The Intercom

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The Intercom
United States -- Army. -- Corps of Engineers. -- Walla Walla District ( issuing body )
Place of Publication:
Walla Walla, WA
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District
Publication Date:
Irregular[ FORMER <2010>-2014]


serial ( sobekcm )
federal government publication ( marcgt )


General Note:
"Serving the military and civiliam members of the Walla Walla District".

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Source Institution:
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:
on10228 ( NOTIS )
1022849628 ( OCLC )
2018226635 ( LCCN )

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Vol. 41 No. 3 June September 2013 Blasting off at Corps Day! U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla Distri ct Best in USACE 2012


3 2 The Walla Walla DistrictServing our Community, the Nation, the 5 pg. 6 pg. 14 Contents 5 Hurricane Sandy revisitedWalla Walla District lends a helping hand to help with Sandy Recovery efforts 6 Agencies train for oil spills Regional agencies take part in an annual oil spill training exercise 8 Goats munch vegetation District uses goats in sustainability effort to clear vegetation 9 Beware of bears Encountering different species may require different responses by visitors 10 A day at McNary Dam Water, hydropower, cranes and McNary 12 Structural Design Structural Design section 14 Tall ships transit McNary Two tall ships made their way 16 Zebra and Quagga mussels They are a bad deal all way around 22 Corps Day Corps Employees have a little fun in the sun 25 Sustainability T-shirts percent recycled plastic bottles and 26 Around the District Inside this issue Photo by Stephen Doherty Photo by Bruce Henrickson Photo by Cassi Meelhuysen From Where I Sit On the cover I NTERCOMis an unofficial publication authorized by the provi sions of Army bimonthly by the Public Affairs the Department of Defense, or the Commander PA Chief Joe Saxon PA Specialist Bruce Henrickson PA Specialist PA Specialist Stephen Doherty For more information, contact: Walla Walla, WA 99362 website: Civil Engineer Michael Schaffer puts his engineering knowledge to work on Corps day helping kids launch bottles So after a year of boots on the ground here in the Walla Walla District, I wanted to take this opportunity to give a little feedback From where I sit. Im extremely impressed by what I see from the men and women of the Walla Walla District. Ive spoken about your complex and dedicated efforts at various community events the past year, and in every case people walk out of the event expressing to me that they had no idea the Walla Walla District did so much great stuff. The other thing that continues to amaze me is the volume of people who take the time to tell me about the great people in this District. I thank each of you for your personal efforts serving the public. I can tell you we are making a spot on the planet. As I execute key leader engagements with federal, state and local partners, Im often asked Whats NWWs biggest challenge? It is most often followed by a rolling of eyes or a shoulder shrug, and dont say funding. I always laugh (as if it emphatically that our biggest challenge is uncertainty. The District is built to execute the vision of the Corps of Engineers: Engineering solutions to the Nations toughest challenges. What we want to know is what are the toughest challenges and what does right look like at the National level? The conversation usually concludes with us agreeing we need to get on with it and make some decisions. As far as NWW is concerned, we are doing our part. We know the challenges here and are pushing the system. We need the national leadership to validate the requirements and prioritize our collective resources so we can be the solutioneers our Nation needs. Its what we do and were good at it. Personally, Im not sure when the light at the end of the tunnel will arrive, but I can tell you that weve got great people at division and headquarters level in the Corps of Engineers who are working very hard to get the answers we need. Overall, Walla Walla District is postured well. Our program is relatively stable, our execution is solid and our value is high. normal size. Others across the country The so what to us is: we look different during a time of uncertainty that is a tough spot to be in. We are getting a high level of scrutiny on all of our actions. The downside is we are burning lots of extra calories on justifying our actions. The silver lining is the extra effort is making us a better and stronger organization. We are challenging our assumptions, looking in areas we havent paid as much attention to as maybe we should have, and thinking just a little harder about each and every decision. This is good, hard work. Its not real comfortable, but Im convinced were getting stronger. As far as communications are concerned our relationships with the Tribes, agency partners and regional stakeholders continue to be great. We may not always agree, but our relationships enable us to work through the disagreements and get to a reasonable conclusion. The District is an integral part of the Corps as the Nations largest waterbased recreation provider. Our park rangers truly are the face of the District to over 8 million visitors to our parks and recreation sites. We are resource challenged right now given the budget climate, but from my perch, we are doing a fantastic job with the limited resources we have. Execution It is absolutely critical we do what we say we are going to do. That means we must execute effectively. Weve done well the past few years and we want to continue that track record. Its getting more challenging with uncertain resourcing, but we need to stay focused and get it done. Safety We need to continue looking out for one another. What that means at the projects and District headquarters is to continue emphasizing personal and public safety. That includes dam and levee safety. We continue to use our riskinformed process to Continued on page 4


Story by Stephen Doherty Top: Sunny spring day in New York Citys Central Park. Bottom Left-top: Heavy machinery moves pipes into place in order to continue potential unexploded munitions. Bottom Right: Excavator rinses munitions basket so further inspection can take place. Photo by Courtni Doherty Photos by Stephen Doherty Four complete Power Plant training programStory by Gina Baltruschh Top, pictored from left to right: Dwayne Weston, Robin Floyd; graduates Robert Rathburn, Mark Hymas, Ed Hodges; and District Commander Lt. Col. Drew Kelly. District welcomes new deputy commander prioritize dam and levee safety solutions and infrastructure improvements. We continue to implement interim risk reduction measures well. We cannot completely eliminate risk, but we can reduce risk. Keep up the great work as you pursue public safety measures. Finally, maintain that winning attitude. If you act like you are the best at what you do, youll drive yourself to become your best. Our District is the most professional team Ive ever been associated with. Weve got some hills to climb and challenges ahead, but we are positioned very well to not just succeed but excel. I am certain we will do it in our own unique way. Were doing great but this is not the time to opportunities to improve both yourself and the team. Lt. Col. Drew Kelly Walla Walla District Commander Continued frpm page 3 From Where I Sit 5 4


As part of its environmental stewardship eorts, the Walla Walla District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expanded its 2013 annual oil spill training exercise at Lower Granite Lock and Dam on the lower Snake River. Several county agencies adjacent to the Lower Granite Lakes area of operation participated in this exercise in the rst such collaborative training eort. Training with other agencies enhances each agencys readiness. e Corps goal was to foster closer working relationships with cooperating, responding and reporting agencies in case of an oil spill on the lower Snake River near Lower Granite. e Corps works closely with nearby responding agencies such as law enforcement and emergency management if an oil spill is discovered. e training prepared participants to respond to potential oil spills from sources such as recreational or commercial watercra, shoreline industrial activities or the dam itself. e Corps responds to oil spills at its locks and dams regardless of the source. e Corps also reports oil spills to appropriate federal and state agencies. When oil appears to be coming from upstream of a Corps dam, the Corps works with other agencies to identify the source and to control the spill. Lower Granite Lake reaches about 39 miles up the Snake River to Asotin, Wash., from the dam, including eight miles up the Clearwater River from the conuence at Lewiston, Idaho. e Corps hosted June 26 exercise involved practical open-water oil spill control activities. Training included boom deployment using both watercra and shore anchors. Sara White, environmental protection specialist, was exercise director. Mike McCain of the Washington Department of Ecology led training. Agency participation included Whitman County Emergency Management, Sheri and vessel, and Public Health; Nez Perce County Sheri and vessel; Asotin County Fire and Rescue and vessel; and Washington Department of Ecologys Spill Preparedness and Prevention response team. Corps participation included Lower Granite Dam sta and Granite Pride vessel, Little Goose Dam sta, and Clarkston Oce personnel and park ranger vessel. United against oil spillsStory and photos by Bruce Henrickson Asotin County Fire District boat and crew deploy an oil contain ment boom. Top-left: Several agencies and the Corps provided vessels for the exercise. Top Center: Whitman County Sheriff and other agencies participated in an oil spill response training exercise at Boyer Park. Top-right: A Corps Park Ranger boat and crew deploy an oil containment boom. Bottom Left: Whitman County Emergency Management, Sheriff and vessel, and Public Health; Nez Perce County Sheriff and vessel; Asotin County Fire and Rescue and vessel; Washington Department of Ecologys Spill Preparedness and Prevention response team, and Corps personnel and vessels from Lower Granite, Little Goose, and Clarkston participated in the June 26 oil spill training exercise. 7 6


Encountering dierent species may require dierent responses by visitors BEWARE OF BEARS and other threatening wildlifeStory by Gina Baltrusch Goats serve as sustainable vegetation controllers... ...remove weeds along Mill Creek levees Story by Gina Baltrusch Goat Pros Organic Weed Control sent a herd of about 70 goats, accompanied by a shepherd and his working dog, Gus, to roam the south levee shoreline between the Mill Creek diversion dam and the foot bridge near the Mill Creek U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service PhotoBefore AfterPhotos by Chris Alford Photo by Jeremy Nguyen 9 8


A day at McNary Lock and Dam Story and photos by Cassi Meelhuysen Above and right: Contract workers repair a turbine and prepare a 30-ton crane for lifting. Top-right: E.J. Harris and Phil Wright from the East Orego nian newspaper view McNary operations. Far-right: A worker departs at the end of the day. 11 10


Left page, bottom-left: Adjustable Spillway Weir 3D model. Left page, bottom-right: Portland Districts Minto Fish Facility. Above and top: the Dworshak Fish Hatchery Degassing construction project; Upper right: McNary Dam Collection Channel Bulkhead precasting. Bottom-right: 3D Story by Joe Saxon 3rd in a three-part series on the Design Branch 13 12


Story and photos by Cassi MeelhuysenTop: Crowds gather by McNarys navigation lock to view the ships passage. Far left: Views of the Hawaiian Chieftain. Left: Both ships transit the navigation lock. Right: The Lady Washington in all her splendor. Ahoy matey! 15 14


17 16 Impacts of mussel infestation History and background Why you should be concerned Story by Greg Moody Invasive Species The ColumbiaSnake River system is the last major river system in the United States without them ...but they are only a days drive away. A fully mature female mussel is capable of producing up to one million eggs per season that cling and clog and biofoul waters. Zebra and quagga mussels clog equipment, foul waterwaysContinued on next page


Have they arrived Prevention and control 19 18 Fires were problematic this summer Corps boats waiting at Barclay Bay to lines to camp. Above: Corps staff helped lines. Here one team hikes off along the eastern edge of the burn to begin a long and arduous day. June September 2013


ALERT avoid dam spillways Getting too close to a dam while Story and photos by Stephen Doherty after riding a boat over the McNary spillway during a demonstra tion staged for a boating safety video. Middle: remnants of the boat. Left: Boat going over the spillway. Above: Stark reminder of the type of damage vessels could sustain from spillways. 21 20


Having a blast at Corps Day! Walla Walla District Employees and their families take a timeout to have a little fun in the sun. This years Corps day activities included a picnic, friendly volleyball competition, giant water slide, face painting, water rockets, Sparkles the Clown, horse shoes, kids games and Photos by Stephen Doherty 23 22


Peach Basket Classic Photos by Joe Saxon Top: Andrew Dankel-Ibez takes a shot while Jon Renholds blocks out an op at the Walla Walla Peach Basket Classic Corporate Challenge. Below, left: Jon Renholds pops a jumper. Middle: Jeff Lyon plays defense. Right: Jordan Fink pulls up for a shot while avoiding defenders. Above: A slam dunk contestant goes skywalking enroute to a dunk. Story by Ruthann Haider and Joe SaxonACE Committee goes the Sustain ability route with Corps T-shirts ACE is:Lonnie Cro Mitsi Fukuhara-Poloa Ronetta Holland Jennifer Rand Michael Schaer Ken Koebberling LaRhonda McCauley Al Sutlick (Retired)Above: Back of the new Walla Walla District T-shirt was designed by Michael Schaffer. Left: LaRhonda McCauley displays the front of the District T-shirt. 3rd in a four-part series on the Walla Walla Districts Sustainability efforts 25 24


27 26 round the istrict of the q uarter Fiscal year 2013 mployees T hird Q uarterCorps Day a ward w innersThe Walla Walla District recognized employee excellence at the annual Corps Day town hall. Distinguished Civilian Employees. His photo will join the others in the District Headquarters building hallway outside the Castle Room. Pictured left to right: New Employee of the Year Awardee Procurement Systems Support Analyst Chris Koch. Engineer Ryan Bliss. Support Employees of the Year Realty Assistant Terri Peterson and Realty Specialist Nancy Herres. Quality Proponent Awardee Project Manager Steve Hartman and Electrical Engineer Brian Head. PMBP Proponent Shawn Nelson, Kevin Crum, and Martin Ahmann. Not pictured: Outstanding Achievement Awardee (GS9/ Engineering Excellence Awardee Electrical Engineer Stuart Gregory.Welcome Lt. Gen. Bostick Corps C ommander Hydraulic Engineer Curtis Been District Headquarters Contract Specialist Cam Allen District Headquarters Archaeologist Scott Hall District Headquarters Mechanical Engineer David Salgado District Headquarters Fishery Biologist Dean Holecek District Headquarters Chief of Operations Bill Gersbach McNary Lock and Dam, Umatilla, Ore. Fishery Biologist Greg Moody District Headquarters Structural Engineer Jon Lomeland District Headquarters Support Services Specialist Stephenie Renshaw District Headquarters Hydraulic Engineer Brandon Hobbs L eadership D evelopment P rogram C ongratulations 2013 GraduatesSandy Shelin (far left)Environmental Resource Specialist Alex Almeida (left)Power Plant Electrician Lower Monumental Lock and Dam Members of the Walla Walla Districts 2013 Leadership Development class are all smiles as they prepare to graduate. Above: Walla Walla District Commander Lt. Col. Drew Kelly escorts Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick at McNary Lock and Dam. Top, left: McNary Operations Manager Dave Coleman briefs Lt. Gen.


Position:Chief of Maintenance, McNary Lock and DamDescribe your job. I oversee the maintenance of the McNary Lock and Dam multi-purpose hydroelectric project. It is my job to set priorities, schedules and goals. Then get out of the way, so my staff of 50+ people can accomplish them. I try to spend most of my time out on the floor with the craft workers to ensure their needs are being met, so they can focus on the task at hand.What are some of the biggest challenges youve faced in your current position? This is a multipurpose project with a number of competing interests that are all looking for the same resources in a web of regulations, rules, and compliance requirements. The safety manual has doubled in size, the Fish Passage Plan became increasingly stringent, and the requirements on taking generators out of service has become progressively more difficult with NERC/WECC standards. Most of these things are outside of our control and necessary, but they place additional challenges on meeting our schedules and goals.Please highlight a notable milestone or memory in your position. Ive been very fortunate in my career with the Corps. In 1998 I started out as an electrical apprentice at McNary Dam where I was able to work in all of the different maintenance shops and operations. This time gave me an appreciation for the diversity at an operating project. When I moved into my first leadership role, my eyes were awakened, and I gained an understanding that I was part of something bigger. Through the years, I have became very proud of what we do for the region and the Nation. What is the most rewarding part of your job?Hands down, the people. I know it sounds kind of clich to say that, but in my 15 years of experience, I have had challenges personal in nature and watched others deal with difficult life experiences. The Corps as a family has always been there. I feel Im very blessed to be here working with such a great group of professionals and look forward to another 15 years.CORPS Im with the Department of the Army Walla Walla District Corps of Engineers Presort Standard PAID Tim Roberts