Pacesetter magazine

Material Information

Pacesetter magazine
Added title page title:
Southwestern Division Regional Pacesetter
United States -- Army. -- Corps of Engineers. -- Southwestern Division ( issuing body )
Place of Publication:
Dallas, TX
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Southwestern Division Public Affairs Office
Publication Date:
Bimonthly[ FORMER -2010]


serial ( sobekcm )
federal government publication ( marcgt )


Dates or Sequential Designation:
Ceased with: Spring 2015?
General Note:
Issues for 2005 called Issue 1-4. February 2006 called Vol. 2, No. 1

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University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
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This item is a work of the U.S. federal government and not subject to copyright pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §105.
Resource Identifier:
on10229 ( NOTIS )
1022947855 ( OCLC )
2018226639 ( LCCN )

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Digital Military Collection


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PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 1 OCTOBER 2009 VOL. 4, NO. 4 PA PA PA PA PA PA PA PA PA PA A P PA PA PA PA PA P PA PA PA PA A P A PA PA A CE CE CE CE CE CE CE E C C CE C C C E C C C CE CE CE CE CE C C E E E SE SE SE SE S S SE E SE SE E E E E SE S S E E E E E E E E E SE E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E S E E E E E S E E S E E E S S S S SE E S S E E E E S E E S E E E E T T T T T T T TT TT TT TT TT TT TT TT TT TT T T T T TT TT TT T TT T T T T T T T T T T T TT T TT T TT TT TT T T TT T T T T T T T T TT T TT T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T TT T T T T T T T T T T T E E E E ER ER ER ER R ER ER ER E ER ER ER R E E E ER E R E E E E E R E E E E E R R E E E E E R R R ER E ER ER R E E E R R R E E ER ER R ER R ER ER R R R R R E R E R R R R R O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O CT CT CT C CT C CT CT CT CT CT CT T CT CT CT T CT CT CT CT CT CT CT CT CT CT CT CT T T C CT CT T T CT T CT T T CT T CT CT T CT CT C C T C C CT C T OB OB OB OB OB OB OB OB OB OB OB OB OB OB O OB O OB OB OB OB O OB O O OB OB B B OB O O OB O OB OB OB B B OB O O B B B B B O O B B O B O B B O O ER ER ER ER ER ER ER ER E ER ER ER ER ER ER ER ER ER ER E ER R ER ER ER ER ER ER ER ER ER E R R E ER R ER E ER ER ER R ER R E E E E E R R 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 00 0 00 00 00 00 00 00 0 00 0 00 00 0 0 00 00 00 00 00 0 0 0 00 00 00 00 00 0 0 0 00 00 0 00 00 0 0 0 00 00 00 00 0 0 00 0 00 0 0 0 00 0 00 0 0 00 00 00 00 00 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 00 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 00 0 0 0 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k k N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 The Galveston Seawall and related repairs The Galveston Seawall and related repairs were funded under Public Law 84-99, were funded under Public Law 84-99, Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies. Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies. See page 9 for full story. See page 9 for full story.




PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC Col. Anthony Funkhouser Commander, Southwestern Division Warm welcome, record year! Thank you all for the warm welcome provided to me and my family at the Southwestern Division Change of Command. Everyone did a great job with the ceremony and recognizing Brig. Gen. and Mrs. Cox for all their contributions these last two years. We wish them well as they assume the duties at Transatlantic Division. The end of September marked the culmination of a record year. In terms of immediate and long-term impacts on the lives of Americans, this period in our history will be signi cant. We are in the midst of rehabilitating our Nation's aging water infrastructure, transforming our military's installations and providing improved security along our borders. It is an incredible legacy that we are all contributing to. I am told that USACE-wide we placed $40 billion under contract which would put us at 59th in the Fortune 500 if they included public agencies. We in SWD did our part. I wanted to share a few gures to show you how much we accomplished in scal year 2009. For civil works, we had an excellent year obligating more than $1 billion across all accounts. SWD's breakdown is as follows: Regular $481,000,000 Supplemental $241,000,000 Recovery $306,000,000 Total $1,028,000,000 The most we had done before was $633,000,000 in FY08. SWD's military construction execution for FY09 also nished with a record year. We awarded 82 of 90 projects (91 percent) for total awarded program amount of $3.27 billion of $3.37 billion (97 percent). Eight forecasted projects slipped into FY10 at a total PA of $103.3 million. An additional two Tier 3 FY09 Supplementals at $8.6 million also carried over, making total carryover as 10 projects at $111.9 million. In comparison, FY08 resulted in 53 of 87 projects awarded (61 percent) for total PA of $1.9 billion of $2.3 billion (83 percent) with 34 total slips at $463.1 million. SWD also awarded 19 of our 100 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Facility, Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization projects at $74.9 million. The remaining 81 ARRA FSRM projects ($289 million) and ve ARRA MILCON projects ($626 million) are scheduled for FY10 awards. As for overall contracts and amounts, it was a phenomenal year. # Awards Obligated FORT WORTH 4,910 $3,157,885,689.15 GALVESTON 713 $466,589,546.95 LITTLE ROCK 1,921 $256,220,782.06 TULSA 1,448 $447,881,084.04 SWD 8,992 $4,328,577,102.20 No small feat considering we were not aware of the magnitude of the SWD program at the start of the year. However, we all met the challenge through hard work, focused efforts and lots of energy. We all know the magnitude of effort that goes into accomplishing these types of numbers and I am very appreciative. Congratulations to each of you for being part of the team and for your individual and team contributions to our success. As you can see, you have been part of a historic year and you should all be very proud. Now we must focus on FY10 and continue to execute another record year. The good news is we have all 12 months to complete our scheduled program and award all of our projects. Of note, we have made a pledge to USACE and our Nation to award our ARRA projects by March 2010. We are committed together to"get ur done!" Thanks in advance. Let me conclude by recognizing our professional employees that are deployed around the world away from their families. We wish them continued success and look forward to their safe return. I look forward to serving this incredible team! Pacesetters! 3


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 4 Col. Anthony Funkhouser accepts the colors from Lt. Gen. Robert Van Antwerp, chief of engineers, as he takes command of the Southwestern Division Sept. 3. Brig. Gen. Kendall Cox, former commander, looks on. Nearly 200 dignitaries, regional partners, stakeholders and employees gathered at Dallas historic Old Red Courthouse to see Van Antwerp officially name Funkhouser as the Southwestern Divisions 34th commander. Funkhouser succeeds Cox, who now serves as the CJ7, Multi-National Forces-Iraq. Funkhouser will also continue to serve as the divisions Tulsa District commander, a position he has held since June 2007. C G c G e C h F M t p USACE Chief hosts Division change of commandBy John Davis Process Improvement SpecialistIn July 2007, the National Management Board established a Project Delivery Team to create a Quality Management System. The goal of the team was to establish a platform for all organizations to document their business processes. In short, QMS is a centralized system of which an organization develops, standardizes, and manages to improve the processes they use to do business. In fact, the implementation of a QMS is so important to the Chief of Engineers and his Senior Leadership that during the development of the refreshed USACE strategic plan, known as the Campaign Plan, an objective was created to emphasize establishing standard business processes. This important objective is Objective 4c: Standardize Business Processes falling under Goal 4: Build and cultivate a competent, disciplined, and resilient team equipped to deliver high quality solutions. There are several bene ts to having a QMS. The rst is capturing institutional knowledge. Those that have been with the Corps for years possess a wealth of experience and knowledge. It is vital to document this organizational knowledge in our QMS to help promote the development of formal processes and, most importantly, to prevent loosing this valuable information in the future. The second bene t of having a QMS is by working together regionally, we can standardize process procedures to create consistency in how USACE and Southwestern Division conduct business. As we standardize how processes are executed, we become USACE Quality Management System comes to SWDmore consistent in the delivery and quality of the processes. Process owners can focus efforts more effectively to improve aspects of a process that are not meeting customer requirements, address safety concerns, or affect internal performance. In the second quarter of 2009, a Regional Project Delivery Team championed the implementation of Objective 4c within Southwestern Division. The team selected to lead the implementation consists of: John Davis and Mark Gmitro of SWDO; Peggy Grubbs, Larry Grant and Linda Smyser of SWF; Volker Schmidt and Colleen Chamberlain of SWG; Jeff Wilbanks and Brenda Bishop of SWL; and Mark Burkholder of SWT. This team has been working diligently since March to coordinate the initial reviews of the published National Standard Processes. In May, ER 5-1-14 USACE QMS was signed supporting the implementation of a QMS. The platform USACE will use to house and manage these standardized processes will be Microsoft SharePoint. Currently there is a national site where USACE published more than 200 national Standardized Business Processes as well as regional sites for processes that apply only at the regional level. There are regional processes already published on SWDs QMS site. During the QMS Regional face-to-face meeting in early June 2009, the team revised the Project Management Plan and developed the strategic objectives to complete the initial regional review of the National Standard Processes by 31 July 2009. SEE QMS PAGE 15


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC 4) DA Civilian liability when operating government vehicles. DA Civilians can be held up to one month's salary but other federal agencies are not held to this amount. USACE will submit this to DA. 5) U-PASS access transferable. Currently USACE employees when changing location between districts of divisions have to close out their U-PASS account and re-establish an account at their new location. This takes about a month. USACE is researching how best to retain the passwords and transfer them between accounts. 6) DA Civilian and Family medical treatment while overseas. DA Civilians and their families who are stationed overseas can seek medical treatment at Army medical facilities but are often placed at the bottom of the priority list. USACE will present to DA and also seek a better information campaign to make them aware of what insurance can provide as well. These concerns will be presented to DA and they will identify the ones they will work. We should know by the next Leader Conference the status and progress of each one. We also discussed and agreed that USACE will work on developing a regulation or circular handbook that explains explicitly the roles and responsibilities of key leaders such as Division and District Commanders, USACE HQ's Family Readiness Left to right: Brandy Thomas, Elaine Edwards, Karen Adams, Sandra Easter, Robin Mahomes, Retha Sprinkle and AJ Brown in back. Easter, chief of Little Rocks Contracting Division, headed up the team and worked to put together a presentation that included video interviews with women within Little Rock District. She asked them about their experiences coming up through the ranks and how other historical women paved the way for them. Womens History Month teamBy Col. Anthony Funkhouser Southwestern Division CommanderWelcome back to our Family Readiness update. We are all aware that our requirement for supporting Overseas Contingency Operations (formerly GWOT) has not diminished and we continue to seek better ways to serve all of you. At this year's summer Corps of Engineers Senior Leader Conference, we had a separate family readiness breakout session. I will try to capture the major points of discussion and share them with you. First of all, the Army Family Action Planning group has briefed the Department of the Army on a few issues that were raised to the USACE level this last year. These issues were submitted through your district or division AFAP reps or directly to the USACE website. The six top issues USACE is working are: 1) Access to Army Knowledge on Line for spouses of DA Civilians so they can have access to the IM Chat. USACE is working this issue. 2) Paid Parental Leave for the DA Civilian employee whose wife is having a baby. The recommendation is four weeks of paid parental leave. We were also informed that there is legislation pending on this same subject. 3) Child care support within USACE. USACE plans to assist by providing information for local child care facilities.SEE SITE NEXT PAGEWhats happening: Family Readiness update Brig. Gen. Kendall Cox presents the Chief of Engineers Safe Performance Award of Honor to Bruce Barrett, Southwestern Division Safety and Occupational Health Officer, during a recent ceremony. Cox received the award on behalf of the division during the USACE Summer Leaders Conference National Awards Dinner and Ceremony, Aug. 3.Safe performance5


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 6 The SWD Family Readiness Program is unveiling its new Family Readiness website. This website is designed to provide consolidated information, points of contact, and resources related to family readiness, deployment and other issues that may affect SWD employees or their families. This website is available to SWD employees and their family members. To protect your privacy, the website is secure and requires registration. How to Access the FRG Web Site (New Members) 1. Log onto the Army FRG Web site by typing in your web browser. 2. First time users will need to register by clicking on the Not a member? Register here link on the upper right hand side of the page. 3. Click on Texas 4. Scroll down and select US Army Corps of Engineers 5. You will then need to request access to the site. This will allow you to view all site content. Select Family Member or Soldier (if civilian employee) and fill out requested information then press continue. 6. You will then be taken to the Complete Registration screen. Fill in the requested information. For the Last 4 of SSN put 0000. For the UIC put W076AA. Complete the rest of the information then click on complete Family Readiness site a goregistration. 7. You will then receive a message that Your Registration was successful. Your name has been added to a pending approval list by the Sponsor. Click on Continue. 8. You will then be able to gain partial access the US Corps of Engineers FRG web site. 9. You will receive an email once your access in granted. How to Access the FRG Web Site (Registered Members) 1. Log onto the Army FRG Web site by typing home.aspx in your web browser. 2. Click on the To log in to vFRG Click Here icon. 3. Click Ok to accept the DICAP Certification. 4. Type your User Name and Password, and then press the Login button. 5. Click on the drop down box in the upper right hand corner of the page. 6. Select US Army Corps of Engineers then click on view 7. You now have access to all features on the FRG Web site. If you need assistance or have questions or comments regarding the Family Readiness Program, please contact the SWD Family Readiness Coordinator, Julie Bentley at 469-487-7024 or the Regional Community Support Coordinator, Nila Gillespie at 469-487-7025. Specialist, Family Readiness Coordinators, Human Resources, the Deployment Coordinator, the Division Community Support Coordinators and any other key personnel involved in the process of OCO and natural disaster deployments. The group also agreed we should include all major polices and guidance in the same publication. We currently have many disparate sources and one source will help alleviate confusion in the future. We also agreed to having a centralized USACE Family Readiness Website with standardized policies and procedures and DA level processes. Divisions and Districts would have their own websites with links to the USACE site and speci c informa-continued from previous pageSite tion related to their internal processes and policies. This will ensure we have the most current sources available on one central site. The Family Readiness Program Director, Sherrill Munn, and his team will be heading up a lot of this effort now that the positions have been lled. Internal to SWD and our Family Readiness Team we have been making steady progress. We launched our SWD Family Readiness website Oct. 13 This Web site is a secure area that allows employees and family members access to resources, information and training. And, the SWD Family Deployment Guide and the Employee Deployment Guide are almost complete. Nila Gillespie has joined our team as the SWD Community Support Coordinator. Shes working in the Dallas of ce. We ask that if you have any feedback or good ideas on how best to support our family members or employees during deployment, please contact our new team: SWD Family Readiness Coordinator, Julie Bentley at 469-487-7024 or the Regional Community Support Coordinator, Nila Gillespie at 469-487-7025 or you district POC: SWF Rick Kaiser, 817-886-1443; SWG Ed Mason, 409-766-3955; SWL Charlie Tobin, 501-3245695; or SWT Bill Smiley, 918-669-7330. Finally, if youve deployed with USACE since September 2001 as a DA Civilian, you may be authorized the Secretary of Defense Global War on Terror Medal. Contact your local POC to ensure you are recognized for your selfless service to our Nation!


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B a c k Next TOC TOC being the fourth. Thats why its historical. Weve got to get this right and get this country rolling again, said Van Antwerp. The hysterical part pertains to the swiftness with which the increased workload must be implemented with a workforce size still geared to a pre-stimulus level. Many Corps employees have put in long hours working the details of these projects. Van Antwerp thanked them for their hard work and said help is on the way. Men, hold your positions because the cavalrys coming, promised Van Antwerp, saying the Corps has added more than six thousand employees to its workforce this scal year. Van Antwerp said that as the Corps proceeds with these projects, each individual must be aware of the role they play. I want you to feel connected to what the Corps is doing, said Van Antwerp, adding that each person should consider what their contribution is to the greater picture. Putting the pieces togetherChief details vision for Corps Lt. Gen. Robert Van Antwerp speaks to Tulsa District employees during a town hall meeting. Bk B k N N Public Lands DayA lake-wide clean-up was held Sept. 12 at Lake Eufaula. Volunteers included Corps employees and elementary and high school students. Team Up to Clean Up had a successful day collecting trash. Seven dump trucks were filled, and 400 tires were collected for recycling. Photos by J. Bryan Vest/Team Up to Clean Up.By Sara Goodeyon Tulsa DistrictThe Chief of Engineers visited Tulsa District Sept. 1, and shared his vision for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during a town hall meeting with employees. Lt. Gen. Robert Van Antwerp said while the Corps works to complete $40 billion in construction with a workforce of 36,000 employees, it is imperative to remain focused on what he called the greatness of the Corps. The greatness is based on four principles, said Van Antwerp. The Corps must deliver superior performance every time; set the standard for the profession; where there is a unique contribution to make, the Corps must make it; and, nally, the Corps must build a workforce of the right people in the right seats on the bus. If you know the picture, you can do the puzzle. You are a piece of the puzzle. If you are going to set the standard, youve got to be world class, and when you put these pieces together, it makes a great picture, he said. These are hysterical and historical times, said Van Antwerp of going from a $12 billion to a $40 billion construction budget as a result of the Obama administrations stimulus package. Van Antwerp explained that there have only been four stimulus packages in the history of this country, with the current stimulus package 7


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009Millwood Lake Cottonshed Park Clearwater Lake Lower Compound Road Table Rock Lake Viola Park Beaver Lake Starkey Park Like the legendary rebird:New district facilities rise from ruinsIn 2008, winter tornadoes, spring oods and two summer hurricanes left serious damage behind at many Little Rock District managed lakes, rivers and facilities. Then in January 2009, a harsh ice storm caused more destruction at the districts northern projects. But like the mythical rebird Phoenix that rises from its own ashes, district facilities are re-emerging from their own soggy, broken ruins. Damage was widespread. An estimated $7.3 million was needed just to restore the McClellan-Kerr navigation channel and replace vital gages. Another $4.3 million was needed to conduct LIDAR surveys on the White River in the wake of the severe oods and at Bull Shoals to repair and replace damaged roads, plumbing, electrical, park and other facilities. In all, 60 percent of the districts 178 recreation areas were damaged or closed. Trees on project lands were devastated. Habitat was in ruins. Banks were caving in, threatening some roads and other public structures. It was crucial to begin repairs as quickly as possible. A lot was at stake. District projects provide huge economic and quality of life bene ts. For instance, in 2008 alone district projects prevented $429.6 million in ood losses. The districts seven hydroelectric power plants generated enough clean, renewable hydroelectricity to power nearly 400,000 homes. About $2 billion in commodities were shipped on the Arkansas River. District parks generated $294 million visitor spending, an amount that was unusually low because of park ooding and storm-related damage. If this infrastructure were left disabled, future bene ts would be in jeopardy. But the district has received supplemental appropriations from Congress for repairs, and those repairs are underway in earnest. About $46 million in supplemental appropriations were received, enough to support about 1,100 jobs directly and indirectly. The district received $16.1 million in scal year 2008, and it received the other $30 million in FY09. As of August, $15.4 million or 98 percent of FY08 funds were obligated, and $25.9 million or 84 percent of FY09 supplemental funds were obligated. Some work is not readily noticeable, much of the work has produced very dramatic results. The most visible results to the general public are in district parks. Workers reopened district parks to some extent during the 2009 recreation season. Many parks were completely opened, while portions of others were closed or were closed intermittently as repairs proceeded. All the work is set for completion by Dec. 31. Cl Lo M Co Be St PO 2009 T a Vio 8


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC By Martie Cenkci Galveston DistrictIn April of this year, the Galveston District released the list of civil works projects to be undertaken under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009colloquially, the Recovery Act. These projects, spanning operations and maintenance, construction, and investigations, were funded right under $300 million and are intended to invest in the infrastructure of the nation. Contracts have been awarded throughout the summer months, with more on the horizon. These projects are just one facet of the recovery that the Galveston District undertaken in the last year. In fact, in the year since Hurricane Ike, the Galveston District has come to know the term recovery as many variations of a theme: recovery of their homes, recovery of their possessions, recovery of their sense of normalcy. Recovery has also meant salvage operations to open the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, repairs to hurricane protection structures damaged by Ike, as well as the previously mentioned contracts for work unrelated to Ike under the Recovery Act. Hurricane Ike made landfall at 2:10 a.m. on Sept. 13, 2008, with a 17-20 foot storm surge. The eye, which was 46 miles wide, passed over the Galveston Districts Jadwin Building as the hurricane hurled itself over Bolivar peninsula and inland into southeast Texas. Sustained winds were clocked at 110 miles per hour, with gusts up to 125 miles per hour. Ike was the third most destructive hurricane to ever make landfall in the U.S., causing an estimating $3.2 billion on Galveston Island alone, with 75 percent of the island ooded. Those are some statistics, easy to list. Those statistics have a deeper meaning to the Galveston District employees whose homes were almost destroyed by Ike. Casey Cutler, chief of Regulatory Policy in Galveston Districts Regulatory Branch, was one of the rst to return home to the island after the hurricane and braved it out without water or electricity for months. Loretta Buddenhagen, a program analyst in the Real Estate Division, just moved back into her Fish Village home in July, with the help of some friends. John Machol, a policy analyst in the Project Management branch, moved back into his island home in March, after living in four different locations. And Gus Marinos, the Districts own Emergency Management chief, had three feet of water in his Galveston home and lived in 15 different locations RECOVERY ACTS: TAKING PLACE IN GALVESTON RECOVERY ACTS: TAKING PLACE IN GALVESTONSEE RECOVERY NEXT PAGE From the cover page... workers make repairs to one of the rock groins on Galveston Island. The Galveston Seawall and related repairs were funded under Public Law 84-99, Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies. Photo by John Machol.9


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 since the stormhotels, condos, rental houses. He moved back into his home in August, and work is being nalized on the home. Another kind of recovery was taking place after Ike. An operations, engineering and construction and contracting team was working to open the federal waterways. The District spent about $3.2 million to clear the GIWW from High Island to Port Bolivar, according to Joe Hrametz, chief of the Navigation Branch. We nished the job in just 23 days after the storm, he said. We found telephone poles, trees, boats, and an intact bathroom. There were other recovery acts to be accomplished. The Jadwin Building had to be made habitable for the workforce again, and the logistics team took care of that. The computer system had to be stood up again, and ACE-IT took that on. These kinds of recoveries were taking place in virtually every functional area of the District. A vital part of the recovery has been the repair of the damage caused by Ike to the hurricane protection structures in Galveston, Texas City, Port Arthur, and Freeport. Repair work is ongoing to the Galveston Seawall and the Texas City and Port Arthur hurricane protection structures, and will soon begin on the Freeport structure. This repair work is 100 percent federally funded under Public Law 84-99, Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies. The sum of all these individual acts of recovery is a stronger District, a more integrated and prepared team, and communities with renewed hurricane protection against hurricanes yet to come. The Galveston Districts nal response work to Hurricane Ike, the debris technical assistance mission, was closed out on Friday, Sept. 18, just shy of the one year anniversary, bringing full circle a year of recovery acts and many lessons learned. continued from previous pageRecovery Galveston District makes a difference...Abel De Leon (left), resident engineer with the Galveston Districts Southern Area Office in Corpus Christi, Texas, accepts a certificate of appreciation from the Director of the Texas Youth Commission, Mr. Smith (second to left), after donating computers to the commissions York Halfway House through Executive Order 12999, a federal program that streamlines the transfer of excess and surplus computer equipment to schools and organizations across America. Also pictured (left to right) are Humberto Troche, Abraham Reyes, Oscar Diaz and Delia Dee Dunn of the Southern Area Office Corpus Christi Resident Office.10


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B B k k B k B B a c k k Ba c k N N N N N e x t Next C C O C C T T O O C C TOC T T O O C C TOC SEE STIMULUS NEXT PAGEDistrict receives $157.6 million in Stimulus projects Arkansas River critical spare parts storage Blue Mountain Dam outlet channelBy P.J. Spaul Little Rock DistrictLittle Rock District has been tasked to execute $157.6 million provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for nearly 60 contract awards, mostly to repair, rehabilitate or modernize existing water resources infrastructure in Arkansas and southern Missouri. The work is being contracted out to engineering and construction rms, with several contracts already awarded. The district is awarding more contracts almost weekly. In late August, funding for the Dewey Short Table Rock Lake Visitor Center was increased by about $2.6 million to a total of $9 million. This will enable a meaningful public facility with a regional scope and a world-class avor. Another $15.1 million was added for Ozark Powerhouse rehabilitation. This provides a unique opportunity for us to make a tremendous and long overdue difference for the Corps, the region, and our Nation, Little Rock District Engineer Col. Ed Jackson said. Successful execution will require a team effort, and in doing so, it will energize business and help stimulate job markets. Local economies are stimulated as contractors hire area subcontractors. Workers buy supplies, materials, food, gas and many other local purchases. Some contracts awarded are: Murray Lock and Dam: On Aug. 27, the district awarded an $11.7 million contract to Royal Bridge, Inc., of Tarpon Springs, FL. The ARRA funds will be used to repair and paint the tainter gates. The work will reduce the risk of failure and future maintenance cost. The lock and dam is at Little Rock on the Arkansas River. Work is scheduled to be completed in February 2012. David D. Terry, Lock and Dam: On Aug. 26, Little Rock District awarded a $4.5 million contract to Nicholson Construction Company of Cuddy, PA. The work will reduce risk of failure of the piers and loss of pool. The lock and dam is east of Little Rock on the Arkansas River. Work is scheduled to be completed in October 2010. Lock and Dam gearboxes: In August three contracts were awarded to fabricate gearboxes for four locks and dams on the Arkansas River. For two dams, this will provide four spares each that enable workers to interchange existing gearboxes for rehabilitation as needed. At the other two dams, 72 11


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B B k k B k B B a c k k Ba c k N N N N N e x t Next T T O C C C C T T O O C C TOC T T O O C C TOC continued from previous pageStimulus gearboxes will be replaced. For Dardanelle Lock and Dam Little Rock District awarded a $199,746 contract to Hub City Inc. of Aberdeen, SD. For Ozark Lock and Dam the district awarded a $462,472 contract to Philadelphia Gear Corp. For Wilbur D. Mills Dam and Joe Hardin Lock and Dam the district awarded a $1.5 million contract to Overton Chicago Gear Corp. of Addison, Ill. Work will be completed in March 2010. Arkansas River critical spare parts warehouses: Aug. 5, the district awarded a $2 million contract to Pangea of St Louis, Mo., to construct critical spare parts warehouses for the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, two at Russellville and six at Pine Bluff. The work will reduce future maintenance costs by providing controlled locations at each project of ce for storage of critical spare parts. Work will be completed in June 2010. Clearwater Dam bridge maintenance: On July 24, the district awarded an $816,791 contract to Pangea Group Inc. of St. Louis, Mo. The rm will clean and repair surfaces and handrails of the bridge and walkway to the outlet structure on the dam. The work will reduce long term maintenance and increase reliability of this ood damage reduction structure that protects life and property. Work will be completed in April 2010. Blue Mountain Dam maintenance: On July 23, the district awarded a $68,417 contract to Diversi ed Professional Services of Hot Springs, Ark. The rm will clean and seal concrete structures on the dam. The dam was built in the 1940s on the Petit Jean River and is one of the oldest ood damage reduction projects in the Arkansas River Basin. This work will prolong the life of the dams essential concrete surfaces. Work is expected to be completed in November. Bull Shoals boundary surveys: Land surveys will begin on 80 miles of boundary line at Bull Shoals Lake under a $645,000 contract with B&F Engineering of Hot Springs, Ark. The surveys will better enable the Corps to manage and protect project lands and make it easier for adjacent landowners to know the line of adjoining property. Monuments have never been placed in the Beaver Creek arm of the lake in Taney County, Mo., and Boone County, Ark. Little Rock District installed trout habitat (such as the huge rocks and trees in the photos below) in the White River, south of Bull Shoals Dam in north central Arkansas. It was an elaborate coordinated effort with Southwestern Power Administration, Little Rocks reservoir control, the powerhouse, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the construction office and the contractor. The team could only work when SWPA was not releasing. Daily, SWPA would call the powerhouse to give a generation schedule, and in turn, the contractor called the powerhouse to arrange the work schedule. Left, the team members, from the left, are: Craig Uyeda, AGFC Government Affairs representative; Laura Cameron, Little Rock District project manager; Tim Burnley, AGFC fisheries biologist; Eli Powers, AGFC fisheries biologist; Carroll Osborn, Little Rock District Contracting Office representative; Melissa Jones, AGFC project manager. The truck driver is Chad Sentell, superintendent and foreman for Kesser Construction. gi g re re tr K Trout habitat12


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC Damage to the dams sill plate.Solving the number-one problem on the navigation system A side-view of the spillage at W.D. Mayo Dam. Funds from the Recovery Act will be used to repair the damaged sill plates that are causing large amounts of water leakage.ARRA:Funds to help repair McClellan-Kerr DamBy Mary Best Hudson Tulsa DistrictThe American Reinvestment Recovery Act of 2009 may have been passed in order to stimulate the economy, but its doing more than that on the McClellan Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. Its helping solve its number-one problem. Patrick McQueen, navigation manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District, explains that at W. D. Mayo Lock and Dam, erosion has removed so much of the concrete weir that the rebar is exposed and the metal sill plates are pulling loose from the anchors in the concrete. With this damage, the gates leak large amounts of water when closed. We cannot afford to lose water when dry or at low ow without risk of losing the nine-foot pool required to sustain navigation, McQueen says. If the erosion continues, it will eventually lead to total failure of the tainter gates operational capability, and we will not be able to impound enough water to sustain navigation. It is estimated that for every day navigation is closed, Oklahomas economy loses $1.3 million. The $8 million designated to repair spillway weirs and sill plates at W. D. Mayo in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act not only addresses the situation at that lock and dam, it frees up Tulsa Districts Major Maintenance Unit for other critical work. McQueen says, We have been doing repairs in-house for the last several years. Every day that our MMU is working on this project, there are preventive maintenance items on the lock and channel that are not getting done. We have been responding to more breakdowns and making sacrices to accomplish this work on the weir because it is critical but we knew we were going to pay a price eventually for other deferred maintenance. The ARRA funding lets us use contract labor and put our MMU back to its own essential mission. The contract has not been awarded yet but, when it is and the work is done, W. D. Mayo will no longer have the number one problem on the navigation system. 13


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 Charles Schrodt (center) receives his award from Chief of Engineers Robert Van Antwerp (right) and Corps Command Sgt. Maj. Micheal Buxbaum at the 2009 Summer Leaders Conference awards banquet in Orlando, Fla.Schrodt named Employee of the YearEMS manager of changes for the EMS manual. During the development of the EMS, we had weekly phone conferences with the contractor, conferred using email and fax, and conducted face-to-face meetings, said Harris. Funkhouser said Schrodts implementation of the EMS has been a tremendous bene t to the Eastern Area. It centralizes environmental data in one place. This allows our managers to view and make well-informed decisions in a very complex environmental program in the Eastern Area. This tool will be used at the district, division and national level, said Funkhouser. Schrodt said the EMS provides a foundation for the Corps to evaluate the environmental impact of the operation of the project. We concentrate on areas that would have the most impact, said Schrodt, adding We look for no impact on archeological sites, resources, and endangered species. Funkhouser said Schrodts supervisors praised his leadership style, saying he often takes time to explain to co-workers the importance of being a good employee. During these times, Mr. Schrodt often emphasizes the Corps need for having good employees doing great things because of personnel cut backs over recent years. By doing this, Mr. Schrodt is trying to generate an understanding amongst his coworkers that each individual needs to be highly motivated, hard working, and supportive of the mission. This mentality is an inspiration, the colonel said.By Sara Goodeyon Tulsa DistrictOutstanding leadership and implementation of new environmental management practices helped a Tulsa District environmental specialist win a top award. Charles Schrodt, who works out of the Lake Eufaula Of ce, was named the winner of the Chief of Engineers 2009 Natural Resources Management Environmental Compliance Employee of the Year Award. Your success in Environmental Management System implementation supporting the navigation, ood risk management, hydropower, and recreation missions is unequivocal evidence of management excellence. Your groundbreaking work in EMS will benet Tulsa District and the entire U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as we strive continually to improve from good to great, said USACE commander, Lt. Gen. R.L. Van Antwerp, in a memo congratulating Schrodt on his selection as the winner. The Corps has an environmental compliance monitoring program, but the EMS process is new. This program was the rst of its kind to be implemented in the Tulsa District. The dif culty in gathering this data and putting it into one system was a monumental task. Mr. Schrodt ... handled the task with determination and ended up providing a useful environmental compliance tool, said Tulsa District commander, Col. Anthony Funkhouser. Two Corps projects in Schrodts area, Fort Gibson and Robert S. Kerr, were earmarked for development of an EMS. Schrodt worked with Jim Harris, environmental biologist in Operations Division, and a contractor to develop the EMS plan for the reservoirs and locks and dams. Harris said Schrodt agreed to be the point of contact for the contractor in the development of the Robert S. Kerr EMS. As such, Schrodts duties included being a member of the districts cross-functional team; attending EMS training sponsored by UTS Corporation, the EMS contractor; scheduling EMS training awareness for all Robert S. Kerr employees; gathering a wide range of speci c information about the facilities, state and federal permits, and Corps regulations and policies; coordinating annual management reviews, audits, and refresher training; managing records and notifying the district 14


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC The team completed the regional reviews by the designated date, thus allowing Cox to report the status of the regional action to implement the QMS as a success at the Command Management Review at the Summer Leaders Conference in August. The team continues to forge ahead to submit new standard business processes, supplemental processes, surveying system performance and communication efforts, and auditing and improving processes. The cooperation and support for this process has been positive at every level of the organization. Commanders and Directors are speaking the QMS language and encouraging the development of processes and use of our QMS. Working with this talented team over 2009 has really brought home to me the reason why Southwestern Division is known as the Pacesetters. I want to extend my thanks to efforts achieved thus far and to the future efforts being planned for and executed as we move forward. continued from page 4QMS By Randy Cephus Fort Worth DistrictThe Fort Worth District U.S Army Corps of Engineers and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department received word that samples tested for the presence of zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) larvae known as veligers from Lake Lavon and West Prong Sister Grove Creek are negative. Sampling surveys were analyzed to determine if veligers were present in the water. A positive reading would have been an indicator that adults have established a toehold in the lake, said Heath McLane, the Corps Lake Lavon manager. This does not con rm an absence of zebra mussels in the lake, but the results are encouraging. Adult zebra mussels were found in the upper reaches of West Prong Sister Grove Creek in late July, which prompted the water samples testing. We know zebra mussels got into the Lake Lavon water system at some point in recent months, because we found three attached to rocks in the creek that ows into the lake, said Bruce Hysmith, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Inland Fisheries biologist based at Lake Texoma, the only Texas lake where zebra mussels are known to have presently become well established. The question now is whether there is an active population in Lake Lavon. The negative water sample tests indicate maybe not, but we will continue monitoring, and we continue encouraging boaters to take the necessary precautions after visiting Lake Lavon or Lake Texoma to help avoid spreading zebra mussels to other water bodies. In late August, the two agencies took water samples to try to detect zebra mussel veligers. A total of twelve samples were taken at various locations along the creek and in the lake. The Bureau of Reclamation in Denver, Colorado conducted Light Microscopy and DNA testing protocols on the samples. There were no veligers seen in any of the samples, but numerous ostracods and a Sample tests show no zebra mussel larvae in Lake Lavon couple of corbicula were found, according to the report. Ostracods are 'seed shrimp' and Corbicula are Asiatic Clams. Both are considered to be 'signal' organisms showing the environment is suitable for mussels. The presence of these organisms in the sample con rms that the test was effective. TPWD and USACE will continue to work together monitoring our area lakes for the presence of this invasive species. Both agencies ask that boaters continue to take proactive measures to prevent the spread of zebra mussels in Texas waters, including: Drain all water from the boat including such things as the engine, bilge, livewells and bait buckets before leaving the lake. Inspect the boat and trailer and remove any zebra mussels, vegetation or foreign objects Wash your boat and trailer at a commercial carwash using high pressure and hot (140-degree) soapy water. Hot water, 140 degrees Fahrenheit, will kill zebra mussel veligers, and the water from the carwash goes through a waste water treatment plant process killing any remaining mussels. Open all compartments and livewells and allow the boat and trailer to dry for a week before entering another water body. For additional information on zebra mussels go to To report possible ndings contact the nearest Corps of Engineers or Texas Parks and Wildlife Department of ce, or call the Operation Game Chief toll-free hotline at (800) 792-4263. Brandon Mobley, Fort Worth District Operations Division, prepares equipment before taking samples to test for zebra mussel larvae. Photo by Ed Rivera 15


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 Bob Portiss, Tulsa Port of Catoosa director, is presented with the de Fleury Medal by Col. Anthony Funkhouser.Port director recognized for notable Corps contributionsVolunteers work to preserve sheriesVolunteers lower a completed brush pile into the waters of Oologah Lake. Photo by Col. Anthony Funkhouser Volunteersloweracompletedbrushpileintothewatersof By Sara Goodeyon Tulsa DistrictThe Tulsa Port of Catoosa director has been awarded the bronze de Fleury medal in recognition of his signi cant support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers navigation mission. Bob Portiss joins a host of Soldiers and civilians who have received the honor for their contributions to an element of the Engineer Regiment. Portiss has served as director of the port for 25 years and has been a staunch supporter of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. The award citation praised Portiss for extraordinary leadership, national and regional coordination efforts, and superb professionalism that have established him as one of the navigation industrys experts. The citation stated that Portiss contributions have resulted in a positive impact on relationships between members of Congress, towing industry owners, and port authorities. The medal was presented to Portiss by Tulsa District Commander Col. Anthony Funkhouser and Little Rock Commander Col. Ed Jackson Aug. 28 during the nal day of the Port of Catoosa Navigation Conference. The deFleury is named for a French engineer who volunteered to serve with American forces during the Revoltionary War.By Sara Goodeyon Tulsa DistrictIts hard to imagine that gathering brush and rocks, placing them in crates and submerging them in water would be a great Saturday outing, but thats just what 55 volunteers did to help the sheries habitat at Oologah Lake. The popular event is called Brush Pile Day, and it was started more than 20 years ago by Paul Shockley, a conservation specialist for the Northern Area of the Tulsa District. Corps employees and volunteers from the Society of American Military Engineers, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, the Oologah Bass Club, local shermen, and other project volunteers met at the Spencer Creek Recreation Area Sept. 12 for the annual event. Oologah Lake Manager Allen Ryan said Shockleys event and the efforts of the lake staff and volunteers have made a difference in the wellbeing of the sheries. The brush piles increase the sheries habitat. As the lake ages, there is less and less natural habitat, and things decay. These structures create new habitat and create new shing spots, explained Ryan. He said 54 structures were placed in the lake primarily for crappie and bass habitat. The precise GPS locations of the structures will be available on the local Oologah Lake webpage for all interested shermen. The work is rotated around the lake each year, and Ryan said the 2010 Brush Pile/National Public Lands Day will be staged from Blue Creek Recreation Area on the east side of the lake. 16


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC SWL deputy commander makes rankBy Cheri Dragos-Pritchard Little Rock DistrictLittle Rocks deputy commander was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel during a ceremony at the district Sept. 11 with Brig. Gen. Kendall Cox, Southwestern Division commander, of ciating. Lt. Col. Marvin Griffin arrived at Little Rock District in March. Grif ns wife, Alison, and two sons, Ben and Will, helped pin his rank on during the ceremony. His parents and other family members were able to attend the event via video teleconference from Alabama. Cox talked about how he came to know Grif n and mentioned that participating in this ceremony was an absolute get-to-do. I rst met Marv when he was a young lieutenant at Fort Campbell, Ky., the general said. He was assisting the S3, but he may as well have been the S3. Hes one of the nest young men I know, and hes got a great mind. This a great day for the Army and his family. Grif n graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1994 and was commissioned into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from West Point, a Master of Science Degree in Civil (Structural) Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Missouri. His military education includes the Engineer Of cer Basic and Advanced Courses, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, Command and General Staff College, Airborne, Air Assault, and Ranger Schools. Grif ns troop assignments include Platoon Leader, Company Executive Of cer, and Assistant Operations Of cer in the 326th Engineer Battalion (Air Assault), 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky, from April 1995 to March 1998; Assistant Operations Of cer and Commander of A Company, 40th Engineer Battalion, 1st Armored Division, Baumholder, Germany from November 1998 to July 2001, commanding A Company during the six-month deployment to Kosovo in support of Operation Joint Guardian; and Battalion S-3 and Executive Of cer of the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia from July 2006 to March 2009, serving as the Executive Of cer for the 14-month deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 07-09. Major Grif ns staff assignments include instructor and assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York from June 2003 to June 2005.Brig. Gen. Kendall Cox, Southwestern Division commander, pins lieutenant colonel insignias onto Lt. Colonel Marvin Griffin, Little Rock District deputy commander, with Griffins wife, Alison, during a ceremony Sept. 11. Waterborne transportationThe Arkansas Govenors Conference on Waterborne Transportation was held at the Double Tree Hotel on the Arkansas River in Little Rock. Attending the conference were (from left) U.S. Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River Commander Capt. Michael Gardiner, Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District Commander Col. Michael Wehr, Little Rock District Commander Col. Ed Jackson, Southwestern Division and Tulsa District Commander Col. Anthony Funkhouser and Memphis District Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Timothy Marshall. 17


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 Lt. Col. Gene Snyman Deputy Commander, Tulsa District Friendliest people in U.S.I have only had a few short weeks in the saddle here in Tulsa, but Ive had plenty of time to gure out I landed in the best district in the Corps! One thing that clearly emerges from each encounter is the exceptional professionalism of our employees. The depth of knowledge in so many areas of expertise from engineering to the hard sciences, from legal to regulatory, from contracts to budgets, is staggering, and every team is staffed with exceptionally experienced and dedicated people. Given the depth and breadth of this organization, there is nothing we cannot accomplish. And what is it about the Midwest that makes everyone so friendly and helpful? Must be something in the water. Having lived all over, I can say with complete con dence, objectivity, and impartiality that these are the friendliest people in the U.S. The fact that I grew up here is completely irrelevant, and if you get tired of me gushing on about the localsI aint wrong, I aint sorry, and its probably going to happen again! The great things happening around the district could take volumes to describe. My snapshots picked up so far show a wide range of exciting and relevant work. I got a chance to visit the great staff at (my locally own) Fort Gibson Lake who are the daily face of the Corps keeping the public safe and informed and stewarding our natural resources. Nearby, down in the depths of the dam, quiet professionals are providing power and regulating regional water levels, directly and indirectly serving and protecting the citizens on the lake and downstream who may have little or no knowledge of Corps functions and responsibilities. I attended the Lake Texoma Land Transfer Public workshop and observed how the Corps works to ensure the public has the opportunity to get straight, accurate, and complete answers on potential decisions that are near and dear to their heart. Clearly, what is to one person an obstacle to progress is to another an emotionally charged issue linked to family history. The McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation Conference showed the critical linkage of Corps infrastructure to regional and national economics. Dewatering and maintenance on Locks 17 and 18 demonstrated our commitment to those stakeholders as we executed quickly, thoroughly, and safely in partnership with our sister district. Certainly, the interaction with people has been the most enjoyable, whether it was with the lock master at Lock and Dam 16 near Gore, Okla., or getting tagged at Laser Quest with our Leadership Development Program, level II participants. Tulsa District employees really demonstrated their metal during the last few grueling weeks of September. Resource Management and Contracting were in rare form working to nalize over $508 million in actual expenditures for the scal year. It took a while to realize the public address warning system I was responding to was really just a group kazoo snort from down the hall mini-celebrating the latest award completion. Consistent high marks on endof-year surveys showed Egineering and Construction and Programs and Project Management Division were highly respected among our customers and represented the culmination of countless hours of customer-focused work. In spite of these successes, Ive seen no one resting on their laurels. With Recovery Act work award deadlines just around the corner, the Commanders back on your heads has already been taken to heart. Its a great ride so far! Id say were doing ne Oklahomaand Kansas, and yes, even Texas! 18


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC Pleasant, Mich.; Maneuver Support Planner, Maneuver Support Battle Lab; Battalion Executive Of cer, 5th Engineer Battalion (Corps)(Operation Iraqi Freedom I); Battalion Executive Of cer, 35th Engineer Battalion (OSUT), Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; Professor of Military Science, Illinois State University, Normal, Ill.; and Provincial Reconstruction Team Engineer, USACE Gulf Region North (Operation Iraqi Freedom 5). His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, the NATO medal, the Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti Liberation Medals and the Parachute Badge. He has also been awarded the Bronze DeFleury Award. Snyman and his wife, Kathy, have six children ranging in age from 8 to 21.Deputy returns to his roots Lt. Col. Eugene Snyman SWT Deputy CommanderLt. Col. Eugene Snyman is Tulsa Districts new deputy district commander; he joined the district on Aug. 17. He was born in Pretoria, South Africa. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1990 through the University of Kansas Reserve Of cer Training Corps with a Bachelor of General Studies degree in English. He also holds a Master of Science degree in Military Studies from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. His military education includes the Engineer Of cer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Combined Arms and Staff Service School, and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. Speaking of his assignment to Tulsa District, Snyman said, It is a great opportunity to be stationed in my home state. I was shing and hunting Coprs lakes as a kid but I hadnt the slightest clue what that red castle meant. I feel very fortunate to be here and to be a part of the Tulsa Team. Snymans previous assignments include service as: Platoon Leader and Executive Of cer in 1st Engineer Battalion (Mechanized) (Desert Shield/ Desert Storm); Executive Of cer in the 70th Engineer Battalion (Mechanized), Fort Riley, Kan.; Assistant Corps Engineer Plans Of cer at 5th Corps, Heidelberg, Germany; Company Commander of 535th Combat Support Equipment Company, Grafenwoehr, Germany (Operation Joint Endeavor); Engineer Planner at 5th US Army, San Antonio, Texas; Assistant Professor of Military Science, Central Michigan University, Mt. On or near the water, always wear a Life Jacket.Southwestern Division19


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009SEE PHYSICAL NEXT PAGE U Up until several years ago I thought of the year as a period of time beginning in January and ending in December. You know, ringing in the change with football and other festivities. Watching the ball drop in Times Square and listening to Dick Clark recap another Auld Lang Syne. Over the past several years, as I have become more involved in budget and program development and the drive to execution, the importance of the year has shifted to the one beginning in October and ending at 11:59:59 p.m. Sept. 30. This new year is not known as the calendar year, but the scal year. The scal year could be better described these past 12 months as the physical year. And what a physical year this has been. In Little Rock District, as across the entire Corps, workloads quadrupled with a record number of appropriations. Despite this historic workload little changed in the face of the workforce. This quadrupling of workload was accomplished with basically the same number of people. In Little Rock District, we have lost about 400 employees since September 2006 and hired slightly more than 420 in replacement and in measured growth. Does that mean every employee has basically done about four times what they did the year before? What a physical year this has been. Physical Year 2009 began with more than 80 people, to include myself, deployed to Texas in support of Hurricane Ike recovery. Our team returned only to be called out again for winter ice storm and spring tornado recovery operations throughout the state of Arkansas. In that same year, the District had seven people deployed in support of Overseas Contingency Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, one (Kris Mullins) for more than 12 months. On short notice, several members of our team including Jim Marple, Tuan Dang, and Keith Loos were deployed to Afghanistan as part of a Forward Engineering Support Team where they completed more than $72 million in projects for U.S. Forces Afghanistan. What a physical year this has been. Physical Year 2009 saw record rainfall amounts during the months of May, July and September. As I write this note it continues to rain outside and Henry Himstedt, Jan Jones, and the rest of the district water control leadership, are engaged with the media to again explain the benefits of managing water as a collective system and using reservoirs and levees in concert to minimize damages throughout an entire basin. Marty Hammer and his team in Design Branch, undermanned for most of the year, have heroically cranked out designs and reviewed bid proposals of a million number one priority projects in order to meet extremely demanding schedules, ensuring we make the most of the funding we have been given. Dan Clemans and his construction team continue to close out current projects and prepare for the onslaught of work that is scheduled to break ground next spring. What a physical year it has been. Physical Year 2009 saw multiple disasters, high water, construction activities and a return of visitation that kept the project of ces across the district hopping the entire 12 months. Operations project managers and their respective teams have cranked out implementation plans shaping the impact of our Supplemental appropriations, allowing facilities damaged by nature to emerge as new, modernized and sustainable infrastructure that will service the public for years to come. Maintenance crews from Tulsa and Little Rock, led by Nick Mitchell, Blake McCord, Mike Bagley and Aaron McGee teamed to quickly repair every stoplog along the MKARNS then complete a complicated, and simultaneous dewatering operation in record time. The technical competence and professional passion for excellence as demonstrated by our navigation and hydropower maintenance teams never cease to amaze me. In addition, leaders such as Brinda Jackson, Donna Wilkerson, Glenn Prof t and Mark Dixson worked around the clock to promote, preserve and defend projects and funding, allowing this historic work to occurand dont forget about Clay Weisenberger, normally buried (literally) under a mountain of legal paperwork, preparing for the largest litigation case in district history. What a physical year this has been. Col. Donald E. Jackson Commander, Little Rock District Physical year 200920


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC continued from previous pagePhysical Physical Year 2009 brought about untold resources with complicated reporting requirements and almost unrealistic implementation timelines. These dollars have enabled the district to preserve our capability for service as we have been able to address seven of our top 20 critical maintenance items. All high-dollar items critical to the safe operation of infrastructure across the district. Leaders like Mark Milholland, Lee Conley, John Balgavy, Andrea Lewis, Sandra Easter and Shirley Boldon-Bruce worked diligently to prioritize district effort and align critical resources. Multiple folks were key and essential to pulling off this historic program execution to include George Losak, Bill Jackson, Rose Garrett, AJ Brown, Gerald Sanderson, Jim Fisher, Dudley Smith, Darrell Montgomery and Mike Lee, just to name a few. At the end of the day more than 1,881 contract awards were completed, $268 million in civil works and $420 million in military programs and or interagency and international services. Here are just a few of these important (funded) civil works projects: Flood Risk Management: Completion of Clearwater Dam phase Ib drilling and grouting, providing the needed stability for construction of a cut-off wall, currently ongoing; LIDAR survey throughout the White River Basin to give us better information on watershed hydrology and impacts; stilling basin inspections, replacement of trash racks and foundation drains improving operation of reservoirs across the district; and inspection of levee systems district-wide, providing technical baseline for improved maintenance and levee certi cation Navigation : Rehabilitation of tainter gates at Toad Suck and Murray locks and dams, preserving our ability to maintain adequate pools for navigation; repair of alkali-silica reactivity cracks at David D. Terry Lock and Dam, preserving the life of the structure; investigation of voids under the foundation at Joe Hardin Lock and Dam, allowing us to make a better determination of potential geotechnical instability under the dam; and dredging and bank stabilization, preserving the channel for barge traf c on the Arkansas River. Hydropower: Funded completion of contract to deliver rst two turbines at Ozark Powerhouse; and repair and restoration of powerhouse roofs at Greers Ferry, Dardanelle, Table Rock and Beaver Recreation: Funded road repair, paving, debris removal, tree maintenance, restroom/shower/campsite repair and modernization; funded construction of siphons and bulkhead at Norfork as part of the White River Minimum Flows project; and construction of a world-class visitor center for Table Rock. Water Supply: Completion of Water Reallocation Report for Ozark Mountain that will provide a water source for more than 30,000 Arkansans currently forced to drink radon-contaminated groundwater. Thanks to the entire team for all the heavy lifting that was required to make this year worthwhile. Will the next 12 months be equally physical? From all indications I believe this to be true. As I have mentioned in previous notes, we are entering a unique period in the history of our District where the team today is poised to make a difference that will last for decades. This has been a true team effort and our Nation and the region appreciates all you have done. Now its time to tighten our beltPhysical Year 2010 has begun. Are you ready? The SWD Family at the 2009 Senior Leaders Conference held in Orlando, Fla., Aug. 3-7. Left to right are: Southwestern Division Commander Brig. Gen. Kendall Cox; Mike Fallon, SWD; Joe Harper and Dana Coburn, Little Rock District; Keith Rice, Tulsa District; USACE Commander Lt. Gen. Robert Van Antwerp; Melanie Ellis and Col. Richard Muraski, Fort Worth District; Karli Mulliniks, Bob Slockbower and Capt. Jared Ulekowski, SWD; Tulsa District Commander Col. Anthony Funkhouser; and Tom Hudspeth, SWD. Emerging Leaders21


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009By Randy Cephus Fort Worth DistrictOwning adjacent property near federal lands and waters offers many bene ts such as scenic views, immediate access to waterways and the enjoyment of the natural habitat found near the lakes. But with this privilege comes the responsibility to preserve the natural habitat and to abide by public safety measures imposed by the federal government. Whitney Lake park rangers with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are stepping up measures to educate the public on the types of violations and to assist area residents in taking steps to become compliant. There are two primary areas of concern when dealing with land adjacent to Whitney Lake, according to Brady Dempsey, Whitney Lake Manager. There is government fee owned property and owage easement property. Government owned, or public lands comprise the ground on which the lake is built as well as some of the surrounding property. The limits of this public property are de ned by the U.S. boundary line, the corners of which are marked by concrete monuments. The boundary markers, or monuments, are topped with a brass cap usually about four inches above ground. According to Whitney Lake Park Ranger Robert Morrow, some of the common violations the Corps has documented so far include constructing buildings, roads or improved pathways on public property; disposing of garbage and debris; destroying, altering and removing vegetation and other natural features; Corps seeks voluntary compliance at Whitney Lakeand gathering fallen timber for re wood. Flowage easement lands around Whitney Lake are required in the event it becomes necessary to submerge or over ow lands in connection with the operation and maintenance of the lake. These lands are de ned as land below the elevation contour of 573 feet above mean sea level, according to Corps of cials. Land and homeowners may mow, clear and plant vegetation as long as they are not in con ict with the terms of rights acquired by the government. To ensure property owners are in compliance, Corps of cials advise getting a permit before initiating activities on easement land. With approval, almost any type of structure other than a building or structure designed to be used as a residence can be built on owage easement land. However, construction of water wells, sewer lines or septic systems will be considered on a case by case basis to ensure there are no environmental concerns that may impact the lake or the operation of the reservoir. We ask that property owners who are in violation of Corps policy concerning encroachment to voluntarily comply, said Dempsey. Open lines of communication between the Corps and the local residents will greatly enhance this effort and in the end, the public at large as well as affected plant and animal species will bene t from this program. The next phase of this program will be to re ne the documented encroachment violations, work with residents to nd solutions to these violations, and if necessary, seek measures to enforce the encroachment policy. We hope we do not have to resort to active enforcement, as Whitney Lake Park Ranger, Robert Morrow engages a local property owner who was in violation of the Corps encroachment policy. The property owner voluntarily complied and called off a landscaping crew hired to clear public property.most of the property owners around our lakes are very good neighbors and stewards of the environment. We will work with each property owner to address concerns and work through solutions to encroachment issues, Dempsey said. If you have questions concerning guidelines for property adjacent to public lands, please call the Corps representatives at Whitney Lake at 254-622-3332. An example of an apparent encroachment violation where an adjacent property owner built a deck that extends onto public property. 22


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC By Sara Goodeyon Tulsa DistrictThe U.S Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa and Little Rock Districts partnered on the major maintenance and repair of two locks on the McClellanKerr Arkansas River Navigation System. To demonstrate the importance of funding a regular schedule of such work, members of congress were invited to an open house to view the dewatering of Newt Graham Lock 18 on August 27. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Rep. John Sullivan (R-OK), representatives from Sen. Tom Coburns (R-OK) of ce and from Rep. Dan Borens (D-OK) of ce were briefed by Navigation Project Manager Patrick McQueen about the work being done. Users of the navigation system from the Port of Catoosa described to the elected of cials how important it is to their businesses and the local economy to ship goods through a reliable navigation system on a regular schedule. The consequences of failing to do the routine maintenance and repair for a $1.5 million dewatering could result in the emergency closure of the lock and dam, and that would cost the Oklahoma economy $1.3 million per day. An unplanned closure would last a minimum of 30 days and could take 60 to 90 days, explained McQueen. Lock 18 had not been dewatered since 1989 due to funding constraints and high river ows. The process should be done every 12 years for maintenance and repairs. Dewatering allows us to inspect and repair all known and unknown infrastructure problems, said Tulsa District Operations Division Chief Earl Groves. It ensures the functional reliability of the lock for many years to come. Right, crews work to repair the miter gates. Photo by Rip Stell. Above, Col. Anthony Funkhouser briefs Sen. Jim Inhofe, Bob Portiss, Port of Catoosa director and Ben Robinson of Rep. Dan Borens office on the work being done. Photo by Cpl. Geza Horvath.Newt Graham Lock and Dam 18 dewateringEnsuring that the ditch keeps commerce owing in Oklahoma23


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009By Isidro Reyna Galveston District The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District, and local community leaders rededicated the Galveston Seawall Oct. 6, atop the recently-completed repair work at the west end of the 105-year-old protective structure on Galveston Island during a ribbon cutting and champagne bottle christening ceremony. The completed work, which included repairing damaged pavement on the west-end ramp, access ramps, sub grade and sidewalk damage and cracks along the seawall caused by Hurricane Ike, highlighted the 129-year partnership between the Corps and the Galveston community. The seawall is symbolic of the commitment between this community, this county and the federal agencies, including the Corps of Engineers, that have participated all the way along in the process of building the seawall from start to nish starting back in 1904 to present day, said Col. David C. Weston, Galveston District Commander. The Galveston District was established in 1880, 20 years in advance of the Great Storm of 1900 and it points to our longtime commitment to remain a presence on Galveston, not only for the navigation mission and all that brings to the economic engine of the nation that lies here along the Gulf Coast, but also in the preservation of the communities and structures as well, as you see embodied in the seawall. Community leaders present for the ceremony included deputy Galveston District, community partner to rededicate Seawalldirector for U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, Dianna Kile, Galveston County Judge James D. Yarbrough and Galveston Mayor Pro Tem Danny Weber. The 1900 storm started off the seawall, said Weston. It was a terrible event that was devastating to the people that lived here at that time and the communities that were thriving here and prospering here. Its really a symbol that those communities at that time banded together. They said, Weve suffered a terrible blow, but were not going away. Were going to build something thats important to the survival of this community, not only to the citizens, but the economic vitality of this island and this region. They made a decision and commitment and out of that commitment you see the seawall today. It has enhanced this community and preserved this community and it will continue to do that in the future, said Weston. The chief of engineers, Lt. Gen. Van Antwerp, has given us some marching orders. If were going to build something, were going to build it to last. I believe the seawall has met that metric in the past and I believe what you see today of the seawall will continue to meet that metric in the future -another hundred years if necessary. Were going to build things and were going to build them strong and the seawall is representative of that. Weston thanked Galveston District employees and contractors from David Boland Inc., who worked with many Col. David C. Weston, Galveston District commander, and local community officials, rededicated the Galveston Seawall atop completed repair work on the West End of Galveston Island Oct. 6. Photo by Travers Powell.SEE REDEDICATION NEXT PAGE 24


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC continued from previous pageRededication local subcontractors to bring the project to fruition. The project was 100 percent federally funded under Public Law 84-99, Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies, to repair damage from the active 2008 hurricane season. The other thing that is symbolic about the seawall, it not only points to the past historically for what value its provided to the island and the community and the human spirit that prevailed following the tremendous storm in the 1900s, but it also prevailed this time last year with Hurricane Ike, said Weston. That same spirit is there. That same commitment is there. We need to make sure that commitment prevails. We need to look into the future; a comprehensive systemic approach to protective systems not only in Galveston, but along the coast of Texas to preserve those communities and industries that are present today and to ensure theyre viable in the future. Weston highlighted the formation of the new Gulf Coast Community Protection and Reconstruction District, a collaborative agreement amongst counties from Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Harris, Jefferson and Orange counties. The districts purpose is to look at the comprehensive systemic approach for the future of coastal Texas within the footprint of those counties. Weston commended county leadership and state leadership for acting quickly and said the Corps looks forward to working with them. Following the ceremony, guests were invited to the Galveston Districts headquarters building for a reception and of cial unveiling of a Galveston Seawall commemorative wall display. Col. David C. Weston, Galveston District commander, delivers remarks atop the Galveston Seawall during a rededication ceremony Oct. 6. Photo by Travers Powell. Before: Don Carelock, Terrell Smith and Brandon Smolinsky from Galvestons Northern Area Office, display a West End Seawall monument battered by Hurricane Ike. After: John Machol and Don Carelock of the Galveston District, cut a ribbon on a restored monument replaced on the West End of the Galveston Seawall Oct. 6.25


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 Little Rock District Public Affairs Officer P.J. Spaul (center) received the USACE Michael C. Robinson Award for Public Affairs Practitioner of the Year. Spaul led a team to educate the public about flood conditions in watersheds in Arkansas and Missouri. Because of their efforts, the news media accurately conveyed complex information about flood risk, including articulating the Corps authority, and the responsibilities and challenges of local levee boards. Presenting the award were Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Buxbaum (left) and Lt. Gen. Robert Van Antwerp.PAO of the yearThe story of Hispanics in America is the story of America itself. The Hispanic community's values -love of family, a deep and abiding faith, and a strong work ethic -are America's values. Hispanics bring together the rich traditions of communities with centuries-old roots in America and the energy and drive of recent immigrants. Many have taken great risks to begin a new life in the hopes of achieving a better future for themselves and their families. Hispanics have played a vital role in the moments and movements that have shaped our country. They have enriched our culture and brought creativity and innovation to everything from sports to the sciences and from the arts to our economy. Hispanics have served with honor and distinction in every con ict since the Revolutionary War, and they have made invaluable contributions through their service to our Hispanic Heritage Monthcountry. They lead corporations and not-for-pro ts, and social movements and places of learning. They serve in government at every level from school boards to statehouses, and from city councils to Congress. And for the rst time in our Nation's history, a Latina is seated among the nine Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. As Hispanics continue to enrich our Nation's character and shape our common future, they strengthen America's promise and af rm the story of American unity and progress. To honor the achievements of Hispanics in America, the Congress, by Public Law 100-402, as amended, has authorized and requested the president to issue annually a proclamation designating Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 as "National Hispanic Heritage Month." Information provided by Gerard Francis, Little Rock District Equal Employment Opportunity manager. In 1945 Congress designated the rst week in October as National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week. The designated period was increased to the full month of October, and the name was changed to National Disability Employment Awareness Month in 1988. In 2001 the U.S. Department of Labor created the Of ce of Disability Employment Policy and gave it responsibility for fostering the recognition of NDEAM. Each year, the Labor Department announces a new theme for month. The 2009 theme is Expectations + Opportunity = Full Participation, and we celebrate during the entire month of October. There will be displays in the Headquarters areas and more information at http://www.deomi. orgNational Disability Employment Awareness Month October26


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado Luke Air Force Base, ArizonaBy P.J. Spaul Little Rock DistrictIn the past 18 months Little Rock Districts workload has almost quadrupled. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act spending and ood supplemental funds upped the workload dramatically. Two other parts of the district program have also experienced unprecedented growth -military construction and work for other agencies. This mission is huge, District Engineer Col. Ed Jackson said. From a military program that averaged $50-60 million per year, we are now involved in more than $650 million in military programs and support for others projects. Much of the focus is on medical facilities for the Air Force and Department of Veterans Affairs. Little Rock District began a new mission Oct. 1 in support of the U.S. Air Force Medical Service. To accomplish these tasks, Little Rock is creating a new Medical Support Branch. Ron Carman, who has 23 years experience in the district and holds degrees in both engineering and business, will head the new branch. The District plans to increase staf ng by about 22 employees before years end and may increase up to 34 Medical missions part of huge workloadnew employees depending on evolving mission requirements, Carman said. In scal year 2010, the program is expected to include 44 projects worth about $342 million with sites in 24 states to include a dental clinic renovation at Little Rock Air Force Base. The mission consists of providing one door to the Corps support on Air Force medical service, medical sustainment, restoration and modernization projects, L uke Air Force Base Arizon a B uckle y Air Force Base, C olorado Carman said. The majority of the work will be rehabilitating and modernizing Air Force medical, dental and veterinary facilities. Meanwhile, the district continues support to the VA. It entered an agreement with the VA in late 2007 to provide project management, design services and contracting support to the Veterans Integrated System Network 17 Region in Texas. In 2008, Little Rock executed $57.5 million in construction projects to include renovations for radiological upgrades, patient and clinic areas, and upgrading utilities. For FY09, the district acquired $29.6 million in maintenance projects. In the rst quarter of FY10, six projects totaling $50.7 million are to be awarded. VISN 17 projects are located at Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in Dallas, Bonham, Temple, Waco, San Antonio and Kerrville. Why is this work coming our way? Jackson asked. It is because of the quality product the employees of Little Rock District deliver and their reputation for getting the job done, he answered in a con dent response to his own question. 27


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 The Engineering and Construction Support Of ce (ECSO) is executing a contract for substantial port of entry upgrades at airports in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) in the South Paci c. Bob Hardbarger and Mohammad Dadkhah from the Fort Worth District represented ECSO in a vendor site visit in August at Saipan International Airport and Rota International Airport. Of the 15 islands in the archipelago, most of the population is on three: Saipan, Rota and Tinian. Just north of Guam, the island group is three times closer to the Philippines than to Hawaii. While Rota airport traf c amounts to only several dozen international charter ights a year; the Saipan ECSO to oversee airport upgrades at Northern Mariana Islands ports of entryport of entry handles several regularly scheduled international ights every day. CNMI now operates its own immigration system. By congressional mandate, it will cede those responsibilities to two U.S. Department of Homeland Security agencies Customs and Border Protection and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Nov. 28. There will be infrastructure improvements and eight separate work elements, six on Saipan and two on Rota. These will include inspection facilities, administration areas, a medical services and a detention unit. Rough order of magnitude of work is about $10 million. A task order for most of the work was awarded Sept. 25 to ITSI, a member of the Unrestricted Multiple Award Task Order Contract pool out of the Southwestern Division. Construction is expected to start in January and be completed by Sept. 25, 2010. The Fort Worth District is providing contracting support. Because of the remote location of the site, the USACE Honolulu District will be managing the project and the Naval Facilities Engineering Command based in nearby Guam will be backing up the on-site inspection work by consultants.These primary inspection booths, now operated by the Commonwealth Port Authority at the Saipan Airport to check incoming foreign visitors, will be replaced with new facilities operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. SWD team learns, recruits at HENAAC eventAbove: Angel de la Rosa (left), Southwestern Division and Norma Edwards (center), a Fort Worth District project manager welcome aboard Esther Gonzalez a Texas A&M, Kingsville, student and the first intern hire of the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation Career Fair held Oct. 10 in Long Beach, Calif. Right: Troy Collins, Deputy District Engineer for Programs and Project Management observes USACE members put together electrical circuits like high school students do during USACE sponsored Viva Technology events at the annual USACE Hispanic Training Workshop held Oct. 7. By Jim Frisinger Fort Worth District28


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC By Cheri Dragos-Pritchard Little Rock DistrictFor months, Natural Resources Specialist Alan Grif n of the Mountain Home Project Of ce in Little Rock District worked with Drew Summers mother, Cornelia, on the wording for the sign now posted at Bidwell Point Park on Norfork Lake that tells of the dangers of jumping from bluffs. Bidwell Point Park is where Drew Summers lost his life one summer afternoon at age 16 while he was jumping from the bluffs with his American Legion Baseball team members. The sign, dedicated in June to his memory reads, Life is full of hurdles, dont let this be your last jump. We lost someone we loved when he jumped off this bluff. The dangers are realSign intent: Think before jumping In loving memory of Drew Summers, June 16, 2007. Mrs. Summers and I worked on this for about six months before the dedication, Grif n said. We both agreed that if we could just keep one person from jumping and getting hurt, then we will have been successful. Grif n has worked with the Corps for 16 years and acknowledges that this experience (dedicating the sign) has been, the most personally rewarding cause that Ive worked on. He noted that even though he has worked many drowning incidents, this one really hit hard. Grif n said, being there when we recovered Drew, then escorting his mom and dad to the hospital, and being with his mom when she realized Drew was gone had a big impact on me. Grif n explained that Drew was a good kid who wasnt drinking or violating any Corps rules, and was just enjoying being at the lake with his baseball team, jumping off the bluffs like several other people were doing. The bluff Summers was jumping off is about 40 feet high. Grif n said hes done a lot of research on this matter and it comes down to one thing. If the jumper lands incorrectly, the body normally cant handle the rate of speed at impact. A person jumping from a 40-foot cliff is traveling at about 35 mph when they hit the water. This is one of the main things (the speed) Im trying to stress to people, Grif n emphasized. A person may jump all day and never have a problem, but the one time they land wrong, their body is not able to withstand the impact. Drews case is a tragic incident. There are many injuries we never even hear about. Grif n said the emergency room at the Baxter Regional Medical Center told him they have a high number of bluff jumping injuries that just come in the ER without ever being reported. The sign was placed at the bluff not only to preserve the memory of Summers, but also to help other people of all ages to make a more informed decision about whether or not to jump. I asked 10 Mountain Home High School seniors last spring what is the number one thing I could do at the lakes to protect them, the park ranger said. All 10 of them said to stop bluff jumping. Each one knew someone who had been injured while bluff jumping.The sign, dedicated in June to the memory of Drew Summers, was placed above the Bidwell Point Park bluff where Summers lost his life. For an eight-year period (19982005) Corps-wide: -32 total cliff jumping fatalities -23 victims were 17-29 years of age -9 victims were 30-54 years of age -All victims were male For seven year period (2001-2007) in Little Rock District: -8 fatalities In a two-year period, ending in August 2005 in Little Rock District: -4 fatalities -5 serious injuries The Missouri State Water Patrol issued a statewide warning in July 2005 after recording six deaths related to bluff jumping in a twomonth period. The following shows the speed of impact when jumping from the designated height: -10 feet mph -20 feet mph -30 feet mph -40 feet mph -50 feet mph29


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 Col. David Weston Commander, Galveston DistrictRecord-setting timesTHERE IS LIFE AFTER HURRICANE IKEBy Courtney Brodbeck Galveston District As the anniversary for Hurricane Ike passes, Loretta Buddenhagen is thankful to be back in her home in Fish Village on Galveston Island. Buddenhagen, who was a program analyst in the Programs Management Division of the Galveston District at the time Ike hit, is now a program analyst with the Real Estate Division and moved back into her home July 3, 2009 With the help of Corps employees and friends, Buddenhagen and her husband George were able to rebuild their home. However, the road to recovery has been long and strenuous. We lacked money on the insurance for the exterior and we had to get rid of the brick before we could even start on the interior, said Buddenhagen. SEE HURRICANE IKE NEXT PAGE October brings the beginning of a new scal year here in the Galveston District. Im pleased to announce weve successfully executed a record-setting 2009 scal year, awarding in excess of $475 million in contract actions, a remarkable accomplishment given the impacts on our personnel from Hurricane Ike -something we all can be very proud of! We will execute a similar amount in the new scal year 2010, so the pace continues and well all work together to accomplish the mission. Most of that work load occurs in the rst and second quarters as we nish up our actions to award the remaining stimulus and supplemental funded projects that were carried over from last year. Completion of these projects is critical to meeting expectations both from our customers and our headquarters. We have committed to meeting those requirements, and we will. While we were performing an extraordinary work load in FY2009, we were able to do so in a safe work environment. Not only did we minimize job site and work place accidents, but according to the safety center survey that many of you participated in, we also improved our overall organizational safety climate and program. That same survey also pointed out some actions we can take to make our safety performance even better, and we will work together to implement continued improvements to the program this year. Also noteworthy were the results of our annual EO climate survey. For the second straight year, we improved across all categories, and for the rst time were rated green in every category of the survey. While that is quite an accomplishment, and a testament to our ability to work together in a professional manner during a very challenging year, we know we are not perfect in this area. The survey identi ed areas that we can still get better in, and we will work hard to ensure we continue to make progress in this very important area. We accomplished so much this year that it is amazing to see and understand the magnitude of your many accomplishments. One of those I will highlight is the completion of the repair work on the west end of the Galveston Seawall. Recently, we held a ceremony to celebrate the completion of that work, where community leaders expressed their sincere grati cation for your great efforts to restore full functionality to that structure. Your delivery of this project one short year after the impact of Hurricane Ike re-solidi ed our reputation for an enduring commitment to this community. And that is just one example of the many accomplishments that have been noted across our district foot print by community leaders at every level. With the new scal year comes the next annual Combined Federal Campaign which will run through Nov. 6 with a goal of raising $25,000. We have historically been the largest federal contributor to this campaign for the greater Houston region, and I have no doubt that your past generosity towards helping others will be continued this year as well. Your efforts really do make a difference! You have performed this year in a way that embodies the ideals of the Corps of Engineers. You delivered when it counted. Thanks for all you have done, and I know that FY2010 is going to be a great year!30


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC My friends from work and our contractor, who happens to be a very good friend, rallied one Saturday and knocked the house down. Corps employees and friends pulled up their sleeves and lent a helping hand in an effort to help. In order to restore their lives, Buddenhagen and her husband had to take matters into their own hands. We had the same problems as many others did with the insurance companies. We fought them for a while, but we got tired of ghting, so we just said we have some money; well rebuild and when we run out, we run out, she said. Buddenhagen stayed with her mother, who lives in Galveston, until her home was rebuilt, but rebuilding the life she had comes with sadness. The thought of cherished belongings she had collected over the years being destroyed brings heartache. All the stuff we lost, I kept for a reason, I wanted my daughter to have it, she said. It was a part of our lives and it meant something to us. I would give anything to go back before the storm and take more with us, but Im not dwelling on it. Like so many others, the aftermath of the storm consumed her thoughts and conversations, and life before Ike was almost impossible to remember. When we were able to start living in our home again, it was the greatest feeling in the world because the hurricane didnt consume us anymore, she said. We could cook supper, sit down and eat as a family, watch the dogs play in the backyard, and go for our normal walks. However, she will miss the company of her mother, who was a constant companion during the months she and her husband were unable to live in their home. It took a little while to get use to living in our new home; I was worried about my mother because we wouldnt be there anymore, said Buddenhagen. Although it was hard for her to leave her mother, the relief of having a place to call home again is visible on Buddenhagens face. As each day passes more items are added to the dcor of their home, but the new furnishings are bitter sweet. Sept. 13 marks the one year anniversary of Hurricane Ike and as the memories of the storm ll the minds of many residents, the sense of community and togetherness offers comfort. Buddenhagen looks forward to the anniversary because of the community activities and participating in the Galveston walk. Although being with the community helps distract from all the problems Ike caused, another hurricane season is here, forcing residents to be prepared for the worst. Buddenhagen said she will do things differently if another hurricane hits Galveston Island. Im taking everything with me, were renting a truck, lling it up and its going with me, she said. Our pictures will no longer be in albums, but on a disc. Residents are working together to restore the Island to its glory. It will take time for things to be normal again, but that does not faze Buddenhagen. This is my home, she said, and Im not going anywhere. With the grace of God and the compassion from others, there is hope for better days to come. Buddenhagen and her family survived amid catastrophe and persevered during a time which tested their ability. Karl Brown, an operations project manager in the Galveston Districts Operations Division, helps out with the rebuilding of Buddenhagens home. Other district employees helping out were Nicole Minnichbach, Natalie Rund, Kevin Morgan and Andria Davis. m b H t h n l o c o G d h p if t r Kevin Morgan from the Galveston Districts Regulatory Branch, joins others at the rebuilding of Buddenhagens home.continued from previous pageHurricane Ike 31


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 each bed head, depending on the needs of a particular section. Once the students have completed the training, they are required to accomplish 30 hours of volunteer service within their community through approved activities. Keeping Table Rocks gardens cultivated is an approved activity. Gerhart said the bed heads, work like dogs on the owerbeds, dedicating many hours per week, while the helpers come in a few hours per week or some just a few hours per year. Gerhart and her volunteers have completely reworked many owerbeds, such as the garden around the agpole, removing old vegetation and bushes, and replanting the area. This transformation gave the garden an inviting and pleasant look, Fortson said. Gerhart graduated in 2002 and wanted to do something to help make Table Rock more beautiful. Finally, she approached a college friend whose husband works for another district in the Corps, and he suggested she contact the lake SEE GARDENERS NEXT PAGEBy Cheri Dragos-Pritchard Little Rock DistrictTable Rock Lake, with its close proximity to Branson, Mo., is Little Rock Districts most visited lake, and the Master Gardeners of the Ozarks regularly volunteer their time to help keep it beautiful by landscaping the grounds at the Dewey Short Visitors Center. They also share their talent with the visitors. For several years, Carol Gerhart has led the Master Gardeners of the Ozarks as the committee chairperson. This year, the group consists of 23 people. The volunteers, referred to by Gerhart as either bed heads or helpers have completed 30 hours of classroom training at the University of Missouri Master Gardener Extension Program. Their mission is, helping others learn to grow, Table Rock Park Ranger Malcolm Fortson said. There are eight sections of owerbeds with one bed head in charge of each section. There are one to three helpers assigned to Helping others learn to grow manager, Carl Smith. She did. Smith gave her a chance and he was impressed, Gerhart stated. Carl has moved on, but Ive been here working ever since. Fortson agrees with Smith about Gerhart. She is a dedicated, hard worker, Fortson added. She is always in a good mood and always takes time to talk or answer questions many of the visitors to the Dewey Short Visitors Center ask of her. Perhaps we should all work with plants and owers if this activity Dewey Short Visitors Center. (Courtesy photos) Carol Gerhart, Master Gardeners of the Ozarks committee chairperson, was presented with an Award of Appreciation for her hard work at the lake visitor center by Table Rock Ranger Gary Hill. 32


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC continued from previous pageGardeners Master Gardeners of the Ozarks Ruth Ann Seth (left) and Mary Angell unload potting soil as Marsha Beam drives the Gator. All three women volunteer time to the beautification of the Dewey Short Visitors Center and other landscaping projects at Table Rock Lake, located in southern Missouri. (Courtesy photo) has such a positive affect on a person. Fortson also talked about the many hours the gardeners have worked and reminded us that these are volunteers; their hard work and dedication have saved the taxpayers and the government time and money. In 2008, the Master Gardeners of the Ozarks volunteered 4,651 hours valued at $80,000 in volunteer time, Fortson said. Of this, a little over 570 hours, valued at more than $11,000, were given to improve and maintain the gardens and ower beds at the Dewey Short Visitors Center. Fortson went on to explain how the volunteers did more than just gardening at Table Rock. In addition to the gardens at the visitors center, Fortson added, the Master Gardeners were also involved in activities such as one-on-one teaching, the speakers bureau, community beauti cation projects, a childrens garden, and they hosted conferences such as the Spring Gardening Conference and Fall Gardening Workshop. Dieter and Marsha Beam graduated in December 2008 and started volunteering at Dewey Short with Gerhart while still in the course. Now that were retired, we were looking for something to do in a public service way, Mr. Beam said. We wanted to do something that showed the beauty that is so amazing here in the Ozarks, and this seemed to t perfectly. When asked if the couple had a favorite project, they said they couldnt pick just one. For Marsha and I, the biggest thrill is to watch visitors taking pictures of themselves and the gardens and visiting with us, Mr. Beam stated. Many times we have been given a thank you by guests for the work that is being done. Gerhart echoed Mr. Beams gratitude for the The Beaver Lake cleanup was held Sept. 26. Approximately 300 volunteers picked up up about 60 cubic yards of trash. Benton County Solid Waste District provided a recycling trailer, hauling off 30 tires, 100s of pounds of beaded polystyrene foam, and many other items such as metals to be recycled. Food was provided at no charge to the project participants by Catfish Johns. There was a live band, free tshirts and great door prizes. The weather was fabulous, and everyone seemed to have a great time. Little Rock Districts Alan Bland, Beaver Lake ranger, was the project coordinator.Beaver Lake cleanupwonderful comments the visitors make about their work. It makes me feel good to know people appreciate what this committee is doing. Gerhart said her relationship with the Corps has been a really good relationship, and Ive truly enjoy working with them. The people at the Dewey Short Center are the most wonderful people to work with, Gerhart explained. There is not a day that goes by, that someone doesnt come out and tell us what a great job were doing or ask if we need anything. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to work with the nicest people anyone could ever hope to meet. I would urge other Master Gardener groups as well as the Corps of Engineers to work on other sites as a team, Mr. Beam suggested. If they work half as well as this marriage works, it will be a success. The bed heads are: Mary Angell, Ruth Ann Seth, Lisa Henning, Lynn Ihling, Ken and Rose Schwarte and Carolyn Kilmer. The main helpers are: Fran Filip, Nancy Hawkins, Rosanne McEvoy, Kathy Newsom, Josie Roetto, Kay Winton, Devere Olmstead and Sharon Burgess. 33


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009Being an engineer can provide opportunities to profoundly impact entire communities, regions, and countries. Col. Richard J. Muraski, Fort Worth District Commander, emphasized this point during a program in September to inform parents of pre-college students about possible careers that are linked to science, engineering, and math. The two-day event, which was part of a national educational initiative called Viva Technology, was sponsored by the Army Corps of Engineers and took place at Highlands High School in San Antonio. Viva Technology is designed to educate inner-city and rural kindergarten through 12th grade students, teachers, and parents about the applications of technology and stimulate interest and academic achievement in science and math-related elds. Muraski told the parents that technology across the world is changing extraordinarily fast. Some jobs that will materialize in just ve or six years dont even exist now, said Muraski. He suggested that the United States could fall behind in some professional sectors, if more school children dont establish a foundation in science and math. He said the country as a whole is facing a shortage of engineers. Later, Muraski described how being an engineer had created what he called some of the most gratifying moments of his professional life. As an engineer, its always possible to see gradual progress and the nal product of all your efforts, Muraski said. He recounted his experience after a hurricane in Haiti when he contributed to the construction of a bridge. Storm damage had made travel virtually impossible between Muraski brings encouragement to future engineers, parents Col. Richard Muraski speaks to parents of students at Highlands High School in San Antonio during the Viva Technology educational forum, which was aimed at generating interest in science, technology, engineering, and math-related careers.the northern and southern sections of the country. Muraski said that completing the bridge allowed the two areas to be linked, restoring commercial traf c and giving an outlet to the stranded masses. He said that he would never forget the smiles on the faces of the people when they began using the new bridge. Questions from parents included whether individuals must be activeduty members of the military to be part of the Corps of Engineers, and if the Corps does work beyond constructing facilities on military installations. There were several looks of surprise in the audience when Muraski noted that only roughly one percent of USACE employees are military personnel. He went on to outline the multiple projects that the Corps oversees in the civilian world, such as work to maintain dams and lakes. To underscore the fact that USACE employs more than just engineers, he highlighted the Corps involvement in unconventional projects that often require the assistance of biologists and natural resource managers. One example was the ecological restoration of a portion of the San Antonio River. This effort will transform a channelized section of the river by reintroducing native plant life and re-establishing the meandering path that the river originally followed. Muraskis presentation to parents preceded a day of interactive exercises for many students at the high school. The students were divided into competing civil engineering teams that included college engineering or professional engineering team captains. The teams focused on multiple-choice questions, essay quizzes, and civil engineering/environmental science questions and issue challenges. The teams also worked on a common Corps-based civil engineering project, which included making a team presentation at the end of the day about the results achieved. Viva Technology was launched in California in 2001. Since its inception, the program has expanded into 13 states and reached more than 50,000 students, parents, and teachers. In addition to USACE, Viva Technology has received support over the years from NASA and the Department of Defense, along with several technology-based companies in the private sector. Story and photo by Brian Dwyer Fort Worth District34


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC By Debbie Chaloupek, Park Ranger, Canton LakeShannon Grimes, a footbal coach from Watonga, Okla., made a great play this past Memorial Day at Canton Lake. He saved a two-year-old girl from drowning. On May 25th, Grimes noticed the toddler playing in the water at Sandy Cove Beach at Canton Lake. A few moments later, he saw that the child appeared to be in trouble. He rushed over, pulled her from the water, and immediately performed CPR to resuscitate the youngster. Grimes quick action and knowledge of CPR are credited with saving the girl from drowning. In July, Grimes received a Life Saving Award from the Tulsa District. The rescued toddler was not wearing a life jacket while swimming that day, but she could have been. At Canton Lake, a loaner program allows anyone in need of a life jacket to check one out from a campground gate house or beach gate house and then return it at the end of the day. Quick thinking coach comes to rescue Shannon Grimes (second from left) is presented with a Life Saving Award by Bob Vandegriff, chief, Safety and Occupational Health Office, Tulsa District and Canton park rangers, Debbie Chaloupek and Tim Coffey. Courtesy photos.Youngsters participating in a special camp for patients of the Childrens Hospital of Oklahoma University were the guests of the staff at Lake Texoma in July. The children were given a ride in a Lake Texoma patrol boat, went shing, and had the opportunity to forget a strict regimen of doctor appointments and medical procedures. I have to say its very rewarding to watch the smile on a childs face when they catch a sh -even if they dont want to touch the worms to bait the hook, said Lake Texoma Natural Resource Specialist Grady Dobbs. It is quite humbling to sit and listen to these children talk about what they have gone through. Dobbs, Lake Texoma Assistant Manager B.J. Parkey, and Rangers Isaac Martin, Josh Wing eld, and Mark Boling helped make the outing possible The Corps provided life jackets to the campers who rode in dozens of volunteers boats to go shing. The OU Medical Center said that Camp Cavett provides, through a camp experience, a learning experience for chronically ill children. The free camp is open to children who have been a patient at the Medical Center. The camp was named for its founder, Danny Cavett, a stem cell transplant recipient. He created it as a place for the children to feel normal. Camp Cavett offers them a chance to experience a ropes challenge course, sports, arts and crafts, swimming, and shing. Since its inception eight years ago, the camp has given youngsters a chance to discover their inner strengths and make special friends. The Corps has been taking the children shing from just about the beginning and plan to continue. The staff is already planning next years event, said Dobbs. Hopefully we will even have shing poles donated so we can present them to the children.Rangers host chronically ill children for shing day A camper shows off a prize catch. Volunteers and their boats arrived early to take the campers fishing.35


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009By Courtney Brodbeck Galveston DistrictNo matter how much people prepare for a natural disaster such as Hurricane Ike, one cannot prepare for the devastation of seeing their lives literally being gutted. Casey Cutler, chief of Regulatory Policy in Galveston Districts Regulatory Branch, returned 36 hours after Ike ravaged Galveston Island to nd eight feet of water under his living quarters, just four inches shy of ooding his home. It wasnt the seawater we were ghting when we got back, it was the muck, which looks and smells like the sewerage and it was all over peoples lives, remembered Cutler. Pictures of their weddings, their children, and their babies toys, you cant prepare for something like that. He is thankful, though, that his house was built right and built strong. It has withstood the test of time, dating all the way back to the pre-1900 storm, and is still standing after Hurricane Ike. But after returning home, Cutler and his family witnessed the devastation of friends and neighbors lives; life was about survival when amenities were scarce. Cutler and his wife Sara were one of the rst in their neighborhood to return after the storm. They didnt have water for a full month and the electricity was out for about two months. However, they were both backpackers with the necessary equipment to survive and live in that environment. It was a bit harrowing, said Cutler. There was no more than one person per block in the neighborhood, and the police would rarely drive by. Eventually people returned to their homes but with limited resources. With a gas grill, Cutler and his wife were one of the only families within a six block reach that had any capacity to cooking. We ended up basically having an outdoor kitchen that got so well known it almost turned into a drive-through, recalled Cutler. People started dropping off drinks and food. They knew they had gotten help when they needed it, so they would drop stuff off at our house for other people that needed help. It was beautiful, the community did pull together, what few of us there were. Though there is a kind of stark beauty from the wreckage, there is damage that cannot be repaired. Cutler recalled how the devastation from Ike ruined many lives. He remembered an older man who owned a carriage business in Galveston. James was 76-years-old and about to sell his busiWithstanding hurricanes Withstanding hurricanesness and retire, but after Hurricane Ike he lost his business, his home, and some of his horses. It totally destroys some peoples lives, Cutler said. That hopelessness and helplessness from being there and trying to help, but theres nothing you can do, it really shatters you. Cutler, like so many others, lost several items that had been accumulated over the years. He does a lot of carpentry work and restores a lot of old doors and windows that come out of the old homes in Galveston so all of his tools were downstairs. Dozens of carved doors and stained glass were lost along with other equipment. In addition to the loss of equipment, Cutler lost a lot of invested time. He had just nished building his fence three weeks prior to Ike, but after the storm the fence was gone. He had also invested a great deal of time in their home, which he purchased after it had been condemned 27 years ago. He had just started to catch up on the mainte Casey Cutler, chief of Regulatory Policy for the Galveston District, returned to his home 36 hours after Hurricane Ike ravaged Galveston Island to find 8-feet of water under his living quarters. Photo by Courtney Brodbeck.and the tests of timeSEE TESTS OF TIME NEXT PAGE36


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC getting off this island. Cutler stayed during Hurricane Alicia, witnessing the devastating effects of a natural disaster. However, picking up the pieces is getting harder every time, so Cutler and his wife have purchased property in Austin where his children and grandchildren live. There is sadness on Cutlers face as he talks about leaving his home in Galveston. I have never thought about leaving Galveston, said Cutler. Weve spent virtually all of our nance of his home, but after the storm hit he felt like it knocked him back a decade. You have to revisit things you didnt expect to revisit in fteen years, now you have to go back and start from scratch, said Cutler. Its getting to be too tough as I get older. It has forced me to look at something I never wanted to look at and thats continued from previous pageTests of Time Doyle Thorn, a lock operator with the Galveston Districts Colorado River Locks, was honored with the Star of Texas Award Sept. 11, 2009, by Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Prior to joining the district in June 2009, Thorn served as a sergeant with the Matagorda County Sheriffs Department. Thorn was honored for his selfless service to his fellow citizens when he was shot, while serving a felony warrant, in the line of duty as a deputy with the Matagorda County Sheriffs Department in September of 2001. Star of Texas awardedlives and our childrens lives here, but its getting harder. Galveston is working on rejuvenating the island, but it also has the opportunity to recreate itself. Its a whole new time for Galveston, if people look at it as trying to x the problems of the past and addressing the issues that we saw didnt work before, and try to bring new solutions to those issues, then Galveston can be a better place, said Cutler. There are two types of seasonal in uenza vaccine: (Not H1N1) 1. Inactivated (killed) vaccine, or the u shot is given by injection into the muscle. 2. Live, attenuated (weakened) in uenza vaccine is sprayed into the nostrils. This vaccine is described in a separate Vaccine Information Statement. In uenza viruses are always changing. Because of this, in uenza vaccines are updated every year, and an annual vaccination is recommended. Each year scientists try to match the viruses in the vaccine to those most likely to cause u that year. When there is a close match the vaccine protects most people from Inactivated In uenza Vaccine 2009-2010 Inactivated In uenza Vaccine 2009-2010serious in uenzarelated illness. But even when there is not a close match, the vaccine provides some protection. In uenza vaccine will not prevent in uenza-like illnesses caused by other viruses. It takes up to 2 weeks for protection to develop after the shot. Protection lasts up to a year. Some inactivated in uenza vaccine contains a preservative called thimerosal. Some people have suggested that thimerosal may be related to developmental problems in children. In 2004 the Institute of Medicine reviewed many studies looking into this theory and concluded that there is no evidence of such a relationship. Thimerosal-free in uenza vaccine is available. 37


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009By Tyeshail Conner Little Rock DistrictPark Ranger Michael Hurley of Beaver Lake and his wife take their concern for family and environment to whole new level, especially as it concerns their two little girls and their exposure to chemicals. In an effort to do reduce this, they created Piggy Paint. The family of four lives in a small community just north of the northwest Arkansas region, and one day Hurley and his wife, Melanie, realized just how harmful some of their daily products were when they had a ngernail-painting party for their two girls. In the course of one of our girls getting her nails painted, a drop of polish dripped on the foam plate we had under her hand, Hurley stated. To our amazement, the plate began to bubble and within a minute or two the polish ate through the plate. So in an effort to do our part we discussed and researched for weeks an alternative polish for little girls that did not have the harsh chemicals, Hurley said. It resulted in the creation of this product (Piggy Paint), for all little girls to use. Hurley added, this was an effort to get rid of those harsh solvent-based polishes. As with a number of people in the natural resource eld, my family and I have always tried to do our part in conserving energy and minimizing environmental impacts by doing things such as recycling, using our own bags at Wal-Mart, and any number of things. Hurley stated. I have always been keen on reducing the use of items with harmful chemicals, especially when I became a father of two girls. By minimizing exposure to harsh chemicals in their day-today activities, not only are we creating healthier children, but also a better world. According to, Piggy Paint is as natural as mud in the sense that it is a mixture of water and other natural ingredients. Its specially formulated of ingredients such as: water, water-miscible acrylic resins and thickeners (well below 100 parts per million), glycol ethers [and] may contain mica, D&C red lake, ultramarine blue, iron, and titanium oxide pigments. It is nontoxic with no smelly odors and environmentally safe. By educating yourself about the chemicals in your daily use products and altering your practices, you too can decrease exposure to household chemicals. As you can see, from Hurleys example reducing exposure is not as dif cult as you may think. Once you learn about the safe, natural alternatives, it's a matter of knowing which products and ingredients to choose and which to avoid.Beaver Lake Park Ranger Michael Hurley paints environmentally safe fingernail polish on his daughters nails. Hurley and his wife, Melanie, developed the polish in an effort to keep harmful chemicals away from their girls, and ended up creating a product they now sell to the public. Park Ranger John Bridgeman of Greers Ferry Project Office organized through the Great Arkansas Cleanup, a shoreline cleanup of Greers Ferry Lake Sept. 12. They had 702 volunteers of all ages come out and pick up 11,140 pounds of debris. There was 110 pounds of aluminum and more than 100 tires collected. They also hauled in items such as dock flotation material, a section of a dock and a dock walk-way. After all the trash and debris was collected the sponsors fed 600 volunteers.Keeping it clean Saving the environment one piggy at a time38


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC An opossum from the Sunset Zoo in Manhattan, Kan., is held by an interpreter who lets students touch the animal while he tells them about the cuddly critter. Photos By Dara LowryTwin Lakes Water FestivalImpacting visitors, their futures, and the next generationBy Michael Lowry Natural Resources Manager Council Grove LakeCouncil Grove Lake hosted the fth annual Twin Lakes Water Festival Sept. 17 for fourth and fth graders from six different counties, 30 schools, and 58 classes. The educational event focused on learning about natural resources through a multi-sensory, hands-on approach with an emphasis on water quality and conservation. The day-long event, which was free to schools, was organized and operated by a seven-member committee from county conservation boards, the National Resources Conservation Service, and the Corps of Engineers. Wow! What a spectacular eld trip experience for our fourth graders. They loved all of the activities and had a blast while learning about how important it is to take care of our water sources, one teacher said. Presentations were led by natural resource professionals from across Kansas in fun, interactive ways that encouraged critical thinking, problem solving, and responsible decision making, as well as teaching participants to be good watershed neighbors. Topics included land ll construction; water conservation; Kansas wildlife, soils and native grasses; the geology of an aquifer; the water cycle; and how macro invertebrates are used as indicator species for stream health. The classes rotated stations every 20 minutes with a 30-minute break at lunch. Due to the number of classes, there were 70 different professional presenters. It takes approximately 200 volunteers annually to put on the festival, A student is intrigued by a Tiger Salamander from the Sunset Zoo in Manhattan, Kan. The Tiger Salamander is the Kansas state amphibian.with 140 being high school students from four different high schools in three different counties. Grant funding through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and local sponsors created in-kind donations totaling $55,000. Through the hard work of a seven-member committee and hundreds of volunteers, the Twin Lakes Water Festival has educated more than 5,700 students and has positively impacted the next generation. 39


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 Little Rock District Commander Col. Ed Jackson, far left, and Real Estate Branch Chief Don Balch, far right, attended a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of the new Armed Forces Career Center July 16 in Pine Bluff, Ark. Little Rock District oversaw the construction of the building that now houses the recruiters for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. The facility is in the Tower Center, and the building owner and representatives from each military branch were at the opening ceremony. The career center offers opportunities for men and women to serve their country in the military and obtain top quality training in many career fields. L C R B b t F P t t r e F is b t w T t s a m Team effortRecently members of Piedmont Cub Scout Pack 65 volunteered their time and effort to assist the staff at Little Rock Districts Clearwater Lake with removing limbs and leveling base rock that was placed along the Bottomland Forest Trail near River Road Park in the Watchable Wildlife Area. They did an outstanding job! Working together, large jobs such as this can be completed in a short period of time. This year Clearwater also had Boy Scout Troop 65 from Piedmont, Troop 16 from Cape Girardeau and Troop 27 from Potosi volunteer to enhance public lands. Scouts have performed trash pick up, tree planting, debris removal and trail maintenance. They have unselfishly logged more than 122 hours of volunteer work this year. Pack lends a handFour Little Rock District recreation facilities were listed among the nations best recently by Reserve America, the company that runs the National Recreation Reservation Service. There were two district campgrounds and two trails included in the top picks. The two campgrounds listed among Americas Top 100 Family Campgrounds were Dam Site River Campground at Beaver Lake in northwest Arkansas and Bluff View Campground on Clearwater Lake near Piedmont, Mo. They were chosen from more than 3,000 campgrounds considered nationwide. The Black River Hike and Bike Trail at Clearwater Lake was named one of the nations Top 50 Hiking Trails. Old Post Road Park at Lake Dardanelle near Russellville, Ark., hosts one of the nations Top 25 Biking Trails. Reserve America compiled the top 100 list after reviewing testimonials from park rangers, regional park management and campers. SWL among best facilities40


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC SEE ICE CREAM NEXT PAGEStory and photos by Randy Cephus Fort Worth DistrictNeed an interesting, out-ofthe-box idea to break up the routine? Just look to the guys and gals who are members of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Association for solutions. To thank Fort Worth District employees for a successful year and to provide special recognition to selected individuals, the MWRA decided to do things a little different from the traditional awards ceremony. Everybody loves ice cream, so why not use this as a tool to get everyone out of the of ce to celebrate District accomplishments? Lets call the event the Ice Cream Social! During the 1950s, ice cream parlors where a huge form of entertainment and the MWRA wanted to create a nostalgic ashback of the 50s and rekindle fond memories of that era for some of our Corps employees, said MWRA member Angela Vaughan. The event began with a skit based on Grease, the popular musical depicting the era. The Fort Worth version showcased the District Commander being initiated into the T-Bird gang. It culminated with the presentation of his of cial T-Bird jacket to the delight of giggling Pink Ladies. As the newest member of the T-Birds, Col. Richard J. Muraski Jr. of cially welcomed everyone to the event and thanked Corps members for the hard work conducted during the past year. I was really impressed as I walked around on Sept. 30 and saw the smiles and heard, Were going to do it! as many of you pressed on to get FY09 closed out, Muraski said. I hope each of you takes a minute to realize the great work that youre doing and how youre bene tting the nation by what you do every day. The celebration began with a few seats remaining but by the time it was in full swing, there was standing room only. In fact, many had to remain outside the venue and wait for others to leave. During the awards ceremony, Muraski presented Achievement Medals for Civilian Service to Michael C. Bormann, Dorie T J t m c w s g p o o t Ice Cream Social to celebrate year-end accomplishmentsFrom left to right, Donna Fontana, Resource Management; Marion Hubner, Operations Division; Sara Kasten, Internal Review Office ; Angie Vaughan, Operations Divison and Linda Brzuskziewicz, Public Affairs Office, strike a pose in front of the ice cream parlor during the Oct. 6 Ice Cream Social celebration. Sara Kasten, Internal Review Office, scoops ice cream for district employees during the Oct. 6 Ice Cream Social.41


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009continued from previous pageIce cream In a mission-focused culture like the Corps of Engineers, employees often place their energies on the task at hand and fail to take care of other basics such as physical and spiritual well-being. Col. Richard J. Muraski Jr., the Fort Worth District Commander, has put out a challenge to address one of the areas that make up a wellrounded person and encourages all Corps employees to Beat the Boss. This is an activity related event designed to increase ones level of tness, according to Safety and Occupational Health Specialist Benoit C. Palmer. The plan is simple the top three employees who accumulate more points than Col. Muraski, win. This isnt going to be an easy task since the district commander leads by example. One can see him every day in the gym working up a sweat and racking up points. The event began Oct. 1 and runs through Nov. 13. a six-week period. There are activities all can enjoy regardless of their tness level. Activities can include walking, jogging and weight training. I encourage everyone to participate as physical tness is a key component to readiness, Muraski said. The program shows you how to make a commitment to staying active and how to stick to it. The program also helps you set realistic goals to encourage a lifetime commitment to physical tness. Enrollment is required to formally participate in events and activities under the Wellness Program. Applicants must also complete a medical waiver of liability form and return it to the wellness coordinator. Prizes will be awarded for rst, second and third place nishers. To enroll in Beat the Boss, interested employees should log into the Web page below and follow the instructions. The site provides details on the program including activities and the point system. Group ID# 83551 Group Name: Beat the Boss COE FW Murphy and George Williams for support provided during a past natural disaster. Certi cates were presented to Misti Cedillo, Clayton Church, Deloris Greenwood, Misti Griese and Carol Staten. At the conclusion of the ceremony, 50s clad MWRA members served the crowd an assortment of avored ice cream, complete with the individuals choice of bananas, strawberries, cherries, whipped cream and nuts. By all accounts this was a highly successful event for the MWRA members. However, they are not just savoring this accomplishment but are already planning for the next event. Our next big event will take place on Oct. 22. Its going to be a Fall Film Festival and it entails a lm, food and fun! Vaughan said. We will have a wide variety of typical movie theater food to purchase, and will be showing the classic movie Its the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. The MWR team plans to host the Ice Cream Social again next year and will pick a different decade for the theme. Maintaining a sense of balance is key component to wellnessStory and photo by Randy Cephus Fort Worth District Col. Richard J. Muraski Jr., the Fort Worth District Commander, asks a question to all Corps employees. Can you Beat the Boss?42


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC Given that this is my rst column since assuming command, I want to begin by saying it is an honor and a privilege to serve with a group of dedicated professionals in both the Fort Worth District and the Southwestern Division team. Thank you for welcoming my family and me to the SWF Family. A special thanks goes to Col. Chris Martin and his wife, Carolyn, for welcoming us and formulating a phenomenal transition which allowed the district to continue operations without a hitch. This is no easy task especially with the district decisively engaged in our military construction, civil works and support for others. It is an honor and pleasure to serve you all. I continue to be amazed at the attitude and can do spirit of SWF. During my rst quarter as the commander I have witnessed an enormous amount of excellent work being accomplished by the district staff. Maintaining the enormous pace of routine work, coupled with year end close-outs and performance appraisals was no small feat. But you executed all these tasks with precision. Let me recap some of these signi cant accomplishments. Fiscal Year 2009 was a year for the history books. Our contracting team, in conjunction with of ce of council and many other divisions, performed brilliantly with the year end close-out. This was truly a team effort which should re-enforce that its all about collaborating, coordinating and communicating. For the military construction program in FY 09, 254 projects totaling some $4.5 billion were awarded, compared to 170 projects at $1 billion in FY08. SWF was also the number one district in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for awards to small businesses, with contracts totaling over $780 million for FY 09. Additionally, construction placement for the scal year totaled $1.75 billion, compared to $900 million in FY 08. All said, the total military program in planning, design or construction is now $11.2 billion. Your efforts in military and environmental programs have made us leaders within USACE in overall customer satisfaction. You have done this by routinely meeting and exceeding metrics and providing great quality, cost ef cient facilities and services on time. Two examples of your excellence are the Fort Bliss Expansion Program and the work being executing in San Antonio. These two programs make up the bulk of the MILCON work. Despite rapidly escalating construction costs you were able to overcome large cost issues and award these projects within the programmed amount before the end of the scal year deadline. Additionally, you demonstrated tireless dedication at the end of year for military operation and maintenance awards in a funding environment that was extremely dynamic, changing daily. In the civil works arena, you have excelled on unique projects, maintained excellent congressional and stakeholder relationships, continued work on an impressive number of projects including the Gainesville Pecan Creek project, Dallas Floodway, Fort Worth Trinity River Vision and the Mission Reach project along the San Antonio River. Additionally, you have served over 25 million visitors and kept them safe at our 25 area lakes. You are Phenomenal! Operations Division obligated an astounding $58.2 million dollars during FY09 including supplemental and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to be divided between our lakes. It was truly a monumental effort with superior coordination between all district and eld elements to award 21 major consolidated contracts. Examples of work initiated via the contracts include park modernizations (new restrooms, electrical system upgrades and facility repairs), bank stabilizations, outlet works and channel rehabilitations, cultural resource surveys, boat ramp repairs and road repavings. A major highlight this year was the reduction in the number of drownings on our lakes. Through intense efforts by the entire water safety team, Fort Worth District was able to reduce the number of water related fatalities this year by 18 percent. There were more than 100,000 contacts by eld SEE PRIVILEGE LAST PAGE Col. Richard J. Muraski, Jr. Commander, Fort Worth District Its a privilege to serve SWF43


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009By Isidro Reyna Galveston District Starting the rst day at a new job can bring about jitters in almost anyone, especially if the day begins with a at tire and misplaced I.D. When Chelsea Desforges started her rst day in June as part of the Student Career Experience Program at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston Districts Regulatory Branch, thats exactly what happened. My rst day was kind of hectic, said Desforges, who is also a student majoring in ocean and coastal resources at Texas A&M Galveston. At rst, I was overwhelmed, but everyone was very nice at the Corps. I went around the building with my unit leader and was introduced to everyone. Luckily, Desforges has the help of her identical twin sister, Heather, who shares the same academic major and also works in the Regulatory Branch as a SCEP employee. We work together, have every single class together and live together. People at school have gotten used to it, especially since were in the same classes, said Heather, who began working at the district in February. When Chelsea rst started, I think it took people a while to realize there were two of us here at the Corps. SCEP provides federal employment opportunities to students who are enrolled or accepted for enrollment as degree seeking students taking at least half-time academic, technical or vocational Student Career Experience Programcourse loads in an accredited high school, technical, vocational, two or four-year college or university, graduate or professional school, said Calvin Harris, a human resources specialist with the Southwestern Divisions Civilian Personnel Advisory Center in Fort Worth. The SCEP provides work experience which is directly related to the students academic program and career goals. The SCEP program is a great opportunity. I wish there were more positions open because I have so many friends who are interested in it, said Chelsea. Im glad were able to work and do something that goes along with our major. The Corps is really exible with your school schedule and they always say school comes rst, said Heather. Once I graduate, I would like to eventually go to graduate school and get a job here in the Galveston District, and if not here, in another Corps district. Its imperative that we recruit the best and brightest individuals to carryout the important mission of the Galveston District, said Rose Caballero, Equal Employment Opportunity manager and SCEP coordinator for the district. Our SCEP employees have a unique opportunity to train and grow professionally at the Corps while earning an education at their respective institutions of higher learning. Within 120 calendar days of graduation or completion of the SCEP program, employees may be eligible, but not guaranteed, non-competitive conversion to a permanent position in the competitive p o ha a r C h ab t h o u e s c s a s a gr e v s c in a C w b c Chelsea and Heather Desforges, students at Texas A&M Galveston, work in the districts Regulatory Branch through the Student Career Experience Program. Photo by Isidro Reyna.SEE DOUBLING UP NEXT PAGEDoubled up44


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC continued from previous pageDoubling up service, said Caballero. Student employees must have completed at least 640 hours of career-related work and met the quali cation requirements for the target position. SCEP focuses on the student and places much emphasis on developing quality employees in all subject matter areas, said Caballero. There is a written agreement between the student and manager, signed by the commander, and outlines the students responsibilities and expectations. The Corps provides a very structured program for student employees, said Caballero. In order to be eligible, students must have at least a 2.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale and pass a security background check. Many of our current Corps employees began as SCEP employees while they too were still in school, said Caballero. Through a structured and professional training program, they were able to mature into successful specialists and managers in different of ces in the Galveston District. I didnt know much about the Corps when I rst started, said Heather. When I got here, I realized this goes right along with my major. We write permits and work through the Corps permit process, said Heather. The teacher and mentor that Im working with started a class on permit writing after he found out we had a job at the Corps. Hes trying to give people a heads up about the permit process. In fact, both Chelsea and Heather have interacted with members of the public seeking permits. There are de nite steps that one needs to follow, said Heather. I think people dont always understand the time involved and the different agencies we have to coordinate with. If people send in all the information that is needed, the permit process really doesnt take as long, said Chelsea. I tell applicants to give us as much information as they can. What takes the longest is getting information back from members of the public. I really like working for the Corps, said Heather. You learn a little more each day. Celebrating Womens Equality Day Patricia Brannan, a project assistant in the Galveston Districts Engineering Branch, portrayed Rosie the Riveter during a Womens Equality Day program at the districts headquarters building. I wanted to pay tribute to my mom, Mary S. King said Brannan. When she was younger, she worked during World War II when the men went off to war and there was no one to man the refineries in Port Arthur, Texas, where she lived at the time. The women were asked to work in the refineries to replace the men who went to fight in the war, she said. My mother went to work at the Gulf refinery to help with the war effort, packing part of the refinery where they canned 50 gallon drums and loaded oil to transport to other places. It was awesome, said Brannan. My mom was Rosie the Riveter-like. Combined Federal Campaign coming soon45


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 Keepin it cleanBoy Scout Troop and Venture Crew 128 from Jacksonville, Ark., volunteered on a rainy day to clean up the shoreline of Nimrod Lake. Front row, left to right are: Carol Valbracht, Venture Crew advisor; Marchyelle Brown; Nathan Gregson; Kyle Jackson; Nate Morse; and Justice Woods. Back row are: Doug Eaton, Scoutmaster; Tanika Walker; Bill Fraley, assistant Scoutmaster; and Brian Stallard. The group has been going to Nimrod for the cleanup for the past 14 years. Every year, they arrive on a Friday night and spend Friday and Saturday night camping in one of the projects parks. Scoutmaster Eaton is a retired Army lieutenant colonel. He served in the Little Rock District as the deputy commander and stayed in the area after retirement. This cleanup was lightly attended because of the heavy rain that fell most of the day, but the scouts and crew stayed to gather trash and debris. Prior to going to Nimrod, Eaton and his scouts attended the Greers Ferry cleanup for four years. American Indian Heritage MonthDr. Arthur C. Parker Early Proponents What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the signi cant contributions the rst Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted in a whole month designated for that purpose. One of the very proponents of an American Indian Day was Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, who was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, N.Y. He persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to set aside a day for the "First Americans," and for three years they adopted such a day. In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association meeting in Lawrence, Kan., formally approved a plan concerning American Indian Day. It directed its president, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, an Arapahoe, to call upon the country to observe such a day. Coolidge issued a proclamation on Sept. 28, 1915, which declared the second Saturday of each May as an American Indian Day and contained the rst formal appeal for recognition of Indians as citizens. The year before this proclamation was issued, Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, rode horseback from state to state seeking approval for a day to honor Indians. On Dec. 14, 1915, he presented the endorsements of 24 state governments at the White House. There is no record, however, of such a national day being proclaimed. State Celebrations The rst American Indian Day in a state was declared on the second Saturday in May 1916 by the governor of N.Y. Several states celebrate the fourth Friday in September. In Illinois, for example, legislators enacted such a day in 1919. Presently, several states have designated Columbus Day as Native American Day, but it continues to be a day we observe without any recognition as a national legal holiday. Heritage Months In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November as "National American Indian Heritage Month. Activities and programs will highlight the roles of American Indians and Alaska Natives and their part in our nation's history. With the construction of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian, comes the chance to educate all Americans about their culture. This month serves as a much needed reminder to recognize the efforts, and most importantly the struggles, of Native Americans to nd comfort in a society whose beliefs severely contrast their own. Regardless of the how and why, it still stands that people like Sakajawea and her contribution to the 'Voyage of Discovery' led by Lewis and Clark, and the Navajo code talkers who helped our nation and the allies secure a victory in World War II, were remarkable in their efforts. Our government is working to maintain the legacy of American Indians and Alaskan Natives by preserving irreplaceable languages, cultural traditions, and continuing to honor tribal sovereignty. This year's theme is "Taking the Path to Leadership" Information provided by Gerard Francis, Little Rock District Equal Employment Opportunity manager. 46


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 k Ba c k N Ne x t T TOC Little Rock celebrates its retirees Little Rock District Public Affairs Office coordinated and organized another Retiree Appreciation Day barge ride for its retirees Oct. 8 aboard the Motor Vessel Ted Cook and inspection barge. The weather didnt look too promising in the morning hours, but before the two-hour trip was over, the sun came through and warmed up the day. The retirees were able to get their fill of fried chicken and catfish with all the sides and fixings and sit in the sunshine, if they desired. There were more than 225 people riding on the barge. T O O O C T O O O C C C P O 2009 B Ba Little Rocks District Commander Col. Ed Jackson talked to the retirees about projects taking place within the district and the historical times todays Corps members are working in. He also introduced the Distinguished Gallery Inductees who attended the event and introduced the latest inductee, Ken Carter, (left) and read some of his accomplishments. 47


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 48 Ham operators set up equipment for their lunch-time meeting. Photo by Sara GoodeyonHamming it up in Tulsa Partnering togetherTulsa District Keystone Switchyard Transfer Team members successfully transferred switchyard equipment to Southwestern Power Administration. Removing the workload allows Tulsa District to focus on the assets related to generation and provide the most efficient and effective means of power generation and delivery. The team members (in the back row, from the left) are: Jeremy Rogers, Ron Beck, Rod Shank, Danny Johnson, Sam Patterson, Mike Love, and Luther Harrison. Front, Linda Mummey, Malinda Lefave, Larry Harp, Jon Worthington, Col. Anthony Funkhouser, and Nikki Carr.By Sara Goodeyon Tulsa DistrictThe picnic shelter at Tulsa District headquarters was a hive of activity one sunny summer Friday as a group of ham radio operators set up shop for an informal lunchtime gathering. Members busily worked to get the antenna and radio situated so they could make contact with other radio operators in farung locations and chat. Its just a bunch of people that get together and try to have fun. We just now started, but well shoot for getting together once a month, said Mark Miller a technical manager with Military Construction for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. We have more than 20 licensed hams in the district. Some of the folks have become fairly active in ham radio, explained Paul Bisdorf from the Engineering and Construction Division. Getting the initial technicians license is not too dif cult, and it is possible to work fairly cheaply. You can buy used equipment for, say, $50 or your can spend thousands or tens of thousands, said volunteer instructor Loyd Beeson, a computer programmer with Electronic Data Systems. Beeson said there are many reasons why people get hooked on ham operating. Many enjoy the technical aspect of experimenting with electronics and radio. Beeson said its fantastic for that because as a ham there is a tremendous amount of freedom to try new things, to play with antennas and to design radios. Others see the value of using the radio for public service. If you want to get into public service its fantastic for that because when disaster strikes, a lot of times were it. Commercial systems are down. Cell systems are down. We (hams) still function, said Beeson. Ham operators are also usually the only communications link to the outside world in the event of a natural disaster. Youll hear the same story a lot in a number of natural disasters. When Typhoon Pongsona hit Guam in Dec. 2002 ... the rst one that got the word out was a ham operator, said Bisdorf. Beeson, who works in the computer industry, said its always amazing when something as old and as simple as using Morse Code with a ham radio works when all the high-tech stuff fails.


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC Little Rocks Civilian Recreation Association coordinated and organized the annual Family Fun Night event for the evening ride Oct. 6 aboard the Motor Vessel Ted Cook and inspection barge. Many district employees brought their families and friends out for the ride. The rain took a break, and the passengers stayed dry while the barge took them down the river past the banks of cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock. Photos by Toby Isbell.Family Fun Night adventure an Ve f a ge c i t t tle Rocks C ivilian Recreation Association coordinated and or ga nized the lFilFNihfhiidO6bdhM Li t The event was catered by Whole Hog Cafe of Little Rock. CRA members served the barge riders barbecue with all the normal sides and fixings. 49


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009Pacesetter PointsSWD Points CongratulationsDoug Benge joined the SWD headquarters as its Physical Security Of cer, Readiness and Operations Division July 24. He comes to the division from the Army Materiel Command, Fort Belvoir, Va. Maj. Thierry Bras arrived for duty in SWD headquarters Aug. 17. Bras will serve as the FEST team leader, Readiness and Operations. His last assignment was at Fort Jackson, S.C. Charlie Robson returned to the SWD headquarters staff as its Internal Review evaluator Aug. 30. In his new position, Robson will provide IR support to both SWD and the South Paci c Division. He served in SWD headquarters for a number of years before his last assignment in Fort Worth District. Bradley Hudgens, civil engineer, joined SWD headquarters staff Aug. 31. Hudgens serves in Planning Division, Programs Directorate. George Hutchison, program manager, and Eric Eldridge, social scientist, both joined the Engineering and Construction Support Of ce, with duty stations in Washington, D.C., Sept. 13 Eldridge's last assignment was with Los Angeles District; Hutchison last served with Customs and Border Protection. Paula Johnson-Muic, chief, Real Estate Division, SWD headquarters, was honored by the U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division, in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., Sept. 22. Johnson-Muic was recognized by Justice for her outstanding efforts on behalf of the border fence litigation. Angel de la Rosa, program manager, Regional Business Management Division, Regional Business Directorate, received the Hispanic Engineers National Achievement Awards Corporation's 2009 Luminary Award during its annual convention this month in California. The award recognizes individuals who lead, collaborate and initiate key programs and research within their organizations. Nila Gillespie recently joined Southwestern Division headquarters as its new regional community support coordinator, Family and Employee Readiness/Support Program, Sept. 4. She is employed by Serco North America, Inc., and brings many skills to our region. Adrianne Carter and Eric Nelson recently were selected as SWDs District Support Liaisons, Civil Works Integration Division, Programs Directorate. Carter, who serves as the Fort Worth and Galveston District liaison, served in CWID for the past 4 years as the Construction General account manager. Nelson, who serves as the Little Rock and Tulsa District liaison, returns to SWD headquarters from his previous assignment at the Corps Institute for Water Resources and a recent deployment to Gulf Region Division. The Catoosa High School Lady Indians girls fast pitch softball team from Catoosa, Okla., won the Division 4A regional championship for their region located in Northeastern Oklahoma. Among the many talented young women on this team is Amanda Mathias, a senior and niece of Pam Wellman in Of ce of Counsel at SWDHQ. SWF Points CongratulationsValerie Shippers has been selected as Chief, Military Branch, Program and Project Management Division with an of cial start date of September 27. Shippers brings a variety of experience to our District, most recently as our Deputy Director of the Fort Bliss Program Of ce. She has had a previous assignment with the Missile Defense Agency as a Program Manager and positions at the Installation level both stateside and overseas. Ginger Gruber was selected as the Deputy Chief, Contracting Division. Gruber was an acquisition program manager in the Contracting Division assigned to the Engineering and Construction Support Of ce. Her diverse contracting skills and experience will bene t the Fort Worth Contracting Team in her new responsibility as Deputy Chief. SWF CondolencesThelma Sleeker, mother of Carolyn Solomon Fort Worth District library technician passed away July 24, she was 93. Shane Gilder, brother of Tonya Lippe, management services SEE POINTS NEXT PAGE50


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC specialist at Three Rivers Regional Of ce, passed away July 30 of cancer, he was 28. Former Fort Worth District employee Tim Teaschner passed away July 31. He began work as a Ranger at Belton Lake in 1976 and later moved to the Planning Division in Fort Worth. He opened the Amarillo Area Of ce out of the Tulsa District and retired from that of ce in 1995. Teaschner is also the uncle to Terri Beth Teaschner, a current district park ranger at Georgetown Lake. Sidney Linde, father-in-law of Jennifer Linde outdoor recreation specialist, Operations Division, passed away Aug. 5. Donald E. Madden, father of David Madden, regulatory branch passed away Aug. 7, he was 75.SWG Points ArrivalsCourtney Brodbeck began working for the Galveston District July 6 as a public affairs assistant in the public affairs of ce. Brodbeck is a senior at the University of Houston-Clear Lake where she is majoring in broadcast journalism. Rebecca Bond-Bostick joined the Galveston District Aug. 31 as an administrative support assistant in the environment branch. Horst Loechel joined the Galveston District Aug. 31 as a manager for the Safety and Occupational Health of ce. Prior to joining the district, Loechel continued from previous pagePoints worked for III Corps and Fort Hood as a safety specialist. Emilee Stevens began working at the Galveston District May 12, 2008, through the Student Career Experience Program; she was hired as a full-time employee July 5 as a regulatory specialist. Bertram Scott joined the Galveston District July 23 as a contract specialist. Prior to joining the district, Scott was a contract specialist at the Tank-automotive & Armaments Command in Warren, Mich. Terrell Smith arrived at the Galveston District July 19 as a hydrographic survey coordinator in the Northern Area Of ce. Smith has worked in the hydrographic survey eld for 38 years, 26 of which have been as an employee for the Corps. Jonathan Whitmire arrived at the Galveston District Sept. 14 as a civil engineer technician working as a hydrographic and land surveyor for the Corpus Christi Resident Of ce. Carolyn Anthony arrived at the Galveston District Sept. 14 as an appraiser for the real estate division. Donald Hester joined the Galveston Districts Real Estate Division as a retired annuitant July 9. Brenda Warren joined the Galveston District as a reemployed annuitant June 22; she is the chief of the Safety and Occupational Health of ce. Vinh Nguyen accepted a position Aug. 16 in the Real Estate Division as a real estate specialist for the Galveston District. Nguyen has worked for the district since 2000; his previous position was with the Information Management Of ce as a system administrator. SWG DeparturesNicole Minnichbach transferred from the Galveston District to the Philadelphia District as a staff archeologist and was promoted to a GS-12. Justin Bookout departed the Galveston District to attend the University of Texas where he received a full scholarship in economics. SWG Condolences Sincere condolences to Wayne Dunham of the Galveston District, whose father passed away Sept. 10. Bernice Rivers a retired Galveston District realty specialist for the Real Estate Division, passed away July 5. She was born in La Marque, Texas, and was a graduate for Lincoln High School. Rivers has three children, Tina, Anthony, and Robert. Condolences to Earnestine Brown of the Galveston District, whose father passed away July 6. Marie Celeste Castiglione Pattillo a project manager in the Galveston District Regulatory Branchs Corpus Christi Of ce passed away Aug. 7. A 1981 graduate of Corpus Christi State University, Pattillo earned her bachelors degree in Marine Science. She was the wife of Mark Pattillo, who works in the Corpus Christi of ce as well. Pattillo was a member of the Corpus Christi Bromeliad Society, where she served as past president and current secretary. She loved nature, traveling, animal-rescue, beachcombing, celebrations with family, friends and co-workers.SEE POINTS NEXT PAGE51


B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009continued from previous pagePoints SWL Points CongratulationsCraig Pierce was selected as the new chief of Little Rocks Programs and Project Management Division. Dennis Pistole was selected as Clearwater Project Of ces new civil engineer technician chief for the operations and maintenance branch. Soila Reando was selected as the new deputy for small business. She over from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Laurie Driver and Jay Woods came to work in Public Affairs as public affairs specialists. She comes from the VA. He comes from Japan District. Karen Yeager was selected to work as the project coordinator in Little Rocks Programs and Project Management Division. Joel Epperson was selected as the new Nimrod-Blue Mountain Operations Project Manager at the Russellville Project Of ce. Glenn Prof tt was selected as the civil works project manager in Little Rocks PPMD. Little Rocks Design Branch welcomed new Corps members Blake Allred and Estus Wilson, III as structural engineers in the general engineering section. They also welcomed DA Intern, Aaron Cole, a new civil engineering graduate from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Tony Hill of the emergency management of ce recently graduated from Arkansas Tech University with a masters degree in Emergency Management and Homeland Security.SWL Family MattersShannon Keith, daughter of Nancy Keith, civil engineering technician in Little Rocks Design Branch has completed her studies to become an archivist. She graduated August 2009 with a Master of Science in Information Studies at the School of Information, University of Texas at Austin. She has accepted a special librarian position at the University of Texas, San Antonio Libraries. Jessica Moe, daughter of Greig Moe, natural resource specialist, and Vicki Moe, management services specialist, of the Russellville Project Of ce, married Jeremey McCain July 18 in Clarksville, Ark. Lonnie Jarman, Greers Ferry Power Plant mechanic, and his wife Pardene are the proud grandparents of Kailey Beth Petty, who was born May 15 weighing 7 pounds, 7 ounces. She was 19 and three quarters inches long. She is the daughter of the Jarmans daughter, Mandy, and her husband Larkin Petty. SWL Community OutreachLittle Rocks Archeologist Chris Davies gave a presentation about underwater nds. He spoke on the topic of Little Rock District and Arkansas River Basin Archeology to an audience of 50 at the Wintrop Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean Mountain July 9. The event was, Picture the Past, was a cooperative venture between the Rockefeller Institute and the Arkansas Archeological Survey.SWL CondolencesJoe Irvin, retired natural resource manager at Pine Bluff Project Of ce, died Aug. 11 at his home. Edward Harlee Robinson, grandfather to Melissa Jackson, program assistant in PPMD, passed away Aug. 10. Eunice Crownover, mother to Tim Crownover of Little Rocks Reservoir Control and retired member Larry Crownover, passed away Aug. 11. Nance Mary Gerlinger, mother of Roy Gerlinger in Little Rocks mail room, passed away July 1. SWT Points CongratulationsBig sister, Bailey Mayfield, announced the arrival of her new baby brother, Hunter Edward Mayfield. He was born Sept. 16 at 11:43 a.m., weighing 6 pounds, and was 19.5 inches long. Their parents are George and Sabrina Mayfield. George is a park ranger at Tulsa Districts Canton Lake. Jaedyn Elizabeth Couch was born Sept. 17. She weighed 6 pounds, 1 ounce and was 19.5 inches long. Shes the granddaughter of Tulsa Districts Susan Couch, Big Hill lake manager. Jaedyns dad Jonathan is a Marine with the 3rd Battalion, 2d Marines, and is currently with a Marine Exeditionary Unit in the Middle East. McKenzie Clothier graduated Oct. 2 from Fort Jackson Basic Combat Training. She is in the reserves and has begun her Advanced Individual Training SEE POINTS NEXT PAGE52


PACESETTER OCTOBER 2009 B k B a c k N Ne x t TOC TOC continued from previous pagePoints as a Paralegal Specialist. Her big sister is Shannon Evans of Tulsa Districts Equal Employment Opportunity Office. Debra Overstreet, legal assistant with Tulsa Districts Office of Counsel on two accounts. She was awarded the prestigious Advanced Certified Paralegal designation by the National Association of Legal Assistants/Paralegals and was also elected as the affiliated associations secretary during its annual meeting held in San Diego in July. Krystal (Carr) Wickham, daughter of Nikki Carr of Tulsa Districts Resource Management Office had her first baby, Irelynn Ami Wickham, Oct. 6 at 12:14 a.m. Irelynn was 7 pounds, 14 ounces and 20 inches long. Baby, mommy and daddy, Ryan, are doing well.SWT CondolencesEdward Everett Hudson, 86, retired hydraulic engineer, Tulsa District, died Aug. 1. Charles Theodore Sturner, Jr., 87, Tulsa District retiree, died Aug. 1. Ted Dye, retiree from Tulsa Districts Personnel Office, passed away Aug. 1. Oscar Moore, 89, Tulsa District crew leader, died Sept. 23. Jim Millers mother, Rebecca Ruth Miller of Sapulpa, passed away Sept. 27. Jim is the civil engineer technician for the Northern Area Office, Tulsa District. Steven Rous father, Clarence Rouse, passed away Sept. 27. Steven is a construction representative for the Canton Resident Office, Tulsa District. Dale Robbins, 83, of Mannford, Tulsa District retiree, died Sept. 29. Gladys Poarch retiree from Tulsa Districts A&E Contracts, died in early October. Victoria Vickie Matlock, of Wagoner, a former powerhouse admin assistant, Tulsa District, passed away September 30. John Budlongs wife, Kimiko, passed away Sept. 20. John is the customer service representative working in resource management, finance and accounting, Tulsa District. and district elements using innovative programs and partnering with other state and local entities to get the water safety message out. The engineering and construction support of ce completed 282 additional miles of border fence. This is in addition to the facility and ARRA ports of entry projects. ECSO expenditures for the year totaled more than $1 billion. This is just a sample of the major contributions you have made to the district, the state and our Nation during the past year. Again, I am both humbled and honored to lead and serve such a great organization. This next scal year we will continue the marathon. Yes, we are in a marathon. So, as we continue to plan and execute at unprecedented levels, dont forget to have balance and tness in your life. Thats balance with your professional duties and families. Fitness, not just physical tness, to help with stress, but also mental, spiritual and technical is key to maintaining a sense of balance. Help each other out and if you see someone who is not practicing these, encourage them to adopt what ever works for them to achieve that balance we all need to run the long race. We have been given the privilege to build four hospitals for the Department of Defense over the next few years. This is a result of the tremendous con dence our nation has in USACE, especially SWD and SWF. These, along with all our projects will be challenging and require each of us to be on top of our game. I ask each and everyone of you to continue doing your best for your team, the Corps of Engineers and our Nation. Wounded warriors and families are counting on us to build these quality hospitals to provide the care for those who have born the battle. We have made some adjustments to be better organized to accomplish this large medical program and our customer is with us at every step along the journey. I look forward to working together to face and overcome the challenges of the upcoming scal year. Together we can accomplish anything going from Good to Great! Thanks for what you do each and every day. You are all key members of the Fort Worth Team and the Corps of Engineers. Building Strong, Army Strong. continued from page 43Privilege 53