, construction branch chief; and Julito Ganchero, structural engineer.


The Prospector Regulatory project managers inform, educate at public meeting

Story and Photo by Hunter Merritt Public Affairs Office U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District regulatory division project managers (from left to right) Krystel Bell, Lisa Gibson, Angela Conn and Jinnah Benn informed the public about the Corps’ role in the Folsom South of Highway 50 Specific Plan Area/Annexation Project at the Folsom community center in Folsom, Calif. Aug 2. The project aims to develop more than 3,500 acres for residential and commercial use. The Corps is the lead federal agency involved in preparing an environmental impact statement for the project, which could affect more than 38 acres of wetlands. Agencies and officials from the City of Folsom were on hand during the meeting to answer questions about the proposed development.

Corps reaches out, discusses flood risk reduction measures at Cosgrove Creek Story and Photo by Todd Plain Public Affairs Office U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District flood risk manager Kim Carsell (left) discusses flood risk reduction measures for the Cosgrove Creek watershed area with an attendee during a public meeting in Valley Springs, Calif., Aug. 11. The Corps, along with other state and federal agencies, held the meeting to seek input from local residents and stakeholders of Valley Springs, La Contenta and Rancho Calaveras over flooding issues at Cosgrove Creek. The county has been working with the Corps and other agencies since 2004, looking into several flood risk reduction, ecosystem restoration and recreation options for the

creek. Joining Carsell at the meeting were Virginia Rynk, planning section chief, and Beth Henderson, project manager. “It’s very important that we hear from the public,” Carsell said. “We are asking business and property owners to look at our maps and show us where they have experienced flooding and to point out specific geographic locations where they suggest some fixes would be effective.” The next scheduled public meeting is scheduled for January 2011.


Lieutenant Col. Andrew Kiger (left), deputy commander for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District, joined Col. Jenny McGee (third from left), commander of the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, Lt. Col. Mark Shoviak (second from right), commander of the 9th Civil Engineer Squadron, and other Beale representatives to cut the ribbon during the ceremony.

New UAV facility officially opened Story and Photos by Carlos J. Lazo - Public Affairs Office A ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the official opening of the new Distributed Common Ground Systems – Two (DCGS-2) building was held at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., Aug. 25. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District was responsible for building the 88,000-square-foot building, used primarily for unmanned aerial vehicle operations around the world by the Air Force. Lt. Col. Andrew Kiger, deputy commander of the Sacramento District, joined Col. Jenny McGee, commander of the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Group, to officially open the building during the event. “We have this building thanks to the vision, tenacity, and great planning and construction work of so many,” said McGee. “And to the Army Corps of Engineers for contracting and oversight.”


Doug Betz, quality assurance representative with the Sacramento District, managed construction of the $27.3 million building. Some of the features in the building include the use of accessed flooring, said Betz. “It’s a raised floor,” said Betz, “so they can do all of the computer wiring and everything underneath the floor.” Separate generators ensure operations in the building are never compromised due to electrical outages. Switch gears were incorporated into the design of the building to accommodate this feature, said Betz. Around 1,500 workstations, with about 235 miles of fiber optic cables to support them, run through the building. These workstations are used for a multitude of UAV missions by the 548th ISR. According to their website, the 548th ISR mission includes the near real-time exploitation of U-2, Global Hawk and Predator unmanned aerial vehicles, national / commercial

imagery and signals intelligence to provide actionable, fused, all-source combat intelligence to theater, joint / combined force and component commanders. “This new building today enables us to exploit about five medium-altitude, full-motion video missions,” said McGee, “which is 40 percent more than our previous capacity, and 36 percent more high-altitude U-2 or Global Hawk missions.” McGee explained how the new building will support the 548th ISR with their mission not only in the continental U.S., but around the world. “Whether across the world – say in Afghanistan – in our own hemisphere – in Haiti – or even in our own state of California during wildfires,” said McGee. “This (building) means significantly more life-saving support to those in harm’s way – be they in armed conflict or in a humanitarian disaster.”

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District motor transport officer Jellies Machel tracks some of the 249 vehicles she manages for the district on her computer.

Ever have that feeling someone is watching you? Story and Photo by Todd Plain - Public Affairs Office Big Brother is watching you.

here; safety is number one.”

operations, Bayless said.

But only if you’re driving one of his cars.

Machel’s job is to monitor vehicle location, average speed, fuel efficiency, as well as dealer recalls and due maintenance. She can monitor vehicle transmissions from any computer with internet access and have the system e-mail her when certain values or milestones are reached, such as the vehicle’s “check engine” light turning on.

A memorandum dated April 13, 2010, introduced the new vehicle monitoring system as being able to help the district in achieving the goals set forth in right-sizing the fleet and controlling emissions in addition to supporting the USACE Campaign Plan. The wireless vehicle management information system, the memo stated, offers safety and cost-saving benefits by monitoring vehicles 24/7, allowing the district to locate lost or stolen vehicles, and retrieve data such on vehicles’ fuel consumption, mileage and speed.

That is the sentiment shared by employees at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District, and what district motor transport officer Jellies Machel frequently hears. Some employees think Big Brother has now taken over U.S. General Services Administration vehicles leased by the district. But there is no sinister force out there, just a new and proactive program aimed at safety and efficiency. Sacramento District leases 249 vehicles from GSA, with 64 located in Sacramento. Of the total fleet, 51 of the vehicles have been equipped with a wireless GPS tracking and remote diagnostic tool. It’s basically a small box under the dashboard that uses GPS technology to transmit vehicle location and up to 300 various readings from the vehicle’s on-board computer.

This monitoring system keeps employees safer by assisting in correcting driving habits like speeding, diagnosing engine trouble and helping roadside assistance by transmitting a lost or stranded vehicle’s location. The system also saves money by helping the Corps take proactive actions on maintenance and avoiding costly major repairs down the road.

Over 80 percent of the networked vehicles are located at district headquarters in Sacramento.

Sue Bayless, Sacramento District chief of logistics management, said that in addition to safety, the data gathered saves the district money through properly maintaining vehicles. “First of all, for the service of the vehicles, it’s going to make it better for (Machel) because, when the service is due, it’s right there.”

“Whatever you need to know about a vehicle’s status, you can detect with the system. It helps me with my job, and makes things safer for our driving employees,” Machel said. “So for me, I don’t see it that way (Big Brother watching)… we have to help each other

The district can also right-size the fleet by tracking the amount of time vehicles remain idle. If they aren’t being used, maybe the district doesn’t need them in the fleet. These benefits can only be realized by monitoring and tracking information on every aspect of vehicle

The proclaimed benefits and cost savings of deploying the system did not keep some district employees from being upset about being monitored and bringing complaints to the district’s employee council, though. Just six days after the memo was released, Sacramento District deputy commander, Lt. Col. Andrew Kiger, sent an e-mail to every employee addressing concerns raised. “The decision to implement the system was not at all an attempt to infringe on anyone’s privacy or due to lack of trust with our employees,” Kiger said in his e-mail. One concern was that networked ve-

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hicles exceeding the speed limit would show up on a report.

“He’s right,” said Len Bileti, a fleet service representative for GSA.

to be a danger to ourselves or to the public that we serve.”

Machel does in fact produce a monthly report for Kiger, but he said the report’s purpose is not to target individuals.

“Individual customers (like the Corps) monitor their own vehicles—not GSA. It’s only your agency that determines what information they want to keep track of.”

The system is too new for the district to make sweeping reforms.

“We don’t plan on using the data to personally go after anyone—it’s there to help us improve the maintenance and safety of the fleet,” Kiger said. “We plan on looking at (the data) quarterly, to see if we have any issues or problems. If we see a vehicle showing multiple problems or going too fast, all we are going to do is inform the division chiefs and let them handle it.” Kiger added that the Corps is the only agency tracking the data—not an outside federal agency.

Not all of that information concerns employees equally. “How fast the vehicle is going and where the vehicle is at all times,” Kiger said. “I guess those are the things that concern people the most.” He said he understands that concern, but at the end of the day, safety comes first. “We serve the public; we don’t want

The district is still informing drivers when they are driving a monitored vehicle by placing informational stickers in the networked vehicles and communicating directly with agency points of contact. The monitoring network is not free, said Kiger, but he sees the value in such a system. “There is an acceptable cost for the program. I think the expense of possibly keeping just one of us from having an accident is worth it.”

Dutch official learns U.S. water management perspectives Story and Photo by Hunter Merritt Public Affairs Office U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District civil engineer Mark Boedtker (left) and water resource planner Andrew Muhs (middle) provided a tour of the Joint Federal Project at Folsom Dam to Alwin Nijuis (right), senior area manager from the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, Rijkswaterstaat Zuid-Holland Oct. 6 in Folsom, Calif. The purpose of Mr. Nijuis’ seven-week visit from the Netherlands was to learn about the relationships between local, state, and federal agencies in the U.S. involved in water management. He spent a week with Sacramento District water management experts and branch chiefs to gain a federal perspective on water management in California.


District ranger educates parks, recreation students on federal jobs Story and Photo by Hunter Merritt - Public Affairs Office U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District senior district ranger Jonathan Friedman (pictured above) talked about internships, the government pay structure and federal job opportunities in recreation to more than 25 undergraduate majors in the recreation, parks and tourism department at California State UniversitySacramento Oct. 14. Students were surprised to learn that the Department of the Army hires civilians, and that student internships are available through programs such as the Student Career Experience Program. “I am glad to see such excitement and hear these questions from parks and recreation students,” said Friedman. “It’s inspiring to talk with the next generation of park professionals.”

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Quiet on the set! Behind the Scenes on the O-Plan update video, SPK News and R. Burgundy Photos and Photo illustration by Michael J. Nevins and Carlos J. Lazo Public Affairs Office

Above: Todd “Rodd Burgundy” Plain takes a break from filming as DeDe “Veronica Cornerstone” Cordell prepares for the next segment.

Below: John Prettyman deals with Rodd’s technical difficulties.

Right: Rodd adjusts his trademark moustache.


Where the wind blows

First windmill on an Army post takes shape at Tooele Army Depot thanks to Sacramento District’s Utah resident office Photos by Doug Bullock Utah Resident Office


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Corps’ New Hogan Lake hosts river education day Story and Photo by Chris Gray-Garcia Public Affairs Office

Where the Calaveras River runs behind A.A. Stagg Senior High School, in Stockton, Calif., it is a tamed, urban channel. Stagg senior Patrick Woodbury had never seen its source. One of about 50 students from Stagg exploring the river upstream at the Corps’ New Hogan Dam Sept. 11, for Calaveras River Education and Appreciation Day, he was seeing it in a wilder state for the first time. “I had no idea it looked like this,” he said. Paid for by a grant through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Connecting People with Nature program, the educational event was designed to help students understand connections between the river’s watershed and ecosystem, and the human relationship to it. “Connecting these students with nature was the goal here,” New Hogan Lake park ranger Gary Basile said. “It was a great opportunity to talk to these kids about the environment in their back yard, and expose them to careers in natural resources management. The students got to hear from so many of us who are involved with preserving

this river, and we got a chance to get some perspective and catch up with our fellow agencies.” The Calaveras River pools at the Corps’ New Hogan Dam before flowing on into Stockton, the city’s main water supply. On nature walks led by biologists from Fish and Wildlife, the Fishery Foundation of California and Friends of the Lower Calaveras River, and Corps park rangers, students learned about the river’s native animal and plant life, and the lifecycle of one of its imperiled species, the salmon. For Kari Burr, a biologist with the Fishery Foundation of California, one important lesson for the students to understand is how their water-use affects the salmon. “It’s really important that they understand the life cycle of these fish (salmon), that they may not have realized are swimming through their back yard,” she said. “They don’t think about this stuff unless they see it. When they do, it gives them some ownership of this resource. If you don’t know it’s out here, how can you give a darn?”

Stagg biology teacher Marcus Sherman said the event was a unique opportunity to expose his students to the environment outside of the city. “Many of these kids have never seen a native river location. It runs right behind the school, but they have no idea it could look like what it does here,” he said. “There are careers in the outdoors. And it’s something they should think about, and understand the things that are right outside their doors.” Donnie Ratcliff, event organizer and FWS fish biologist, said he also wanted to motivate the students to think about careers in natural resources management. But the big lesson, he agreed, was that people and nature are connected. “If all it does it make them think before they open the faucet that the water comes from somewhere, that this watershed has a lot of purposes,” he said, “they might be a little more thoughtful about their water use.” Above: Kari Burr (right), senior biologist with the Fishery Foundation of California.


Volunteers celebrate, improve public lands Story by Hunter Merritt Public Affairs Office

Above: Volunteers clean a stop sign at Hensley Lake Sept. 25, as part of National Public Lands Day. (Photo by Chris Gray-Garcia) Below: Jason Faridi (right), senior park ranger at Stanislaus River Parks, leads volunteers along a trail near the Stanislaus River Sept. 25. (Photo by Carlos J. Lazo) Nearly 1,200 volunteers joined park rangers and staff at eight U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District parks in central California to celebrate the 17th annual National Public Lands Day Sept. 25 with cleanup efforts and dozens of park improvement projects. Together, they planted trees, completed erosion control and bank stabilization work, built trails, removed litter and invasive species, improved wildlife habitats and rehabilitated playgrounds. “Our volunteers are an enormous help to us on National Public Lands Day,” said Jonathan Friedman, Sacramento District senior district park ranger. “Together, we’re able to accomplish weeks’ worth of improvement and beautification


work in a single day, making our parks even better places to visit, and reconnecting us all with our shared natural heritage.” The Corps has been involved with National Public Lands Day since its inception in 1994 and has consistently been one of the largest providers of sites and volunteers participating in the event. This year’s celebration also supported President Barack Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, an effort to promote the conservation of outdoor spaces and reconnect Americans to the outdoors. “An event like this, what it means for us, is that people actually care about their parks that they are recreating in,”

The Prospector said Jason Faridi, senior park ranger at Stanislaus River Parks. “They care about the resources out there. They take some ownership in it. So they want to come out and help in an event like this. Rather than just using it up, they want to contribute to it.” Volunteers came to support the parks and celebrate the day, but they did not leave empty handed. Each volunteer received a free day-use admission pass valid anytime in the next year at any park managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or Bureau of Land Management. National Public Lands Day also served to teach the value of civic engagement to young stewards of public lands, said some volunteers.

Above: A volunteer spreads soil onto one of 16 newly planted trees at New Hogan Lake Sept. 25 during National Public Lands Day. (Photo by Carlos J. Lazo)

“Without public lands, our scouts would have no place to go learn about the outdoors,” said Don Dauro, father of a scout volunteering at Hensley Lake with Boy Scouts of America Troop 314. “Here they’re learning the value of community service, and taking care of a place that belongs to them.”

Right: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District park ranger Todd Hatch installs a retaining wall during National Public Lands Day at Pine Flat Lake Sept. 25. (Photo by Adam Thompson) Left: Volunteers help clean a trail during National Public Lands Day at Black Butte Lake Sept. 25. Park rangers and more than 20 volunteers celebrated the day with cleanup efforts at the park. (Photo by William Miller)

Above: Volunteers help clean a campground during National Public Lands Day at Englebright Lake Sept. 25. More than 55 volunteers celebrated the day with cleanup efforts at the lake, which yielded more than 300 pounds of trash. (Photo by Hunter Merritt)

Download these photos and more at our Flickr site: photos/sacramentodistrict


-SAN JOAQUIN (page 18) is looking at the Stockton area.” Joining Kirchner was Mike Mahoney, chief of construction operations for the Sacramento District, who took part in a levee discussion panel, and Michelle Williams, project manager for the Lower San Joaquin River feasibility study, who briefed on the study’s evaluation and milestones. Following the meeting and discussion panels, a tour was provided to all attendees of ongoing and proposed projects in the county. The tour included stops at the Stockton East Water District’s Farmington Ground Water Recharge Project; the proposed location of the Smith Canal Project; Reclamation District 17’s Department of Water Early Implementation Project; and Bypass/EcoSystem Restoration at Paradise Cut.

-RAPTOR (page 17) “It covered the entire floor with a meter deep (of foam) within one minute,” said Redeen. The facility is fully operational and work will begin immediately, with the first aircraft coming in for paint within weeks. As impressive as the $39.2 million facility is, it is only the beginning. The facility is phase one of a twophase complex planned for the base. The second phase consists of a $45 million, 90,000-square-foot facility, which is already under construction. This second facility will add an additional paint booth, three maintenance bays, administrative and supply offices, and a blast booth. The blast booth will be used to remove old paint from the aircraft prior to painting. A robotic system within the booth will spray planes down and take off all of the old paint,

said Redeen. “They can then tow the plane out of the blast booth and into one of the paint booths.” This will allow for a one-stop shop for the F-22, said Redeen. “From stripping the plane, painting the plane, to maintenance on the plane. Everything will be right here (at Hill),” said Redeen. “This building is significant not just for Hill, not just for the military and civilian workforce who are here, as well as to the state,” said Bishop. “It is also significant to the nation. “For over half a century, this country has dominated the skies throughout the world. This facility will be maintaining the vehicle that we need to maintain that dominance and maintain our future.” The entrance to the new facility.

The event provided an update on current water initiatives in the county to all attendees, “as well as building and enhancing the relationship with our local stakeholders,” said Williams.

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-GUY WEST (page 9) of the classroom. “It’s so vital and important to see what those numbers that you’re calculating and plugging in (in class) – what they actually mean, and what they look like.” The project aims to install cutoff walls more than 70 feet deep into two, 450-feet stretches of American River levees, reducing the risk of flood waters seeping through or under them. “I hope that the students that got to see this really benefitted from this,” Wagner said. “From talking to the students, they all had a great time,” England said. “They actually want to see more of this.” The opportunity to provide a glimpse into the real-world use of engineering, especially on an on-going high-visibility project like Guy West Bridge, was what motivated Wagner the most. “Having just graduated about a year ago, I feel that being on site, getting a real intimate knowledge of construction and engineering practices is really the way to get students excited and get them involved,” Wagner said. “This is a way to introduce the next leaders to construction and engineering.” Top Photo: Shauna England, civil engineer, looks over ongoing construction at the Guy West Bridge. Above Photo: Joshua Wagner, quality assurance representative on the American River Common Features project, and Shauna England. Left Photo: Michelle Lockhart (left) and Jacqueline Steiner, civil engineers with the Sacramento District.






4 9

6 6 1 8 4 9 7 1 7

3 1 7 6 8 4 9 4 5 3 8 Difficulty:


3 6

Sudoku Challenge 5 2

1 9 5 8

6 2 7 1 2 6 3 5

9 3 4 8 7 5 6 4 4 9 3 5

9 2





Fill in the game board so that the numbers 1 through 9 occur exactly once in each row, column, and 3x3 box. The numbers can appear in any order and diagonals are not considered. Your initial game board will consist of several numbers that are already placed. Those numbers cannot be changed. Your goal is to fill in the empty squares following the simple rule above.



Summer Caption Winner

“Just brush your magic wand on my wounded hand so I can get back to the battle - Thanks!�

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Picture Challenge

Can you spot all the differences between these photos? Summer Picture Challenge Answers


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District 1325 J. Street Sacramento, CA 95814

What caption would you give this photo? It goes from zero to ‘well done’ in just under five seconds. Send your caption ideas to The top captions will be printed in the next issue of The Prospector. Send in any funny or interesting photograph and we may use it for a future caption challenge.

The Prospector - Fall 2010 edition  

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District quarterly magazine. Fall 2010 edition.