February 16th, 2012

Corps helps communities recover and rebuild

Corps of Engineers Quality Assurance Inspector Steve Hart (left) discusses the private property debris removal operation with QA Supervisor Glen Locke (right) June 21 at a home site near the Joplin High School, which can be seen in the background.

According to recent information from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2011 was a record year for weather/climate disasters, with the highest number of events exceeding $1 billion in damages since 1980. Last year there were three times more disaster declarations than in a normal year, including tornadoes and severe spring storms, significant flooding throughout much of the country, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

This meant that it was also a year which tested the Corps’ disaster response capabilities, with personnel and teams responding to 22 events worldwide in 2011, the busiest year for the program since 2005, when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast. USACE spent approximately $1 billion on emergency operations this year.

In 2011, some 2,400 USACE personnel and 22 Planning and Response Teams (PRT) deployed in support of FEMA and the National Response Framework. Their missions included temporary power, debris removal, installation of concrete pads for temporary housing units, and temporary replacement of critical public facilities such as schools, health clinics and fire stations.

The districts in our Mississippi Valley Division and Northwest Division were also heavily engaged throughout most of the past year managing record high water levels along the Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Red and Souris rivers, for a much longer duration than normal. Our flood risk reduction systems were operated at their maximum capacity, some for the first time ever. The systems performed as designed, and thousands of communities were spared. We are working now to make necessary repairs and restore these systems to their original operating capacities.

Whether operating in the aftermath of floodwaters, tornados, hurricanes or any other disaster, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a vital part of the federal team helping communities recover and rebuild.

Posted by underCivil Works, Emergency Response | Comments (4)

December 12th, 2011

Small businesses a vital part of the team

Maj. Gen. Merdith W.B. (Bo) Temple addresses the audience at the 2011 SAME Small Business Conference in Washington, D.C.

Did you know that small businesses in the U.S. represent 99 percent of all employer firms, and employ about half of all private sector employees? Small businesses have generated 65 percent of the net new jobs over the past 17 years, and hire 43 percent of high tech workers, including scientists, engineers, computer programmers and others.

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) understands the importance of small businesses. In Fiscal Year 2011, 42.5 percent of all USACE contract obligations were awarded to small businesses at a total value of $8.1 billion. I am very proud that our teams not only met but exceeded our assigned goals this year in every category, including awards to Small Disadvantaged, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned, Women-Owned and HUBZone businesses.

Recently, Corps leaders and our hard-working acquisition professionals, as well as their counterparts from other Department of Defense (DOD) agencies, participated in the Society of Military Engineers’ annual Small Business Conference for DOD Engineering, Construction and Environmental Programs. This event and others like it offer small businesses vital information and training to prepare them to work with the government, while allowing us to learn how their companies can help the Corps serve the military and the Nation.

If you take a look back at what the Corps has accomplished over the past year, you will see clearly the importance of our small business and industry partners. After five years of intense effort, we met our commitments to deliver $11 billion of Base Realignment and Closure projects to our military customers and provide 100-year risk reduction to the citizens of New Orleans with the massive $14 billion Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System. Our teams were on the ground this year helping communities recover from tornadoes and hurricanes and managing historic flooding throughout much of the country. Where the Corps has served our Nation, small businesses have played a vital role. The same is true overseas, where we are reaching out and working with local contractors in Europe, Asia and Afghanistan to build Host Nation Capacity.

It takes the whole team – USACE and our federal partners, state and local agencies, tribal nations, special interest groups, academia and industry – to deliver sustainable engineering solutions and the Small Business community is a very important part of our success.

Posted by underAfghanistan, Civil Works, Contingency Operations, Contracting, Emergency Response, Gulf Coast Recovery, Iraq, Military Programs, Partnership, Small Business | Comments (4)

November 9th, 2011

A Year of Helping People

2011 was a busy year for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as we executed more than $40 billion and served the Army and the Nation, both at home and abroad.   To find out more about our work this year, check out this video featuring Acting Commanding General and Acting Chief of Engineers Major General Merdith W. B. (Bo) Temple.



YouTube DoDLive

 

Posted by underAfghanistan, Civil Works, Contingency Operations, Gulf Coast Recovery, Iraq, Uncategorized | Comments (0)

November 1st, 2011

Corps delivers on BRAC ’05 mission

September marked the deadline for delivering projects in the Army Base Realignment and Closure 2005 (BRAC ‘05) plan. BRAC ’05, an $18 billion investment and the largest military construction program since World War II, provided an unprecedented one-time opportunity for reshaping how the Army trains, deploys, supplies and equips garrisons.

The Corps executed the facilities portion of Army BRAC ‘05, which includes 274 of 329 MILCON projects valued at $11 billion (The National Guard executed the remaining 55). These projects included everything from hospitals and four-star headquarters to training facilities and massive office complexes. Fulfilling our BRAC mission was a Corps-wide effort and thousands of our employees, in coordination with our contractors and military customers, were involved in designing and constructing sustainable, cost-effective facilities for our Armed Forces and they did so safely, on time and within budget.

Over the past six years, fiscal years 2006 – 2011, the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Military Construction programs have managed projects valued at $93 billion in support of the Army, Air Force, Defense Department, Overseas Contingency Operations, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, BRAC and Energy Conservation Investment Program. The Corps was able to do this because we had the right people with the right capabilities, and we had the flexibility to adapt our acquisition and delivery methods.

The BRAC program has been a great learning experience for USACE, and we are now better postured to meet the challenges of future missions in this complex, resource-constrained environment. I am very proud that the Corps is Building Strong for the Army and the Nation.

Essayons!
Temple

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District managed the design and construction of a $304M state-of-the-art headquarters facility for the Army Forces Command and Army Reserves Command at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Posted by underMilitary Programs, Uncategorized | Comments (2)

February 18th, 2011

BUILDING STRONG as One Team

Booker T. Washington, the foremost black educator of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, once said, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” As we celebrate Black History Month, let us take this opportunity to highlight the struggles, accomplishments, and successes that African-American’s have made to our society and Army.

African-Americans have served with distinction in the American military since the opening salvos of the Revolutionary War. Hundreds of thousands of black troops fought for their freedom during the Civil War, and during World War I approximately 40,000 African-American Engineers helped secure the Allied victory.  In fact, during World War II, 42% of all engineer units were African-American, performing incredible support missions such as building airfields, maintaining roads, repairing bridges, and building hospitals across Europe and the Pacific.

Closer to home, the Army sent African-American engineers to Alaska and Canada to help build the crucial Alaskan Highway, a 1,500-mile-road that would connect Alaska to the United States, enabling our military to channel troops, tanks, and aircraft to Alaska to bolster American defenses against Japanese operations in the Aleutian Islands. 

We’ve come a long way since World War II. As of 2008, African-American Soldiers made up 19.8 percent of the Active Duty Army, 13.3 percent of the National Guard and 22.1 percent of the Army Reserve.

As our Army has matured in how we regard diversity, our Country is still experiencing a shortage of engineers of all backgrounds, particularly among our youth.  Last year, we partnered with a school system in Los Angeles to provide valuable mentoring and leadership to more than 20,000 students.  And just this past September, we contracted with MYI Consulting to help us broaden and diversify our science, technology, engineering and math education and outreach nationwide. 

Our young Americans hold the future of our Nation in their hands, and we owe each of them the opportunity to realize their dreams. That’s just one way we’re BUILDING STRONG.

Van

Posted by underHistory, Miscellaneous "neat stuff" | Comments (0)

February 14th, 2011

President Releases USACE Civil Works Budget

President Obama released the 2012 Civil Works budget today, which outlines the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ non-military funded programs and projects for next year.

Click here for a state-by-state breakdown of the FY 12 Army Civil Works Budget: http://www.usace.army.mil/cecw/pid/pages/cecwm_progdev.aspx

This budget provides an effective pathway for us to help create jobs, support economic development and global competitiveness, and restore and protect critical and vital aquatic ecosystems. It also reflects the realities of our Nation’s fiscal status. As with other federal agencies across government, this year’s budget is less than in prior years, and it is up to us to ensure that we use the funds with which we are entrusted in the most efficient and effective ways possible…and we will!

The greatest percentage of our resources will be used on projects that provide the highest returns on the Nation’s investment. This includes Dam Safety projects that are in the greatest need of repair — we have 692 dams that we either operate or own — projects that will reduce the risk of loss of life, projects that will mitigate environmental losses and advance a number of our environmental missions, and on-going projects that we can complete or make significant progress on with these funds.

We have 92 construction projects in the FY12 budget. This includes 55 flood and storm damage reduction projects, 19 aquatic ecosystem restoration projects, 16 navigation-related projects, and two hydropower mitigation projects.

About 34 percent of the budget supports the nation’s inland waterways and coastal navigation network, which is particularly important when you consider that nearly $2 trillion worth of trade travels up, down, in, and out of U.S. harbors and waterways. The efficient and effective movement of waterborne cargo is a critical component of the national economy, because it reduces the costs of goods and services for American consumers and supports the global competitiveness. The budget also supports projects and studies for a number of significant aquatic ecosystems, including South Florida and the Everglades.

FY 2012 will be an exciting year in our efforts to provide valuable engineering services to our Nation. We are fully committed to supporting the President’s priorities to secure the homeland, revitalize the economy, and restore and protect the environment. We are proud to serve this great Nation, and we look forward to our continued mission of BUILDING STRONG.

Best,

Van

BUILDING STRONG®

Posted by underCivil Works, Contingency Operations, Levees, Locks and Dams | Comments (1)

February 7th, 2011

Delivering on Sustainability

A crane operator from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers San Francisco District drift removal team lifts out pieces of a dilapidated pier just off the coast of San Pablo Bay, Calif.

Many people have heard me use the term “building to last” when talking about the need for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to use the talents and innovation within our organization to help preserve our planet and build our Army and our Nation strong.

Because of our diverse and global mission, we have a unique opportunity to make a significant impact on the sustainability of our global resources and the security of our Nation. We’re working hard to improve efficiencies in our facilities and vehicles, increasing our use of renewable energy, and improving water use and management. We’re looking across the entire organization, at all our missions and activities, both day-to-day and those planned for the future, to see where we can build upon existing sustainability initiatives and take advantage of new opportunities and technologies.

This week we’re delivering!!

At our San Francisco District we’re working with our partners at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to begin testing an almost 100 percent, non-petroleum fuel called B100. It can be used to power the vessels that range from debris vessels to towboats and all types in between. This week’s test is the first of several we’re running on vessels within our floating plant to see if this more sustainable option will set a new standard for how we’re working to build a more sustainable Corps.

We still have a little ways to go make sure we’re getting this right, but each journey starts with the first step!

Van

BUILDING STRONG®

Posted by underEnvironment/Sustainability , | Comments (3)

January 8th, 2011

Corps Plays Role in Cybersecurity

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is playing a key role in helping DoD and DHS increase our Nation’s cybersecurity. Our engineering, design and construction skills are helping build the important facilities that are needed to get the job done.

On Thursday, we began construction of a new $1.5 billion cybersecurity center at Camp Williams, Utah, which includes more than 100,000 square feet of computer space to help protect against cyber attacks. Not only will this facility help our Nation’s cybersecurity efforts, but it will also help energize the economy in an around Camp Williams by creating thousands of construction jobs and employ between 100 and 200 people once complete. In addition, we’re working hard to incorporate key sustainability elements to help reduce the facility’s impact to the environment.

Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, and it will require the efforts of all of us to help keep our Nation’s critical infrastructure secure, resilient and built to last. We can be proud to be a part of the cyber revolution.

BUILDING STRONG®

Van

Posted by underCybersecuirty, International and Interagency Services | Comments (2)

December 13th, 2010

Depending on Small Business

President Obama has called small business the “backbone of our economy.” At the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, we recognize the immense value that small businesses offer our Nation by creating jobs — they employ 50% of U.S. workers — and energizing local communities. We greatly depend on small businesses to help us provide value to the Nation through any number of projects and programs that support our military and civil works missions at home and in 39 nations around the world.

Last week, we were proud to participate in the Society of American Military Engineers’ Small Business Conference near Dallas, Texas. It gave us a chance for us to thank the small business community for the hard work they’ve done for our Nation this past year and hear from them what we can do to help make it easier to serve.

In 2010, they provided our Nation a tremendous value by executing more than $9.7 billion on USACE projects worldwide, including nearly $900 million of which was executed by small businesses owned by our disabled veterans. That’s building strong!

But these contracts are more than numbers on a ledger. They represent the innovation and determination of small business owners to help strengthen our Nation’s infrastructure and economy by developing and implementing environmentally sustainable solutions, constructing flood risk management projects, and developing programs that aim to energize our Nation’s youth in science, technology, engineering and math, to name just a few.

Small business are vital to meeting the engineering demands of our Country. We need them to continue to thrive so that they can share their expertise, ingenuity and energy to help build our Country STRONG!

Van

Posted by underContracting, Corps Projects, Employment, Infrastructure, Small Business , | Comments (7)

November 12th, 2010

USACE Labs Receive International Recognition

Our mission is to provide unique value to the nation through our engineering expertise, whether on the battlefield or at home. One of the key ways we do that is through innovative research — developing groundbreaking science and engineering solutions to help the Army and the Nation overcome an array of complex challenges facing our Nation and our Soldiers. We do this research in USACE labs around the country as part of our Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), which has been named one of the top Army R&D Laboratories for five of the last eight years.

We recently received another honor that I want to highlight because it represents international recognition of a generation’s worth of positive contributions to the science community. ERDC has been named the winner of the 2011 National Association of Corrosion Engineers International Distinguished Organization award for providing 35 years of advanced technologies for infrastructure corrosion prevention and control.

On the surface, preventing and controlling corrosion may not sound as flashy as inventing a new weapons system or missile. But corrosion–or the degradation of materials–can happen to the infrastructure of virtually everything we build, from the rebar in our concrete to the degradation of wood timbers in bridges. Therefore, by preventing material degradation, we preserve the integrity of a critical structure or facility. Some of our recent accomplishments include designing and implementing the world’s first large load capacity (88 tons) thermoplastic composite bridge — which is a bridge made from some 85,000 pounds of recycled plastics — at Fort Bragg, and the development of a specially coated rebar for use in concrete, a technology recently honored by R&D Magazine as one of world’s top 100 technology developments for 2010. These discoveries are vitally important in our work to building the Army and the Nation to last!

Words cannot express the pride I have for the men and women of ERDC who contribute their talents and ingenuity into helping our Army and Nation each day. I am proud to be part of such an amazing, talented and dedicated family of engineering professionals working together to help build our Nation strong!

–Van

Posted by underMiscellaneous "neat stuff", Research and Development , | Comments (1)