Jan. Mar. 2011 1 Vol. 38 No. 1 January March 2011 US Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District Tighten up District re ning processes upgrading infrastructure improving communications
INTERCOM 2 F r o m W h e r e I S i t From Where I Sit 4 Project by ProjectSee how the Corps improves and maintains its infrastructure 10 OCO CornerAn update on how our friends are doing in Afghanistan12 Flood Awareness Learn how federal agencies prepare communities for the worst 14 Software Upgrade Corps streamlines processes with new version of P2 software 15 Location Location District launches multi-purpose geographic information site 16 E-Week Students test strength of pasta bridges in annual competition 18 Around and About WeÂ’ve been busy fundraising, learning, celebrating and even playing some games 19 Live on the Set See how the District takes advantage of social media to communicate its mission 20 Award Winners You voted. Here are the 2010 District Photo Contest resultsContents On the coverFor more information, contact: Public Affairs Of ce U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 201 N. Third Avenue Walla Walla, WA 99362 Phone: (509) 527-7020 E-mail: email@example.com website: www.nww.usace.army.mil is an unof cial publication authorized by the provi sions of Army Regulation 360-1. It is published bimonthly by the Public Affairs Of ce, Walla Walla District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It has a distribu tion of 1,500 copies. Contents of the INTERCOM are not necessarily the of cial views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, or the Walla Walla District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Commander Lt. Col. David A. Caldwell PA Chief Joe Saxon Editor PA Specialist Terri A. Rorke Stephen Doherty PA Specialist Student Aide Gina Baltrusch Amber Larsen PA Specialist Bruce Henrickson Jan. Mar. 2011 1 Vol. 38 No. 1 January March 2011 US Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District Tighten up District re nes processes upgrades infrastructure improves communications Workers wind wire rope from Lucky PeakÂ’s intake tower near Boise, Idaho. The project replaced the 20year-old cable in November 2010. I N T E R C O M NTERCOM photo by Keith HydeAs he visited the District last year a few months after IÂ’d started working here in late 2009, Lt. Gen. Robert Van Antwerp, Chief of Engineers, said something in an employee meeting that hit me like a lightning bolt. He said the Corps wants to employ those who say Â“I get to go to work hereÂ” rather than just having to work to earn a paycheck. His words that day described exactly how I feel about the privilege of working in the District. I trust those words resonated with many of you, too. I get to work in Corps Public Affairs. ItÂ’s truly a privilege because of the unique vantage point I have. I get to work directly with District leadership. I get to work on the front lines at the projects and out in public. I get to see many of you in action doing many different and great things. Sometimes I write about it, sometimes I photograph it, sometimes I shoot video of it, sometimes I talk about it to reporters or anyone whoÂ’ll listen. I also get to translate a lot of your technical effort into plain English for different audiences. I get to do that as part of my great immediate team supporting the larger District team. I get to live, work, travel and play in the beautiful Walla Walla area and the Snake River Basin. It doesnÂ’t get any better than this. IÂ’m hoping youÂ’re having a similar peak life and work experience. ItÂ’s as if IÂ’d worked an entire career to end up in this great placeÂ— the Walla Walla District. Formerly, I was a public affairs chief at the ArmyÂ’s Umatilla Chemical Depot, and I worked in the private sector, large and small non-pro ts, and as a government contractor. I get to apply all that experience to the job I get to do now. As I serve the public and work with great colleagues in the District, I nd it quite natural to practice each of those marvelous Army values of loyalty, (dedication to) duty, respect, sel ess service, honor, integrity, and personal courage on a daily basis. I see many District colleagues doing the same. I believe we know we Â“get to go to work hereÂ” each day. Bruce Henrickson Public Affairs SpecialistGetting to go to work
Jan. Mar. 2011 3 O h m y Oh my, S S O C K E Y E OCKEYE In 2010 386,525 sockeye sh passed through Bonneville Lock and Dam, surpassing a 1955 record of a 237,748 run. The Record: 2010 welcomed a record return year on both the Columbia and Snake rivers: 386,525 sockeye run through Bonneville Lock and Dam and a record 2,201 sockeye run through Lower Granite Lock and Dam. Second Highest Record: In 2009, the total season had a 1,219 run at Lower Granite Lock and Dam. In 2010, 189,391 chinook returned to Lower Granite Lock and Dam. The Record: The 2001 season returned a record of a 210,381 run at Lower Granite Lock and Dam. Second Highest Record: The 2010 season returned 189,391 chinook at Lower Granite Lock and Dam. In 2010, 206,907 steelhead passed through Lower Granite Lock and Dam. The Record: The 2009 season returned a record return of 323,697 steelhead at Lower Granite Lock and Dam. Second Highest Record: 2001 returned a record of 262,568 steelhead at Lower Granite Lock and Dam.Ten years ago, few believed that sockeye salmon were on a path to reach record-breaking returns on the Columbia and Snake rivers. However, the once nearly extinct species led the Northwestern DivisionÂ’s 2010 sh return counts with 386,525 sockeye passing through Bonneville Lock and Dam in Cascade Locks, Ore. The previous record at Bonneville Dam was set in 1955 with a total of 237,748 sockeye. Also, the Snake River sockeye return at Lower Granite Lock and Dam near Clarkston, Wash., reached 2,201, topping 2009Â’s 1,219 record. Lower Granite is the same dam that never saw more than 15 sockeye pass per year in the 1990s. Yet, today, it is experiencing fruits of multi-million dollar efforts over the years. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers worked together with regional sh managers from Native American Nations and federal and state agencies with the intent to improve juvenile passage conditions for sockeye and eventually see an increase of returning adult sockeye. Â“ItÂ’s really encouraging to see record returns of a species that has been on the brink of extinction in recent years,Â” said District Fish Biologist Tim Dykstra. Dykstra said he can remember how less than ten years ago many in the region were debating whether to eliminate funding for sockeye hatchery production since returns were so low. But slowly the numbers climbed and today, the Endangered Species Act-listed sockeye are setting records. Efforts to improve juvenile sh passage at Corps dams along the Columbia and Snake rivers include adding bypass systems and sh screens, passing water over spillways, adding sh slides that provide a surface passage route for migrating juvenile sh, and using new scienti c ndings when deciding when it is best to transport juvenile sh. Â“As the Corps dams have been overhauled, our aim is to make the dams as invisible as possible to sh,Â” Dykstra said. In addition to improved juvenile sh passage conditions at Corps dams, several other factors contributed to record sockeye adult returns that include excellent ocean conditions, completion of projects that focused on restoring important degraded habitat, and increasing sockeye hatchery production by the State of Idaho. Chinook and steelhead continue to exceed ten-year average returns on both the Columbia and Snake rivers. In 2010, the Chinook return reached its second highest record of 189,391. S t e e l h e a d Steelhead C h i n o o k Chinook S o c k e y e Sockeye l e a d i n g leading 2 0 1 0 r e t u r n 2010 return 2010 marks the record year for returning sockeye salmon with 386,525 passing through Bonneville Lock and Dam. photo by Mike Peterson, courtesy of Idaho Fish and Gameby Terri A. Rorke
site by siteProjects L stories and photos by Terri A. Rorke Winter doesnÂ’t come easy for the Walla Walla District. Instead of relaxing during the cold months, it uses the season as a time to perform not only annual routine and non-routine maintenance, but to make long-term improvements at its eight hydropower dam facilities. While taking advantage of this yearÂ’s extended navigation lock outage, the District made a lot of progress. Check out some updates on the latest projects... (Top) Carlan Bradshaw, of Los Angeles, readies her camera during a public tour of Lower Monumental Lock and Dam in January. The public had a rare look at the dewatered navigation lock in Kahlotus, Wash. The inside perspective provided the public with an informative look at the $15.6 million project.
Jan. Mar. 2011 5 This maintenance season served as a crucial time for optimum level of teamwork performance because of the extended navigation lock outage at Lower Monumental Lock and Dam in Kahlotus, Wash. Teamwork on the outage and other maintenance projects throughout the Federal Columbia River Power System and the Boise region enabled the Corps to further achieve its goal of navigation system reliability and uninterrupted service to the nation. Lower Monumental Lock and DamMonumental team As workers polish off months of intense labor on Lower MonumentalÂ’s freshly fabricated navigation lock gate, they can attest it was no easy task. But the dedication and teamwork of the Corps with regional collaborators made this monumental task a reliable, safe reality. There were many key stewards of this project who invested years of involvement. People in roles as varied as engineering, construction, navigation and contracting had to diligently nd solutions that were best for taxpayers, the economy and the environment. The $15.6 million project required detailed designs, ~ Continued on page 6 e Steve Hartman Margie McGill
research, and countless meetings but everyone kept their eye on the overarching goal of providing a safe, reliable lock system that offers an ef cient means of transportation for grain, wood products, petroleum, and other commodities. The 42-year-old lift gate at Lower Monumental Lock and Dam has experienced more than 50,000 lockages since the dam went into service in 1969. The fatigue and stress resulting from these lockages led to cracks and fractures that were rst noticed in the late 1990s. After performing numerous emergency and planned repairs on the gate, which resulted in only short-term solutions with continued cracking, experts determined that a planned outage to replace the entire gate would be the most economical way to maintain navigation service for the regionÂ—an essential component of the Columbia-Snake rivers transportation system. In 2002, key District personnel began developing a plan to provide long-term solutions to the problems seen and forecasted for the navigation lock components. One of those key employees is Project Manager Margie McGill who led in formulating a plan to address the rehabilitation needs of the navigation lock with emphasis on the downstream lift gate. Her efforts resulted in an approved rehabilitation plan in 2006. In 2009, funds for the lift gate replacement came in the form of a surprise when President Barack Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was the major driver of the rehabilitation plan. The District now had the challenge of completing the lift gate replacement in one and a half years when it would have normally taken three years. Â“As many people are aware, the purpose of stimulus funding was to get America back to work through shovel-ready projects. This project needed a bit of work before we could call it shovel-ready,Â” McGill said. Â“With strong leads from engineering, contracting and construction, we were able to put together a successful contract for the fabrication and In addition to replacing the navigation lock gate at Lower Monumental Lock and Dam, the Corps also completed the second phase of repairing spalling and cracking issues along the navigation wall on monolith 15. The bene ts of the concrete wall repairs are safety, reliability and structural integrity. The repair addresses spalling and cracking thatÂ’s been occurring since the 1990s and has become more signi cant in the 2000s. Â“WeÂ’re trying to minimize any impacts to the navigation industry while maximizing the repair bene ts in the time and funding constraints that we have,Â” Project Manager Steve Thompson said. Currently, the District is working on designing the nal phase of the project, so that it is ready for execution when funding becomes available. Also, the District completed the damÂ’s gear box cable replacement project in both towers (See photo of new cables on page 5).Project Manager Steve Thompson updates Walla WallaÂ’s Union-Bulletin Reporter Andy Porter on the navigation wall repair project during JanuaryÂ’s Lower Monumental public tour. ~ Continued from page 5(Background) The second phase of the Lower Monumental Lock wall repair is complete in this February 2011 photo.installation of the gate, which was awarded within a four-month period.Â” Despite the condensed schedule, District Project Manager Allen Pomraning said McGill relished in the challenge. Â“When I re ect on Jim CollinsÂ’ book Good to Great, there is a quote that describes Margie perfectly, Â‘Fill the culture with self-disciplined people who are willing to go to extreme lengths to ful ll their responsibilities,Â’Â” he said. McGill and other Corps personnel worked closely with key regional collaborators, like the Paci c Northwest Waterways Association (PNWA), which advocated for funding of this project. PNWA protects federal infrastructure investments that bene t the Northwest and is the voice of the Northwest regarding all inland, deep-draft and coastal navigation issues. Â“The Walla Walla District has done an outstanding job of coordinating with stakeholders in the months leading up to this unprecedented closure and during the installation of the new lock gate,Â” said PNWA Executive Director Glenn Vanselow. Â“This advance planning allowed growers, shippers and overseas buyers of Northwest products to plan in advance, and helped to minimize economic impacts to the region.Â” One of the last phases of the plan took place in October 2010 when the project management Â“batonÂ” was passed to District Project Manager Steve Hartman to manage the onsite construction work. The transition allowed the District to take advantage of HartmanÂ’s 20-plus years of construction management experience during the last phases of the gate replacement. Â“The commitment and professional cooperation by all parties were the keys to the success of this signi cant project,Â” Hartman said. Â“In the end, the quality of the nished product is a re ection of the caliber of the entire project team.Â” Of course, the navigation lock gate replacement took hundreds of people throughout the last decade to communicate and work together to make this project a reality. But accomplishments like this only happen through monumental people.Team members on the Lower Monumental navigation lock gate replacement project discuss operational procedures of the gate and alignment of the seals in February. Corps employees left to right: Structural Engineer Eric Walton, Mechanical Engineer Chuck Palmer, Electrical Engineer Bruce Crawford and Mechanical Engineer Kyle Desomber. Monumental nish
In McNaryÂ’s powerhouse, workers are currently reassembling unit 7 in a ve-year, $70 million stator winding replacement project. They are currently fabricating bars for unit 1 and 8 in Montreal. Units 2 and 7 are expected to be nished in May 2011 (See photos on this page). Both of McNaryÂ’s main hoist drums were realigned on the intake crane in the navigation lock. Both drums were successfully load-tested to 110 percent, which allowed the lock to be nished and put back in to service in mid-February. The Bonneville Power Administration funded the $1.5 million project. Through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 dollars, the upstream and downstream derrick cranes were repaired in a $1.78 million project. $1.4 million of the funds went to a contract awarded to Seattle-based Ederer, which provided all engineering and onsite installation services. The project was completed in December 2010. McNary Lock and Dam workers prep powerhouse for new season photos by Pasquale Anolfo Maintaining our infrastructure ~ Continued on page 8
INTERCOM 8 IN IN IN N N IN NT NT NT N IN N IN N T ERC ERC ERC C C C C OM O OM OM M M O O O 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 In a nearly $100,00 project, Lucky PeakÂ’s intake tower wire rope was replaced in November 2010. The last time the wire rope was replaced was in October 1991. Lower Granite Lock and Dam Lucky Peak Dam Dworshak Dam Little Goose Lock and Dam Ice Harbor Lock and Dam In an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009-funded project, the Corps is building a Dworshak Fish Hatchery Ef uent System that will make returned river water cleaner and environmentally friendly. The project is refurbishing its station service compressed air system by installing new piping and adding new receiver tanks and an air dryer. These modi cations will result in improved ef ciency of the compressors, higher quality air output and reduced machine wear and tear. t to to to to to w w w la la la la l l s s s 19 1 19 19 1 L The project is installing a new stator winding in unit 3. The reassembly is expected to be complete in mid-April. C v r e Lower Granite Lock and Dam, near Pomeroy, Wash.; Little Goose Lock and Dam, near Starbuck, Wash.; Ice Harbor Lock and Dam, near Burbank, Wash.; and McNary Lock and Dam near Umatilla, Ore., took advantage of the extended navigation lock outage time to accomplish additional lock work that would ordinarily exceed the annual twoweek winter maintenance outage. Outage periods for those locks ranged between 5-9 weeks with various closing and reopening dates.In March, powerhouse workers took advanced-level training on how to prepare prominent types of governors used in the District. They are learning how to adjust, refurbish and tune-up the governors for peak performance of hydroelectric systems. The project also repositioned a pin in the trunnion valve during the navigation lock outage to restore the pin back to its original position. The project repositioned a pin on the navigation lock upstream gate to restore the pin back to its original position (See photo, left). Subsequently, the contractor repaired damaged concrete on the navigation lock lling and emptying system. The project is also upgrading its low-voltage switchgear with new components and building a new storage building. Mill Creek Dam and The project is installing a toe drain along the diversion dike to measure seepage amounts and locations and to reduce standing water at Rooks Park. Bennington Lake photo by Bruce Henrickson U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo photo by Jeremy Nguyen photo by Keith Hyde a I p f 1 o M m p
Jan. Mar. 2011 9 Out with the old... story and photos by Keith Hyde Contract workers replace Lucky PeakÂ’s intake tower wire rope in November 2010. (Inset) The District was also able to troubleshoot for future repairs of leaking valves while inspecting the dewatered intake tower. ...in with the new November 2011 was rife with non-routine operations and maintenance (O&M) in Lucky Peak Dam near Boise, Idaho For the third time since the dam was built in 1954, the project replaced critical suspension cables--more than 8,000 feet of 1-1/4Â” galvanized wire rope--attaching hoists to two 100,000 pound emergency gates in the intake tower. District employees were challenged during every phase of the installation. Lucky Peak Maintenance Foreman Monte Crawford seized the occasion to initiate many modernizations and improvements in safety equipment and processes. As a knowledge management endeavor and to help inform future O&M planning, the project also contracted with Boise State Student Media Department to record and prepare a video presentation of the ten-day team effort. For the rst time, project staff closely inspected and troubleshot for future repairs of several leaking valves during the dewatering occasion inside the intake tower. The Lucky Peak Power Plant capitalized on the outage status by repairing rust blisters under paint coatings in the primary tunnel, and modernized several of their ow meters. Overall, it was a very productive winter.
INTERCOM 10 Phil and Barb Benge have barely left each otherÂ’s sides for the past 12 months while theyÂ’ve worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Afghanistan. The husband and wife team from Walla Walla, Wash., live together in a small room at the Qalaa House compound, which is the U.S. Army Corps of EngineersÂ’ district headquarters in northern Afghanistan. Until recently, they served as chairman and chairwoman of the districtÂ’s source selection boards, working at adjoining desks evaluating contract proposals. They were practically inseparable until Phil changed job responsibilities earlier this month to become a project manager in the facilities management program, which gives him responsibility for the districtÂ’s of ces and living quarters. They still spend nearly all of their off-work hours together. They eat together. They shop at the bazaar together. They walk together for an hour nearly every night. The family atmosphere abounds within the district. The Benges are just one of at least six family groups within the ranks of the Afghanistan Engineer District-North. There are also the husband-and-wife teams of Bill Bolte and Dani Bolte, who also are from Walla Walla, and Brian Tracy and Irene Leyva-Tracy of Los Angeles; the father-and-son tandem of Richard Allen Newton of Warner Robins, Ga., and Richard Anthony Newton of Jacksonville, Fla.; and the brother-and-brother combo of Harry Pham and Alan Pham, both of Victorville, Calif. ThereÂ’s another brother-and-brother duo Â– Joel Giblin of Las Cruces, N.M., and myself, Paul Giblin, of Phoenix. Col. Thomas Magness, the district commander, encourages the family plan for staf ng the district. He feels there are tangible bene ts to having family members close by when home is so far away. Â“Every single person who is deployed over here has a longing to be back home and to be with family. Those that are able to bring their families over here, I think that gives them that comfort, that con dence, that probably translates into what theyÂ’re doing on the job,Â” he said. ThatÂ’s certainly true. ry ni gh t. u nds within the district. 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T T T T h he e he y y y y y y w w w wa a a a w a wa l l lk l l l lk lk k k l lk l k l k Â’ A W u u s n e m r y y The Benges, Phil, 60, and Barb, 58, had worked together within the Corps for 30 years, but their jobs and family responsibilities frequently took them in different directions. When one ew out of state for an assignment or a conference, the other stayed home with their children. Â“We could never go to the same places,Â” Phil said. Â“We decided, OK, the kids are out of the house. This is an opportunity for us to stick together while weÂ’re working Â– and to travel together.Â” Both applied for positions in Afghanistan, and both were offered jobs, but not simultaneously. They declined their initial offers, opting instead to wait until they received offers at the same time. Eventually, they received concurrent offers and accepted. They arrived in theater in December 2009. Despite PhilÂ’s job change, theyÂ’re still very much a family act. Barb said they have a strong relationship and have enjoyed the nearly 24/7 closeness. Â“We live in a very small room, about the size that would t a car. ItÂ’s very tight and cozy. He takes up most of the room,Â” she joked. Â“There could be different opinions,Â” Phil countered. TheyÂ’ve used Afghanistan as a launching point for scheduled leaves to South Africa, and to Spain and Italy. TheyÂ’re planning an upcoming trip to Switzerland, France and Italy. The family deployment has worked so well theyÂ’ve extended their year-long tour in Afghanistan by six months. Afghanistan has turned into a second honeymoon for the Boltes. OK, maybe not exactly, but theyÂ’re newlyweds, and theyÂ’re in Afghanistan together, too. Dani had done a tour in Iraq a few years before they were married in June 2008, and they had discussed the idea of doing a tour in Afghanistan together. They committed when a manager in Walla Walla asked for volunteers. Â“That was the nal push,Â” Bill said. Â“WeÂ’re both adventuresome, young, dumb, with no kids. We wanted to see what was going on. A fairly typical story.Â” All in the familyphoto by Joe Marek photo by Joe Marek Phil and Barbara Benge Bill and Dani Bolte~ Continued on page 11
Jan. Mar. 2011 11 District Engineering and Construction Division Chief Donna Street shared her path to success along with other executives at the inaugural Afghan Women in Engineering and Construction Conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, Jan. 8. More than 80 Afghan women engineers and construction executives learned about professional opportunities and established new work relationships at the conference hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The conference was designed for women who own, manage or serve in upper-level management positions at engineering and construction-related businesses. Â“The conference was important in bringing together a unique group of courageous women who are moving toward independence in Afghanistan,Â” Street said. Â“Running their own construction and engineering rms provides them an opportunity to break away from some of the past traditions that limited the ability for women to be more independent. This forum will allow them an opportunity to exchange ideas and lessons learned as each continues to grow their companies.Â” Several U.S. women employees of the Corps told the Afghan women about their own struggles to achieve executive positions in engineering and construction trades. Women excel in those elds in the United States now, but that wasnÂ’t always true, they said. Street, who serves as the area engineer in Mazar-E Sharif, told the audience that she had strong support from her family, particularly from her late husband Bill, who always encouraged her to accept new responsibilities. They arrived in Afghanistan in September 2009. Bill, 32, serves as a cost engineer at the Qalaa House compound in Kabul. Dani, 30, initially worked as a project manager in the Afghanistan National Police program before accepting a new job in November as a project manager in Kunduz. Â“We came as a package deal,Â” Bill said. Â“We both started looking into jobs, and we made it known that we were a package deal. We were fortunate that we were able to make that work.Â” There are obvious advantages, he said. For example, identifying a battle buddy and a roommate were easy. They also have been able to share the unique experiences of working in a combat zone. Â“Your spouse understands exactly what youÂ’re going through, because theyÂ’re going through the same thing,Â” Bill said. Scheduled leaves to exotic locales are another bonus, he said. Donna Street shares expertise at inaugural Afghan womenÂ’s conference OCO CORNER *EditorÂ’s Note: March is WomenÂ’s History Month photo by Paul Giblin rek Street obtained an engineering degree as a young woman and spent her entire career in the Corps. She holds a senior executive position, though until recently, few women held senior positions. One of the attendees, Fatema Hakimzada, who serves as vice president of Demo Construction Co., based in Kabul, said she was thankful the Corps conducted a symposium speci cally for women, because business prospects for women in Afghanistan are extremely limited. Â“Right now, today, I am very happy because we nd this opportunity to be here,Â” Hakimzada said. She made several important contacts during the conference, and she plans to bid on road construction work offered by the Corps. Conference attendees represented many Afghan business rms, plus various Afghan government ministries, the Afghan Builders Association, vocational schools and universities and the U.S. Embassy. The speakers discussed the Corps of EngineersÂ’ overall program, contracting matters, and their personal and professional experiences in the engineering and construction elds. U.S. Embassy of cial Robyn Kessler said one of the most valuable aspects of the conference was providing women business leaders a professional setting to learn from other women business leaders. Â“The most important thing is networking, the opportunity for companies to see who else is out there and what theyÂ’re doing,Â” said Kessler, a senior commercial of cer with the U.S. Department of Commerce. Â“ThereÂ’s so much going on in Afghanistan, particularly in the construction sector.Â” Street urged the Afghan women to be rm and fair in their business dealings, to disregard disparaging comments by people who feel theyÂ’re unsuited for the business, and to work harder than men to prove that they are suited for the business. Â“These women are moving womenÂ’s rights forward in Afghanistan by forming their own companies,Â” she said. Â“Pulling together rather than independently provides them more opportunities for success.Â” The Corps is the primary organization building army bases, police stations, roads, airstrips and other infrastructure projects in Afghanistan to increase the countryÂ’s stability and economy. The Corps has two districts in the country Â– Afghanistan Engineer District-North, which is based in Kabul; and Afghanistan Engineer District-South, which is based in Kandahar. stories by Paul Giblin, public affairs specialist, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Afghanistan Engineer District North
INTERCOM 12 Corps prepares Idaho communities for oods In February, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District, the State of Idaho and the National Weather Service held ood ght awareness and training sessions throughout Idaho. District Disaster Response Manager Jeff Stidham helped Federal, State, Tribal and local of cials understand their roles and responsibilities in the case of ood event. Â“All disasters start and end at the local level,Â” Stidham said. Â“If thereÂ’s a ood ght, the city and county may take action and seek federal help, but then itÂ’s back to the locals again.Â” As the countryÂ’s subject matter expert agency on ooding, Corps emergency management volunteers can arrive during a ood emergency within 24 to 48 hours. But communities need to rst understand how to respond before external help arrives. Â“The intent of the course was to help community leaders develop a plan in advance of the emergency,Â” Stidham said. Most people have normalcy bias, which means that they might feel the worst case scenario wonÂ’t happen to them. Â“Floods are one of the most complex hazards or emergencies that communities have to deal with,Â” said Doug Hardman, Ada County Emergency Management Director in Idaho. Â“Because of their multi-jurisdictional nature, oods put a great deal of stress on coordination and communication efforts at all levels of government. That is why multi-agency planning, exercises, and training such as the CorpsÂ’ ood ght course are so valuable to local emergency responders,Â” he said. Canyon County Emergency Management Director Todd Herrera said that participants who attended FebruaryÂ’s ood ght course came back with a great deal of knowledge that will help them if they have a ood event. Â“This course allowed our emergency responders to start thinking outside the box. They were able to pre-identify their resources and how those resources could be used in a ood ght,Â” Herrera said. Stidham said he aims to get communities to a point of Â“brushing offÂ” the ood. Â“ItÂ’s like a bad wind. You walk through it and youÂ’re done. If they can get to a point where a ood doesnÂ’t faze them, you have resiliency.Â” The District has 14 emergency management trained employee volunteers who respond to ood events. If you would like information on how to get involved, go to Emergency ManagementÂ’s volunteer registration and deployment page found on the DistrictÂ’s intranet. by Terri A. Rorke(Left) Community members trudge through muddy water when the Cottonwood Creek ooded Boise, Idaho in 1959. (Right) Caution tape marks off a ooded recreational path under the Eagle Road bridge in this June 2010 photo. The path, called the Greenbelt, runs beneath bridges along the Boise River. District Disaster Response Manager Jeff Stidham talks to Blaine County, Idaho, community leaders in February about how to prepare for a ood event. photo courtesy of Ada City-County Emergency Management photo courtesy of Ada City-County Emergency Management photo by Ellen Berggren
Jan. Mar. 2011 13 s Floods donÂ’t take holidays. It oods somewhere in the United States or its territories nearly every day of the year. On average, oods kill nearly 100 people and are responsible for damages of nearly $7 billion annually. Federal agencies brought ood safety awareness to BoiseÂ’s state capital in March to highlight this risk. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationÂ’s (NOAA) National Weather Service designated March 14-18 to promote annual national ood safety awareness. In Idaho, Governor Butch Otter also proclaimed this as Flood Safety Awareness Week. The goal of Flood Safety Awareness Week is to educate the public of the hazards of oods and ash oods to reduce the loss of life and property. To meet this challenge, NOAA works closely with the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers, Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Other key partners in Idaho include the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security, Idaho Department of Water Resources and the news media. This year, the threat of spring ooding is average to slightly above average in most areas of Idaho. However, additional precipitation falling in IdahoÂ’s mountains continues to build the snowpack. The rate at which this snowpack melts will ultimately determine if and when ooding occurs this spring. Melting snow is a major source of the ood water. Snowpacks store water through winter until it melts, delaying the arrival of water at the soil for days, weeks or even months after a storm. Once it does reach the soil, water from Agencies promote Flood Safety Awareness snowmelt behaves much as it would if it had come from rain instead of snow. The water either in ltrates into the soil, or it runs off, or both. Flooding can occur whenever the rate of water input exceeds the ability of the soil to absorb it or when the amount of water exceeds natural storage capacities in soil, rivers, lakes and reservoirs. In Idaho, total mountain snowpack usually peaks in early April and then slowly melts through May and early June. Rivers and streams usually reach their highest ows midway through the melt in May or June, but can peak earlier and higher if unusually hot or wet weather occurs. Snowmelt ooding is more likely in years when the snowpack is above normal, but the threat of ooding is ultimately determined by the melt rate. In addition, snowmelt ooding may be worsened by spring rains falling over the mountain snowpack, adding to the water owing into creeks and rivers. This occurred in June 2010 when rain fell on a below average snowpack in many areas of Idaho. photo by Stephen Doherty (Top) Downtown Boise, Idaho. (Above) Federal agencies display ood awareness materials at the Boise state capitol rotunda during MarchÂ’s Flood Awareness Week. photo by Stephen Doherty photo courtesy of Ada City-County Emergency Management
INTERCOM 14 by Terri A. Rorke New P2 version streamlines process With annual cost-savings surpassing $2 million and processes streamlined to optimum levels, itÂ’s no wonder the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers implemented version 3 of its project management software, P2. P2 is a suite of software applications con gured to support project execution in the military, civil works, environmental, research and development and Interagency and International Services (IIS) mission areas overseen by USACE. The new software also introduces the Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) to its business processes. EDW eliminates operation and system bottlenecks, according to District P2 Coordinator Cary Rahn. EDW reduces the complexity of data management because information is communicated from one source, rather than between multiple sources. Â“While the deployment of P2 version 3 and the EDW have had their growing pains, in the end it streamlines security and system performance,Â” Rahn said. Understanding the new P2 version was necessary due to a change from the software developer, Oracle. USACE leadership collaborated with subject matter experts and users across the Corps to develop the new software because project managers, program managers and analysts use P2 to work on things like staffing analysis, program level budget development, and project level plans and schedules. Â“P2 pretty much controls everything we do. ItÂ’s de nitely a main player in project execution for the District,Â” Rahn said. Rahn was one of four Corps employees who spent most of Fall 2010 traveling between the District and the Engineering Research and Design Center in Vicksburg, Miss., to perform validation testing on the new system to prepare project managers to use the software when it launched Corps-wide in February. One operational change that users are experiencing in version 3 is to load resource needs by hours rather than dollars. Â“By getting used to thinking in terms of how many hours it takes to accomplish a task, you can better manage the time needed for all projects,Â” District Project Analyst Samantha Handcox said. Rahn said the new version will Before After The P2 information process was recently simpli ed by introducing the Enterprise Data Warehouse, which channels all information through one system, rather than multiple systems. The CastleÂ’s past Â“ The CastleÂ’s PastÂ” article was rst found in a February 1976 edition of the Intercom Information Bulletin INT INT INT INT INT INT INT NT INT INT N N NT N NT NT NT N INT INT INT INT INT INT NT N N N NT NT INT IN NT NT T T T INT NT NT T T T T T T IN NT N T T T T T T NT T T T NT NT T NT T T T T T NT T T T T T T T T T T T T T I NT N NT NT NT T T T T T T T T T T NT T T T N N N N N T T NT INT T T INT T NT T T T T T N NT N N INT NT N N N INT T T T T T T T T T T T NT N N NT N N N T T T T NT T N N N N N N N T T NT T T T T N N N N N N T T T T T T T N N N N N N N N N T T T INT N N N N N N N N N N N N N N T T T N N N T T T T N T T T T T T T T I T T T T T T T ERC ERC R ERC ERC ER ERC ERC ERC ERC E ERC RC ERC ERC E ERC ERC E ERC ERC ERC E R ER ERC ERC ER ER E R ER E ER ERC ER RC E RC ERC E ER ER ER ER RC ERC ER E E E E E ERC ER R R R ER R R ERC C E E E E E E E ER E ER E E R R R ER ERC R E E E ER E ER E E E ERC ER R R R R ER E E E E E E E ER E E E R R ER R R R R ER R C ERC E E E E E E E E E E E E E R ER R R ER R E E E E E E E E E ER R R ERC RC E E ER E E E E E E E E ERC E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E C RC R C E E C E E E E R OM OM OM OM OM OM OM O OM OM OM OM M OM OM OM OM OM OM OM OM OM OM OM OM OM M OM OM O O O O O O OM M M M O M OM O O O OM O O O M 14 Did you ever wonder why the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers uses a castle as its of cial insignia? The triple turreted castle has been in use by the Corps since it was adopted in 1840. Prior to that time, an insignia of a similar design was worn on the uniforms of the Corps of Cadets of the United States Military Academy since the Academy was under the supervision and direction of the Chief of Engineers. Selection of the turreted castle as the Engineer insignia followed the rst major construction undertaken by the Corps of Engineers--the building of a system of castle-like forti cations for the protection of harbors along the Atlantic Coast. These forti cations, many of which are still standing, were in fact called Â“castlesÂ”. As a symbol of the military engineers, the medieval castle is inseparably connected with the subjects of forti cation and architecture. force people to think in terms of level of effort--a process endorsed by the Corps--rather than the cost to accomplish work. Â“You are really more accountable. ItÂ’s a better way to develop your budget,Â” he said.
by Terri A. Rorke District launchesgeographic information portal LetÂ’s face it. Without a map, weÂ’d be lost. Geographic information systems (GIS) help us with a lot of direction in life. From guring out how to navigate to a new location on our GPS to nding the theater location on a map application on our iPods, we nd our route. As one of the agencies on the forefront of GIS, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is stewarding geospatial technology. The District has an eGIS Information Portal website that houses multi-purpose information, which many business lines may nd useful for decision-making. Inherently geospatial elds like real estate, which deals with property rights and engineering and construction, which may create map oodplain models can instantly locate the information on the portal. The District GIS team has been working on the site for almost ten years now. Throughout 2011, the team will work on the nal phase of the site development-adding searchable content. An added bonus is that users can check for accuracy and offer quality assurance on the geospatial applications on the site, since they are the experts of the content. Â“The key to providing reliable data is knowledge management,Â” said District Geographic Information Specialist Sean Redar. RedarÂ’s goal is to capture the institutional knowledge that is communicated normally only out in the eld at District locations. By capturing this information on the website, current and future employees can bene t for years to come. For example, District Project Manager Keith Koebberling and District Disaster Response Manager Jeff Stidham cataloged GPS locations, photos and characteristics of problem vegetation on the Jackson Hole Levees on a mobile device in Wyoming. In July 2010, Stidham and Koebberling uploaded the features onto the District GIS database, so they could create maps using the captured features. Â“I use the DistrictÂ’s GIS database in the preparation of all my projects,Â” Koebberling said. Â“The information contained in the database is available to all the team members, and the ability to manipulate this data is instrumental to the creation of plans and speci cations that are biddable and clearly communicate the layout and features of the project site.Â” Users can nd the eGIS Information Portal on the District intranet site. To nd more information about GIS, go to http://www.gis.com. What is GIS?A geographic information system (GIS) integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information. GIS allows us to view, understand, question, interpret, and visualize data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports and charts. A GIS helps you answer questions and solve problems by looking at your data in a way that is quickly understood and easily shared. GIS technology can be integrated into any enterprise information system framework. photo by Stephen DohertySean Redar
INTERCOM 16 Using your noodles story and photo illustrations by Stephen Doherty Cheyenne Schoen watches as her bridge SNAPS! under the pressure of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers bridge breaker. Students put their noodles to the test for Engineers Week at Walla WallaÂ’s DeSales High School in February. With pasta bridges in hand, students gathered for the annual bridge building competition. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District engineers tested more than 160 student-built bridges during the week-long competition throughout the community. The engineers tested the pasta and glue bridges for the highest strength coef cient, which is calculated by dividing the maximum weight the bridge supports by the weight of the bridge. Students were allowed to use pasta noodles of any kind and liquid-based glue to construct their bridges. Â“Engineers Week is not about letting the world know we exist, but rather about nding the engineers inside all of us,Â” said E-Week coordinator Jeffrey Lyon. Â“Initiatives like National Engineers Week can spark a sense of wonder and excitement in these elds for our countryÂ’s young people,Â” said President Barack Obama.
Jan. Mar. 2011 17 Students from DeSales High School crowded around District Mechanical Engineer Carl Knaak to watch the next bridge CRACK Jade Donnelly and Ashton Montgomery watch as their bridge undergoes the strength test. Abby Crowley and Ali Zanders wait anxiously to see the results of their team-built pasta bridge. The team won this yearÂ’s contest.
INTERCOM 18 Intern Contract Specialist Ben Wolfram received a $500 cash award from the CorpsÂ’ National Contracting Organization for nding Army funding and developmental training opportunities for interns across USACE. The District had a successful fundraising year. CFC is the worldÂ’s largest annual workplace charity campaign, with more than 200 CFC campaigns throughout the country and internationally to help raise millions of dollars each year supporting eligible non-pro t organizations that provide health and human service bene ts throughout the world. Thank you for your donations!photo by Stephen Doherty Around the DistrictWalla Walla District raises $50,218.04 for 2010 Combined Federal Campaign In n n n n n n n n n n n n n n t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t Wo Wo W W W W aw aw aw aw aw aw w aw w w w w aw aw a w w w w w w w a a w w w a a Co Co Co Co o o C C C C C n n n n n o o op op p o o o o o f f fo fo fo fo o o o fo o o T T T T T T T nu nu nu nu u u n al al al l a th th th th th th th h h t h e e e e e c c c c W f f The District has been pretty busy fundraising, playing football, and learning from and celebrating with local leaders in their accomplishments. Top photo: Lt. Col. Decker Hains ceremonially cuts a Lower Granite modelled-cake at his promotion ceremony in January. Below: Guest speaker Wenix Red Elk educates a crowd about native roots during a Native American Month luncheon in January. Bottom, left: Of ce of CouncilÂ’s Attorney Linda Kirts welcomes Walla Walla Mayor Barbara Clark, who spoke during a District luncheon in March to celebrate WomenÂ’s History Month.photo by Terri A. Rorke photo by Andrew Dankel-Ibanez photo by Rita Greene District Attorney Tyler Moore drops back to pass during the Turkey Bowl Jan. 7. Team members huddle during inaugural Turkey Bowl Jan. 7. photo by Stephen Doherty
Jan. Mar. 2011 19 Walla Walla District videos available on YouTube: Lower Monumental Navigation Lock Completion; Lower Monumental Navigation Lock outage; Paradise Creek Restoration Project; Contracting Small Business; IÂ’m with the Corps-Contracting; IÂ’m with the Corps. LiVe on the Set First place winner of TV Newsbreak: Amber Larsen First place winner of Photojournalism: Stephen Doherty First place winner of Sports Article: Terri A. Rorke Second place winner of Civilian Journalist of the Year: Terri A. Rorke Second place winner of Photojournalism: Terri A. Rorke Third place winner of Television Feature Report: Amber Larsen Honorable Mention of Photograph: Bruce Henrickson Honorable Mention of Feature Article: Terri A. Rorke District adopting to social media The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is adding ways it communicates to the public through social media. Internet-based tools like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook allow the Walla Walla District to effectively share its mission. By using a variety of platforms designed to support a range of media, such as text, audio, photos and videos, the District now has the ability to communicate with larger audiences faster. In turn, social media allows the public to easily connect, learn a nd interact with the District. photo by Bruce Henrickson Public Affairs garners 8 awards at USACE Herbert A. Kassner Journalism Competition Social Media Facts Facebook has more than 550 million users up from 400 million a year ago. If Facebook were a country it would be the third largest country in the world. The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55-65 year-old females. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. More than 1.5 million pieces of content (web links, news stories, notes, photos, etc.) are shared on FacebookÂ…daily.
INTERCOM 20 INTERCOM 2 0 Excellence AwardPresented to:Dworshak Reservoir Dworshak Dam, Oro no, photo by Theresa Stephens, of ce automation a This award is presented in appreciation of your support, your professionalism and your ability to GET THE JOB DONE. As your peer, I would like to recognize your efforts and say THANK Y O You have made a signi cant contribution towards the mission of th e Walla Walla District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and you have my re s You are the person I chose to honor in 2011. Excellence AwardPresented to:Ice Harbor Lock and Dam, Burbank, Washin g photo by David Lewis, Corps volunteerThis award is presented in appreciation of your support, your professionalism and your ability to GET THE JOB DONE. As your peer, I would like to recognize your efforts and say THANK YO U You have made a signi cant contribution towards the mission of the Walla Walla District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and you have my res p You are the person I chose to honor in 2011. January S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 February S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 1415 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 March S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 April S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 May S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 June S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 July S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 August S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 September S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 October S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 November S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 December S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 2324 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 FederalHolidayandPaySchedule Federal Holiday and Pay Schedule 2011 Contest winners Contest winners January S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 February S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 1415 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 March S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 April S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 May S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 June S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 July S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 August S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 September S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 October S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 November S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 December S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 2324 25 26 27 28 29 30 31Federal Holiday and Pay Schedule 2011