Archive for November, 2012

Reflections on Veterans Day

November 9th, 2012

In March 1865, with the Nation still fighting a divisive and bloody Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his second inaugural address.  Addressing the issue of reconciliation and reconstruction, he said:

“…Let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the Nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” 

President Lincoln’s speech reaffirmed the government’s obligation to care for those injured during the war and to provide for the families of those who perished on the battlefield.  Today those words – “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and orphan,” are the motto of our Department of Veterans Affairs, and are inscribed upon its headquarters in Washington D.C.

Men and women who serve represent a ‘band of brothers’ that chose military service for reasons that are not immediately understood by many.  They serve for this Nation, for their families and for each other.  They are proud, courageous and ask for very little in return.  Joining our fighting forces is a lifetime commitment, and as this Army video reminds us, “Once a Soldier, a Soldier for life.”  <>

Veterans Day offers us an opportunity to show our thanks to the 21 million living veterans who have served in our Nation’s Armed Forces and to honor those who served in generations past – in war and in peace, at home and abroad.  I also want to recognize the many Civilians who have served in combat zones alongside our uniformed military.  We hold a special memory for those Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and Civilians who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives for the freedoms we enjoy today. 

On behalf of all of us in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, I say ‘thank you’ to my fellow Soldiers, our Veterans and their Families.  We are forever grateful for your dedication and your service. 

 Essayons…Building Strong…Army Strong!

 Thomas P. Bostick

Lieutenant General, US Army      



U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues support to Sandy response efforts

November 6th, 2012
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It’s already been a week since Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast…we have never seen devastation of this scope in the Northeast.  Our hearts go out to the residents, including our Corps team members, whose lives and properties have been affected. 


SACE has more than 3000 employees from the North Atlantic Division with an additional 650 people deployed from other USACE divisions across the Nation engaged to support the response mission.Currently, USACE has more than 38 FEMA Mission Assignments exceeding a total of $134 million. 


Through FEMA’s National Response Framework, we are a part of the larger team effort that extends through all levels of governments – local, state, and federal, as well as non-governmental partners and volunteers.  The team is committed to bringing all available resources to quickly support those affected and to reduce the long-term impacts from this devastating storm. 


Over this past week, I’ve gone to New York and New Jersey to see first-hand the devastation there and meet with our amazing teams working on the ground.  They are doing an incredible job! 


USACE priorities continue to be temporary emergency power, de-watering at requested locations, debris removal and disaster recovery missions, and conducting post-storm site assessments.

  • We’re providing temporary power in multiple states with nearly 80 generator installations, and the requests continue to come in.  We have more than 300 generators staged at forward locations for these missions and have completed some 355 power assessments. 
  • We’re dewatering 14 critical locations in New York and New Jersey, as determined by local officials.  Between USACE and the local teams, we’ve completed pumping at seven locations.
  • We’ve deployed two USACE Infrastructure Assessment teams from Seattle and Buffalo Districts to begin their work.
  • Our debris teams are in ports, waterways and coastal areas in New Jersey and New York clearing debris along the Atlantic seaboard and getting commercial ports reopened.  Within the next 48 hours we will have 35 debris teams on the ground. 
  • Other Planning Response Teams are also assisting with debris management, commodities distribution, infrastructure assessment, temporary roofing, critical public facilities, water planning, and temporary housing. 
  • And, with the threat of more severe weather forecasted later this week, we’re also focused on repairing breaches and significant damage to coastal and shore protection projects in the area. 

As we transition from response to recovery, I am confident that the Soldiers and Civilians of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will continue to support the federal government’s response efforts in the Northeast as long as we are needed.  I am very proud to lead an extraordinary team of professionals dedicated to serving the Nation and their fellow citizens. 


Essayons…Building Strong…Army Strong!

  Thomas P. Bostick

Lieutenant General, US Army


LTG Bostick inspects flooded infrastructure in NJ

USACE Commanding General LTG Thomas P. Bostick inspects flooded infrastructure in New Jersey. (USACE Photo by Mary Markos)


Emergency Response