MESSAGE TO THE REGIMENT #52:
“The Engineer Blast”
21 February 2008
A. Overview: The Office of the Chief of Engineers is pleased to forward this fifty-second version of “The Engineer Blast”.
Thanks for all you do and stay safe – enjoy the “BLAST!!”
NOTE: In order to further enhance communications from the major entities of the Engineer Regiment to the field, the Office, Chief of Engineers (OCE) is facilitating a process to spread Engineer knowledge from the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), The United States Army Engineer School (USAES), Engineer Branch, other Engineer agencies, and our office in the Pentagon. All links should work for .mil computers.
CONGRATULATIONS !!!!!!! COMMAND SERGEANT MAJOR MICHEAL L. BUXBAUM
The US Army Engineer School would like to invite all of the engineer community, to include spouses, to the annual Engineer Regimental Conference- ENFORCE 2008. This year's conference activities will be held in two locations: St. Louis, 4 thru 6 May 2008 and Ft. Leonard Wood, 7 thru 10 May 2008. Beginning with a half day of registration and Army Engineer Association's evening Ice-breaker on Sunday, you can expect the following five days to be filled with extraordinary events and socials activities in both St. Louis and on Fort Leonard Wood. More information below in the USAES section.
BEST SAPPER COMPETITION 2008 The annual Best Sapper Competition will be held 6-8 May 2008 at Fort Leonard Wood MO. The Best Sapper Competition tests the physical endurance and technical knowledge of the best Soldiers in the Engineer Regiment. Teams will be tested on demolitions, foreign weapons, mountaineering, land navigation and more. This year’s competition is open to all personnel serving in a 21 series MOS. Teams are encouraged to register early to ensure their spot in the competition by visiting www.bestsapper08.com. [Gilion, Brent MAJ] Fort Leonard Wood is excited about this year's competition. Many innovative and interesting changes have been made to how the competition will be conducted that will make it the best competition to date. Many units have been expressing their interest in sending teams so it is absolutely critical that teams get registered on the website as soon as possible. To get more information about the Best Sapper Competition or to find out more information about the Sapper Leader Course visit, www.wood.army.mil/sapper.
B. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) provides the following information:
1. Army Chief of Engineers Launches Blog: Lieutenant General Robert L. Van Antwerp, the 52nd Chief of Engineers and Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, today ventured into the blogosphere for the first time with a blog about Iraq reconstruction efforts. Van Antwerp visited Iraq in late January to observe the Corps' ongoing mission there.
The blog, called "Corps-e-spondence," includes RSS (Really Simple Syndication), so readers can subscribe and automatically receive updates. Readers may also post questions and comments.
"This is the way of the future," Van Antwerp said. "We should be out there, too - clearly and openly communicating with the American public every chance we get.” (More...)
2. The Chief Sends – Topographer of the Army: I write to you today as Topographer of the Army. This is a great reminder of our Corps' historical role as Engineers providing mapping and terrain information for our Army and Nation. Today we are in the midst of a transformation in military topography that will revolutionize the provision of geospatial information to our Soldiers and commanders. This transformation necessitates sweeping changes in the way we execute our business serving the Army. (More..)
3. President's FY 2009 Budget for USACE Civil Works Program Released”
Washington (Feb. 4, 2008) - The President's Budget for fiscal year 2009 (FY09) transmitted to Congress today includes $4.741 billion in new federal funding for the annual Civil Works program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and an additional $5.761 billion in an emergency request for a total request of $10.502 billion.
Mr. John Paul Woodley, Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, said, "This year's civil works budget provides critical funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to continue to contribute to the nation's economic and environmental well being.
"The budget funds the planning, design and construction of projects for the three main water resources mission areas of the Corps, which are commercial navigation, flood and coastal storm damage reduction, and aquatic ecosystem restoration, and gives priority to those projects that will provide the highest returns on the nation's investment," Woodley continued. (More...)
4. If you are a Reserve Soldier looking for an Engineer position opportunity, check this link for availabilities. Some postings may not be with USACE. Updated 25 Jan 08
5. Engineer Publications: "To the Immortal Name and Memory of George Washington"
6. The following information is provided by the 412th ENCOM—MAJ Forte
Currently, the 412th Theater Engineer Command (TEC) has numerous Soldiers mobilized in support of GWOT, both in CENTCOM and USEUCOM AORs. The 412th TEC continues to conduct staff planning for the mobilization of five separate units, and is in possession of mobilization orders for the Gulf Regional Division deployment cell, Det 18, 412th TEC, as well as for the 926th EN BDE. The GRD Deployment Cell departs from its mobilization station, Camp Shelby, Mississippi in the coming week and reports to its theater mission fully prepared for success. The 926th Engineer Brigade begins Extended Combat Training at Camp Shelby in preparation for transitioning to mobilization station activities and subsequent deployment to theater.
Transformation (TEC): The Vice Chief of Staff of the Army (VCSA) has signed documents implementing the conversion of the 412th & 416th ENCOM’s to the Theater Engineer Command (TEC) structure in conjunction with DA Initiative 23. The 412th TEC is currently standing up the first of two Deployable Command Posts (DCP’s) in anticipation of a formal order authorized by this initiative.
FEST-M: The 412th TEC continues to support the activation of a FEST-M at Vicksburg, MS in conjunction with (ICW) the USACE MVD Working Group and HQ, USACE Process Delivery Team (PDT) and is exploring training opportunities for 4QTY08.
The 412th TEC (Forward-Pacific) continues to plan in support of Humanitarian Construction Assistance operations in support of USARPAC Cobra Gold (Thailand) 5-16 MAY 08, Balikatan (Philippines) 18 FEB – 02 MAR 08, and projects in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. The 412th TEC (Forward-Pacific) continue participation in exercise Key Resolve (KR) and planning for Ulchi Freedoms Guardian (UFG), both supporting US Forces Korea.
Elements of the 412th TEC (Forward-Europe) continue to plan and support operations AUSTERE CHALLENGE, 28 APR -13 MAY 08, GUARDIAN SHIELD 08 and SILENT WARRIOR 08.
The 412th TEC (Forward-Europe) announces the following opportunities supporting USAREUR:
12-18 month CO-ADOS opportunities for six (6) Reserve Component personnel to support ASCC-level engineer operations within USAREUR. Target candidates will be in the grade of MAJ with staff and deployment experience.
12 month ADSW opportunity supporting Troop Construction at the Joint Multi-National readiness center at Hohenfels, Germany and will entail engineer planning and management of construction operations to support vertical horizontal and full spectrum engineer operations in the contemporary operating environment. Ideal candidates will be MAJ/CPT for OIC and SFC-SGT for NCOIC.
Exercise participation opportunity AUSTERE CHALLENGE supporting V Corps in the USAREUR AOR. Exercise dates are 28 APR – 13 MAY 08 and include 1 x LTC, 4 x MAJ, and 2 x CPT. All officers should be engineer branch with experience on Battalion and higher echelon staffs.
Interested individuals should contact MAJ Frank Hopkins at email@example.com and MAJ Victor Green at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exercise Related Construction:
The 412th TEC (Forward – Europe) has initiated informal coordination with elements of AFRICOM to support possible future ERC missions.
The 412th TEC (Forward –Pacific) continues planning in support of PACOM/USARPAC. Exercises that will be executed potentially by Army Reserve equities during TY08 include:
Cobra Gold (Thailand) 5-16 MAY 08
Balikatan (Philippines) 18 FEB – 02 MAR 08
Elements of the 412th TEC (Forward –Pacific) have initiated planning for six Humanitarian Assistance projects in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.
The 412th TEC is conducting an ADT/TDY maintenance operation called Castle Wrench at Yermo, CA in support of Operation Sand Castle 08. We are looking for Soldiers with maintenance MOS’s (62B, 63B, & 92A) to conduct 10 and 20 level maintenance on wheeled and tracked vehicles. The operation began 04 FEB 08 and will conclude on or about 18 May in 14 day increments. Housing is available for participants at a local motel and meals are available. Interested TPU personnel can contact MAJ Jon Brierton, 412th TEC Chief of Operations at 601-631-6188 or email him at email@example.com
7. The following information is provided by the 416th ENCOM –SGM Prater
GWOT: 416th TEC currently has 29 Soldiers mobilized in support of OIF/OEF in the CENTCOM AOR. The 416 TEC is currently in the process of mobilizing multiple units and Soldiers throughout the Command and throughout the world.
Army Reserve Command and Control (ARC2): The 416th TEC has assumed Command and Control of over 133 units and 13,000 Engineer spaces in an AOR consisting of 29 states.
New Horizons Honduras - The 416th TEC is the USARC Executive agent for New Horizons (NH) in the SOUTHCOM Area of Operations. The new program is called Beyond the Horizons or BTH. The operation runs from 15 February - 7 June 2008. Location for the operation is in the vicinity of Soto Cano Airbase, Honduras. The operation is in a base camp environment with government housing and meals provided. Interested Soldiers must complete a resume of service. The positions are for Army Reserve TPU Soldiers and NG Soldiers. Send requests/resumes to SFC Clifford M. Preetorius at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tradewinds Dominican Republic -Tradewinds is a Multi-National training exercise. It is comprised of elements from 19 Caribbean nations as well as the United States and The Royal British Marines. The current overall scope is to train the civil and military authorities in riot/crowd control as well as weapons proficiency. The Scope for the USAR is to provide Combat Service Support (CSS) for all US and HN as well as participating countries with CSS and Sustainment Engineering.
Operation Essayons (OE) - The 416th ENCOM serves as the USARC Action Agent for Operation Essayons, whereby Reserve Component Engineers provide construction assets in support of installation construction and the development of the Combat Support Training Center at Fort Hunter-Liggett, Calif. While increasing the infrastructure of FHL, Reserve Component Engineers also utilize the vast training areas at FHL to hone their tactical skills in preparation for participation in WAREX the following year. This year the exercise will be conducted in two rotations (14 July – 12 Aug 08) with the 411th EN BDE providing oversight and each participating battalion providing the TF CDR during their rotation.
Shoot house missions - TEC Engineers are currently preparing a schematic concept plan of the shoot house for SOCCENT. The shoot house will be a major training facility in Kenya.
416th TEC POC EMAIL: email@example.com
8. The Gulf Region Division (GRD) GRD provides the following articles.
Agencies join forces for Muthanna medical/ veterinarian event
Longest road project in Iraq is a security success
Water treatment plants bringing fresh water to farming communities
Engineering Brothers Construct Holiday Reunion While Deployed In Iraq
Sadr City’s Al Baladi Hospital renovations near completion
Larger Iraqi Engineer Role Planned In USACE's Gulf Region South District
9. 249th Engineer Battalion: It gives me great pleasure to "roll out" our new Battalion Home Page, which replaces our former web pages. Our intent was to provide a single portal to the online the tools we, as a community, use regularly. http://www.hq.usace.army.mil/249en/
Our BCKS "Power and Utilities" collaborative site, where, at your request, we've provided several open forums to discuss prime power operations, safety, and other associated information. I am pleased that over 70 current and former Black Lions have already signed up, and I've enjoyed hearing from you and gaining useful information through this collaborative process.
We've also provide links to HQ USACE, AKO, and our Army's powerful Reimer Digitized Library (one-stop reference site for all published FMs, TMs, etc). There's also a host of other useful links to both servicemembers and the public.
Currently, we are working to add FRG zones, and a Prime Power Technical library with the codes, regulations, and other compliance documents from industry, government, and abroad that you require!
Please feel free to send us more recommendations -- this is our page and I want it to be useful to our community.
Lastly, I'd like to thank Ms. Nancie Turner at Headquarters USACE, as well as our Army's BCKS Community for their assistance in this project. Well done!
Commander, 249th EN BN
C. The US Army Engineer School (USAES) provides the following information: BG GREGG MARTIN – ENGINEER COMMANDANT
Thank YOU for ALL that you do for our Army and Nation! You are making a positive difference, and I encourage you to persevere and keep at it during a very tough Global War. Need each of you to reach out and engage your People -- get to know your People and their Families; talk with them, understand their goals, and figure out how to help them achieve their dreams; focus on developing them into the best Engineer Leaders they can be, for both today and the future; BE a Teacher, Coach and Mentor to your People; train, educate, develop and inspire them; get their feedback, buy-in and engagement in helping us solve the tough, complex issues which we face as a Regiment, Army and Nation; and ENCOURAGE them to stay on our Army Engineer Team during this time of persistent conflict. The security of our Nation rests on the shoulders of each one of our precious teammates. We NEED each one of you!!!
Over the past three months, I have had the opportunity to see, listen and learn a lot! Have pulled together my initial thoughts and assessment, and have had the opportunity to share this with many of you. I would like to do a VTC or multiple VTC's to share my thoughts with as many of you as possible over the next 30 days, and get YOUR feedback. I have gotten great ideas and feedback from some of the most junior members of the Regiment!!!
COMMUNICATIONS!!! One of our most important tenets is to COMMUNICATE transparently, openly, candidly and truthfully. We need to get the big issues out on the table, and have an open, honest, vigorous, intellectual debate. Check your rank, ego, position and "the way we've always done it" at the door, and engage in the great debate of ideas. I guarantee that many of the best ideas for the future will come from our young heroes who have done multiple combat tours, as well as our retirees and greybeards who have been away from this current fight for a while, but who "have been there and done that" before, in a prior era of our history. My goal is to establish regular and open channels to do this. The BLAST, Engineer Magazine, our VTCs, Councils of Colonels and CSMs, and other forums are the ways we can and must do this.
HISTORY!!! The older I get, the more I learn from and value History. Many of the challenges we face today were faced and overcome by our predecessors. Learn from the past as we move forward. As well, record what you and your units are doing today and why you are doing it that way. Send these documents to our Historian, Dr Larry Roberts.
WRITING!!! Those of you attending school (all ranks and all schoolhouses, Civilian and Military, all components), PLEASE take on our tough issues, research them and write papers and articles to help inform the decision-makers as we transform and prepare for the future while we fight today's wars. A good idea will remain just that -- a good idea -- unless you think it through, and put pen to paper in the form of a written product. A well written paper is the means by which good ideas gain traction and lead to real change! Think, dialog, learn, and WRITE!!!
Some high-lights on a few of our Regiment's "Big Rocks".
Engineer Leader Technical Competency (ELTC) Study. This is a BIG deal for our Regiment, Army and Nation. We are teaming with people and organizations from across our Army, Joint forces, Allies, Academia, Industry and professional associations. I would love for you to get engaged. See COL Jerry Meyers' (our DOTLD and leader of this effort) report below, which provides greater details on our efforts and findings to date. As we take this on, we realize that it is part of a larger strategic issue of how best to manage our precious human talent in the Information Age, during an era of persistent global conflict. We MUST figure out how to properly Access, Develop/Train/Educate, Employ, and Retain our great Engineers for Full Spectrum Operations. It's ALL ABOUT PEOPLE, and getting the right people on the right seat on the right bus is crucial to our Nation's security and prosperity! Join us in this great and important endeavor -- we NEED you!
ENFORCE. The ELTC Study will build into and be our ENFORCE theme: "Building Great Engineers" for future Full Spectrum Ops. We will use the book "Good to Great" by Jim Collins as the analytical framework (Recommend you read it ASAP). The deliverable on Friday, 9 May will be a back brief from each work group, with a written action plan, to the Chief of Engineers and the Regiment. This action plan will address "cradle to grave" personnel management to include: 1) Accessions, 2) Development, Education and Training, 3) Employment, and 4) Retention. This work will be the foundation of our Regimental Campaign Plan, which will set our course for the future.
In addition to the hard intellectual work, we will have a great time of fellowship and enjoyment, learning and professional development, as we celebrate the achievements, traditions and history of our great Regiment. Mark your calendars for 4-9 May, and please come to St Louis and FLW! This is a great event for the ENTIRE Regiment -- Civilians, Soldiers and Families; Active, Guard, Reserve, USACE, and DPW; Retirees, Academia and Contractors. We will also embrace our Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental and Allied teammates, from whom we have MUCH to learn, and whose good ideas we will shamelessly steal (while willingly sharing our own good ideas.) HOOAH!!!
BEST SAPPER COMPETITION. I encourage you and your Soldiers to compete in the Best Sapper Competition held during ENFORCE week. This competition tests the skills and stamina of our Engineer Soldiers and truly showcases the Engineer community. Come on out, participate, and/or cheer on and encourage our Troops!
ENGAGEMENT and OUTREACH. As I mentioned in last month's Blast, we are focused on developing and implementing a STRATCOM plan that allows us to positively influence our Regiment’s future. As leaders, it is essential that we organize regionally with Engineer leaders from the active, guard, and reserve, NCO and officer ranks, and across the corps -- Troops, DPWs and USACE. I ask that you create and seize opportunities to tell our Engineer story and mentor others to step into your boots as great Engineer leaders.
I want to thank our Regiment’s leaders for submitting their Itschner, Van Autreve, Sturgis, and Grizzly award nominations. The books were phenomenal! Once again, you have demonstrated the outstanding accomplishments of the Regiment. The books are being reviewed, and the winners will be announced at the Regimental Ball during ENFORCE. Congratulations to all our outstanding Soldiers and units serving tirelessly in support of our nation.
Most importantly, I want to extend a special thanks to all our great engineers -- Civilians, Troops of all ranks, components and branches, Contractors, and Families -- across the force. You continue to accomplish the mission, overcome hardship, and do great things during this challenging era of persistent global war. We are truly grateful for your selfless service and sacrifice.
Finally, a special word of encouragement and support to our teammates who are deployed in harms way, and their loved ones at home. We are with you!!!