November 9th, 2012

Reflections on Veterans Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Essayons…Building Strong…Army Strong!

 Thomas P. Bostick

Lieutenant General, US Army      


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November 6th, 2012

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

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


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


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


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


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

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

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


Essayons…Building Strong…Army Strong!

  Thomas P. Bostick

Lieutenant General, US Army


LTG Bostick inspects flooded infrastructure in NJ

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


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October 30th, 2012

249th Prime Power assists in recovery efforts

One of the capabilities that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has to offer following disasters is the expertise of the 249th Engineer (Prime Power) Battalion.  The 249th is the only active-duty component in USACE, and the only Prime Power Battalion in the Department of Defense, providing prime power and electrical systems expertise in support of the nation both at home and abroad.

Soldiers from the 249th have already been deployed as part of the federal response to Sandy in order to conduct assessments and facilitate the rapid return of power to critical infrastructure. 

Headquartered in Fort Belvoir, the 249th also has companies on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; Fort Bragg, NC; and a Reserve company in Rhode Island.  In the past year, they have deployed to 13 other countries, including the Marshall Islands, Turkey, American Samoa and East Timor, to provide expertise for military and humanitarian missions.

The Battalion has been deployed continuously since 9/11, beginning immediately after the attacks, where they provided the power generators that allowed the NY Stock Exchange to re-open, and continuing today in Afghanistan.

The 300 highly-skilled Prime Power Soldiers are selected from the very best minds in the Army and train for a year at USACE’s Prime Power School in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.  This training includes classes such as Physics, Thermodynamics, and Mechanical Systems Engineering to provide each Prime Power Soldier with a fundamental understanding of electrical systems.

The 249thPrime Power Battalion is just one of the Temporary Emergency Power Assets that USACE has deployed in response to the devastation caused by Sandy. 

Soldiers from USACE’s 249th Engineer (Prime Power) Battalion (USACE File Photo)


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October 29th, 2012

USACE Update on Hurricane Sandy

Today the Soldiers and Civilians of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) are watching as Hurricane Sandy approaches the East Coast bringing wind, rain and storm surge, and working closely with other federal agencies and state and local governments to provide support and assistance during and after the storm. 

In any disaster, USACE’s three top priorities are:

  • Support immediate emergency response priorities;
  • Sustain lives with critical commodities, temporary emergency power and other needs;
  • Initiate recovery efforts by assessing and restoring critical infrastructure.

Here are some of our current operations related to Hurricane Sandy:

  • USACE is supporting States’ and FEMA operations centers to organize response efforts. Subject Matter Experts have been alerted and/or deployed to provide public works and engineering expertise to include damage modeling, storm surge modeling, and coastal preparations.
  • USACE has received a Temporary Power Mission Assignment from FEMA and has deployed Temporary Emergency Power assets (Planning and Response Teams, the 249th Engineer Battalion, Emergency Command and Control Vehicles/Deployable Tactical Operating Systems) to provide support to areas projected to be impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
  • Other Planning Response teams remain on alert for Debris Management, Commodities Distribution, Infrastructure Assessment, Temporary Roofing, Critical Public Facilities, Water Planning, and Temporary Housing.
  • USACE Operations Centers within the affected districts have been activated and emergency response assets are providing support 24/7.
  • USACE Districts located in the impact area are securing project facilities, floating plants, and construction sites.
  • USACE has assigned a liaison to coordinate with the National Guard Bureau to coordinate any combined response actions.

As always, the safety of the public and our employees is of the utmost importance, and we should heed any evacuation orders and other warnings issued by local officials.  Be vigilant and stay safe!

Essayons…Building Strong…Army Strong!

 Thomas P. Bostick


Lieutenant General, US Army



Regular exercises, like the one pictured here in 2010, ensure that USACE Soldiers and Civilians are poised to responsed to natural disasters as part of the National Response Framework.


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October 15th, 2012

Fiscal Year 2012 Wrap-Up

We have closed the books on Fiscal Year 2012 and it was another banner year for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.   

In FY12, USACE obligated $22 billion through 85,000 contract actions, representing 20 percent of the Department of the Army’s obligated dollars and 24 percent of the Army’s contracting actions this year.

We awarded $7.26 billion to small businesses in FY12, accounting for 33 percent of the Army’s $21 billion total small business obligations.  In comparison with other contracting activities that obligated more than $5 billion in FY12, USACE had the highest percentage of dollars awarded to Small Businesses, Small Disadvantaged Businesses, Women-Owned Small Businesses, Service-Disabled Veteran Small Businesses and HubZone Businesses.  Thanks to your efforts, USACE broke small business records for the third straight year in a row!  

Even more important than the numbers are the people – our hard-working professionals who ensure delivery and management of USACE programs and the people around the world who depend upon our projects for safety, security, economic prosperity and quality of life.

I want to thank our entire team for the herculean efforts associated with year-end execution and close-out.  You worked diligently throughout the year and into the late hours of the night over the last few weeks, wrapping up FY12 and getting FY13 off to a good start.  I’m very proud of you – well done!


Essayons!  Building Strong!  Army Strong!

Thomas P. Bostick

Lieutenant General, US Army


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October 4th, 2012

Army Suicide Prevention Program

America’s Army is the Strength of the Nation, and the greatest resource we have is our people — our Soldiers, Civilians, Veterans and Family Members.  After more than a decade of war and great personal sacrifices by our fighting force, the Army suicide rate is at an all-time high.  The incidence of other high-risk behaviors, including alcohol and substance abuse and post-traumatic stress, are also on the rise.

Every suicide is a tragic loss.  The Army has instituted a multi-level, holistic approach to health promotion, risk reduction and suicide prevention that accounts for the many challenges our Soldiers, Families and Civilians face today.  September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and on Sept. 27, each USACE Division, District, Center and Lab  participated in the Army’s Suicide Prevention Stand Down.

We are committed to providing resources for our Soldiers, Civilians and Family Members to help them develop resilience and deal with challenges, including the Command Chaplain, the Employee Assistance Program, Military & Family Life Consultants, Military One Source and Veterans Affairs.  You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit or

For more information on how the Army is working to prevent suicide and other high-risk behaviors, visit

There is nothing more important than improving the health, discipline and resilience of our Force.  A Healthy Force is a Ready Force!

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June 7th, 2012

Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick assumes command of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick addresses the audience after assuming the role as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commanding general and chief of engineers during a ceremony at Fort Lesley J. McNair, May 22, 2012. (Photo by Dana M. Clark)

Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick became the 53rd U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commanding general and U.S. Army chief of engineers during an assumption of command ceremony, May 22, 2012, at Baruch Auditorium, Fort Lesley J. McNair.  Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III hosted the event.

“I absolutely believe Lt. Gen. Bostick is the right person to lead the Army Corps of Engineers,” Austin said during his remarks.  “He is one of the smartest, most gifted general officers of our time, with the ability to do well and thrive in any environment.”

At USACE, Bostick serves as the senior military officer overseeing most of the nation’s civil works infrastructure and military construction. He is responsible for more than 37,000 civilian employees and 600 military personnel who provide project management and construction support to 250 Army and Air Force installations in more than 100 countries around the world.

Bostick also oversees USACE’s diverse missions such as hundreds of environmental protection projects; the regulatory permit program to protect, restore and enhance thousands of acres of wetlands; and the emergency response mission to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

In addition, as the chief of engineers, Bostick advises the Army on engineering matters and serves as the Army’s topographer and the proponent for real estate and other related engineering programs.

“Now, more than ever, the nation needs a lean, agile, strong, capable, competent and trusted Corps of Engineers.  One that serves the Army and nation; and one that truly teams with our many military, federal, state, local government, host nation governments, tribal, academia, industry and non-government partners to solve the engineering and scientific challenges facing the joint force, the nation and the global community,” Bostick said. 

“I’m committed to working with all our partners to continue the rich traditions of the Corps, meet the needs of this country and always deliver,” he added.

Lt. Gen. Bostick graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science degree.  He holds a master’s in civil engineering and mechanical engineering from Stanford University, and is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College.  He is a registered professional engineer in Virginia

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February 16th, 2012

Corps helps communities recover and rebuild

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

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

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

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

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

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

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December 12th, 2011

Small businesses a vital part of the team

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by underAfghanistan, Civil Works, Contingency Operations, Contracting, Emergency Response, Gulf Coast Recovery, Iraq, Military Programs, Partnership, Small Business | Comments (1)

November 9th, 2011

A Year of Helping People

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

YouTube DoDLive


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