Engineer Branch (United States) | Wikipedia audio article


The United States Army Corps of Engineers
(USACE) is a U.S. federal agency under the Department of Defense (DoD) and a major Army
command made up of some 37,000 civilian and military personnel, making it one of the world’s
largest public engineering, design, and construction management agencies. Although generally associated with dams, canals
and flood protection in the United States, USACE is involved in a wide range of public
works throughout the world. The Corps of Engineers provides outdoor recreation
opportunities to the public, and provides 24% of U.S. hydropower capacity. The corps’ mission is to “Deliver vital public
and military engineering services; partnering in peace and war to strengthen our Nation’s
security, energize the economy and reduce risks from disasters.”Their most visible missions
include: Planning, designing, building, and operating
locks and dams. Other civil engineering projects include flood
control, beach nourishment, and dredging for waterway navigation. Design and construction of flood protection
systems through various federal mandates. Design and construction management of military
facilities for the Army, Air Force, Army Reserve, and Air Force Reserve as well as other DoD
and federal government agencies. Environmental regulation and ecosystem restoration.==History=====
Early history===The history of United States Army Corps of
Engineers can be traced back to 16 June 1775, when the Continental Congress organized an
army with a chief engineer and two assistants. Colonel Richard Gridley became General George
Washington’s first chief engineer. One of his first tasks was to build fortifications
near Boston at Bunker Hill. The Continental Congress recognized the need
for engineers trained in military fortifications and asked the government of King Louis XVI
of France for assistance. Many of the early engineers in the Continental
Army were former French officers. Louis Lebègue Duportail, a lieutenant colonel
in the French Royal Corps of Engineers, was secretly sent to America in March 1777 to
serve in Washington’s Continental Army. In July 1777 he was appointed colonel and
commander of all engineers in the Continental Army, and in November 17, 1777, he was promoted
to brigadier general. When the Continental Congress created a separate
Corps of Engineers in May 1779 Duportail was designated as its commander. In late 1781 he directed the construction
of the allied U.S.-French siege works at the Battle of Yorktown. On February 26, 1783, the Corps was disbanded. It was re-established during the Presidency
of George Washington. From 1794 to 1802, the engineers were combined
with the artillery as the Corps of Artillerists and Engineers.The Corps of Engineers, as it
is known today, came into existence on 16 March 1802, when President Thomas Jefferson
signed the Military Peace Establishment Act whose aim was to “organize and establish a
Corps of Engineers … that the said Corps … shall be stationed at West Point in the
State of New York and shall constitute a military academy.” Until 1866, the superintendent of the United
States Military Academy was always an officer of engineer. The General Survey Act of 1824 authorized
the use of Army engineers to survey road and canal routes. That same year, Congress passed an “Act to
Improve the Navigation of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers” and to remove sand bars on the Ohio
and “planters, sawyers, or snags” (trees fixed in the riverbed) on the Mississippi, for which
the Corps of Engineers was the responsible agency.===Formerly separate units===Separately authorized on 4 July 1838, the
U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers consisted only of officers and was used for
mapping and the design and construction of federal civil works and other coastal fortifications
and navigational routes. It was merged with the Corps of Engineers
on 31 March 1863, at which point the Corps of Engineers also assumed the Lakes Survey
District mission for the Great Lakes.In 1841, Congress created the Lake Survey. The survey, based in Detroit, Mich., was charged
with conducting a hydrographical survey of the Northern and Northwestern Lakes and preparing
and publishing nautical charts and other navigation aids. The Lake Survey published its first charts
in 1852.In the mid-19th century, Corps of Engineers’ officers ran Lighthouse Districts
in tandem with U.S. Naval officers.===Civil War===The Army Corps of Engineers played a significant
role in the American Civil War. Many of the men who would serve in the top
leadership in this institution were West Point graduates who rose to military fame and power
during the Civil War. Some of these men were Union Generals George
McClellan, Henry Halleck, George Meade, and Confederate generals Robert E. Lee, Joseph
Johnston, and P.G.T. Beauregard. The versatility of officers in the Army Corps
of Engineers contributed to the success of numerous missions throughout the Civil War. They were responsible for building pontoon
and railroad bridges, forts and batteries, the destruction of enemy supply lines, and
the construction of roads. The Union forces were not the only ones to
employ the use of engineers throughout the war, and on 6 March 1861, once the South had
seceded from the Union, among the different acts passed at the time, a provision was included
that called for the creation of a Confederate Corps of Engineers.The progression of the
war demonstrated the South’s disadvantage in engineering expertise; of the initial 65
cadets who resigned from West Point to accept positions with the Confederate Army, only
seven were placed in the Corps of Engineers. To overcome this obstacle, the Confederate
Congress passed legislation that gave a company of engineers to every division in the field;
by 1865, they actually had more engineer officers serving in the field of action than the Union
Army. One of the main projects for the Army Corps
of Engineers was constructing railroads and bridges, which Union forces took advantage
of because railroads and bridges provided access to resources and industry. One area where the Confederate engineers were
able to outperform the Union Army was in the ability to build fortifications that were
used both offensively and defensively along with trenches that made them harder to penetrate. This method of building trenches was known
as the zigzag pattern.===20th century===From the beginning, many politicians wanted
the Corps of Engineers to contribute to both military construction and works of a civil
nature. Assigned the military construction mission
on 1 December 1941 after the Quartermaster Department struggled with the expanding mission,
the Corps built facilities at home and abroad to support the U.S. Army and Air Force. During World War II the mission grew to more
than 27,000 military and industrial projects in a $15.3 billion mobilization program. Included were aircraft, tank assembly, and
ammunition plants, camps for 5.3 million soldiers, depots, ports, and hospitals, as well as the
Manhattan Project, and the Pentagon. In civilian projects, the Corps of Engineers
became the lead federal flood control agency and significantly expanded its civil works
activities, becoming among other things, a major provider of hydroelectric energy and
the country’s leading provider of recreation; its role in responding to natural disasters
also grew dramatically. In the late 1960s, the agency became a leading
environmental preservation and restoration agency.In 1944, specially trained army combat
engineers were assigned to blow up underwater obstacles and clear defended ports during
the invasion of Normandy. During World War II, the Army Corps of Engineers
in the European Theater of Operations was responsible for building numerous bridges,
including the first and longest floating tactical bridge across the Rhine at Remagen, and building
or maintaining roads vital to the Allied advance across Europe into the heart of Germany. In the Pacific theater, the Pioneer troops
were formed, a hand-selected unit of volunteer Army combat engineers trained in jungle warfare,
knife fighting, and unarmed jujitsu (hand-to-hand combat) techniques. Working in camouflage, the Pioneers cleared
jungle and prepared routes of advance and established bridgeheads for the infantry as
well as demolishing enemy installations.Five commanding generals (chiefs of staff after
the 1903 reorganization) of the United States Army held engineer commissions early in their
careers. All transferred to other branches before rising
to the top. They were Alexander Macomb, George B. McClellan,
Henry W. Halleck, Douglas MacArthur, and Maxwell D. Taylor.===Notable dates and projects===The General Survey Act of 1824 authorized
use of army engineers to survey roads and canals. The next month, an act to improve navigation
on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers initiated the Corps of Engineers’ permanent civil works
construction mission. Although the 1824 act to improve the Mississippi
and Ohio rivers is often called the first rivers and harbors legislation, the act passed
in 1826 was the first to combine authorizations for both surveys and projects, thereby establishing
a pattern that continues to the present day. Survey and construction of the National Road
until Federal funds were withdrawn (1838) The 555 ft 5 1⁄8 in (169.29 m) tall Washington
Monument, completed under the direction and command of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Lincoln
Casey, 1884 Panama Canal, completed under supervision
of Army Engineer officers, 1914 Flood Control Act of 1936 made flood control
a federal policy and officially recognized the Corps of Engineers as the major federal
flood control agency Bonneville Dam, completed in 1937
Flood Control Act of 1941, which channelized the Los Angeles River and parts of the Santa
Ana River USACE took over all real estate acquisition,
construction, and maintenance for army facilities, 1941
The Manhattan Project (1942–1946) Planning and construction of The Pentagon,
completed in 1943 just 16 months after groundbreaking Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan,
first authorized by congress in 1948 USACE began construction support for NASA
leading to major activities at the Manned Spacecraft Center and Kennedy Space Center,
1961 King Khalid Military City 1973–1987. The Water Resources Development Act of 1986
(WRDA 86) brought major change in financing by requiring non federal contributions toward
most federal water resource projects Cross Florida Barge Canal
Tennessee-Tombigbee WaterwayOccasional civil disasters, including the Great Mississippi
Flood of 1927, resulted in greater responsibilities for the Corps of Engineers. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New
Orleans provides another example of this.==Organization=====Headquarters===
The Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers works under
the civilian oversight of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works). Three deputy commanding generals report to
the chief of engineers, who have the following titles: Deputy Commanding General, Deputy
Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operation, and Deputy Commanding General for
Military and International Operations. The Corps of Engineers headquarters is located
in Washington, D.C. The headquarters staff is responsible for
Corps of Engineers policy and plans the future direction of all other USACE organizations. It comprises the executive office and 17 staff
principals. USACE has two directors who head up Military
Programs and Civil Works, Director of Military Programs and Director of Civil Works.===Divisions and districts===
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is organized geographically into eight permanent divisions,
one provisional division, one provisional district, and one research command reporting
directly to the HQ. Within each division, there are several districts. Districts are defined by watershed boundaries
for civil works projects and by political boundaries for military projects. Great Lakes and Ohio River Division (LRD),
located in Cincinnati. Reaches from the St Lawrence Seaway, across
the Great Lakes, down the Ohio River Valley to the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. Covers 355,300 square miles (920,000 km2),
parts of 17 states. Serves 56 million people. Its seven districts are located in Buffalo,
Chicago, Detroit, Louisville, Nashville, Pittsburgh, and Huntington, West Virginia. The division commander serves on two national
and international decision-making bodies: co-chair of the Lake Superior, Niagara, and
Ontario/St Lawrence Seaway boards of control; and the Mississippi River Commission. Mississippi Valley Division (MVD), located
in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Reaches from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Covers 370,000 square miles (960,000 km2),
and portions of 12 states bordering the Mississippi River. Serves 28 million people. Its six districts are located in St. Paul,
Minnesota, Rock Island, Illinois, St. Louis, Memphis, Vicksburg, and New Orleans. MVD serves as headquarters for the Mississippi
River Commission. North Atlantic Division (NAD), headquartered
at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn, New York. Reaches from Maine to Virginia, including
the District of Columbia, with an overseas mission to provide engineering, construction,
and project management services to the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command. Serves 62 million people. Its six districts are located in New York
City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Norfolk, Concord, Massachusetts, and Wiesbaden, Germany. NAD has the largest Superfund program in USACE
with 60% of the funding. NAD’s Europe District has done work in dozens
of countries and currently has offices in Germany, Belgium, Italy, Turkey, Georgia,
Romania, Bulgaria, Israel, Spain, and soon Botswana. Northwestern Division (NWD), located in Portland,
Oregon. Reaches from Canada to California, and from
the Pacific Ocean to Missouri. Covers nearly 1,000,000 square miles (2,600,000
km2) in all or parts of 14 states. Its five districts are located in Omaha, Portland,
Seattle, Kansas City, and Walla Walla. NWD has 35% of the total Corps of Engineers’
water storage capacity and 75% of the total hydroelectric capacity. Pacific Ocean Division (POD), located at Fort
Shafter, Hawaii. Reaches across 12 million square miles of
the Pacific Ocean from the Arctic Circle to American Samoa below the equator and across
the International Date Line, and into Asia. includes the territories of Guam, American
Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands as well as the Freely Associated
States including the Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the
Marshall Islands. Its four districts are located in Japan; Seoul,
South Korea; Anchorage, Alaska; and Honolulu. Unlike other military work, POD designs and
builds for all of the military services — Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines — in Japan, Korea,
and Kwajalein Atoll. South Atlantic Division (SAD), located in
Atlanta. Reaches from North Carolina to Alabama as
well as the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Covers all or parts of six states. Its five districts are located in Wilmington,
North Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, Savannah, Jacksonville, and Mobile. One-third of the stateside Army and one-fifth
of the stateside Air Force are located within the division boundaries. The largest single environmental restoration
project in the world — the Everglades Restoration — is managed by SAD. South Pacific Division (SPD), located in San
Francisco. Reaches from California to Colorado and New
Mexico. Covers all or parts of seven states. Its four districts are located in Albuquerque,
Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Francisco. Its region is host to 18 of the 25 fastest-growing
metropolitan areas in the nation. Southwestern Division (SWD), located in Dallas. Reaches from Mexico to Kansas. Covers all or part of seven states. Its four districts are located in Little Rock,
Tulsa, Galveston, and Fort Worth. SWD’s recreation areas are the most visited
in USACE with more than 11,400 miles (18,300 km) of shoreline and 1,172 recreation sites. Transatlantic Division (TAD), located in Winchester,
Virginia. Supports Federal programs and policies overseas. Consists of the Gulf Region District, the
Afghanistan Engineer District South, the Afghanistan Engineer District North, the Middle East District,
the USACE Deployment Center and the TAD G2 Intelligence Fusion Center. TAD oversees thousands of projects overseas. TAD overseas locations are staffed primarily
by civilian volunteers from throughout USACE. The Corps of Engineers built much of the original
Ring Road in the early 1960s and returned in 2002. Supports the full spectrum of regional support,
including the Afghan National Security Forces, U.S. and Coalition Forces, Counter Narcotics
and Border Management, Strategic Reconstruction support to USAID, and the Commander’s Emergency
Response Program.===The Engineer Regiment===U.S. Army Engineer units outside of USACE
Districts and not listed below fall under the Engineer Regiment of the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers. Army engineers include both combat engineers
and support engineers more focused on construction and sustainment. The vast majority of military personnel in
the United States Army Corps of Engineers serve in this Engineer Regiment. The Engineer Regiment is headquartered at
Fort Leonard Wood, MO and is commanded by the Engineer Commandant, currently a position
filled by an Army Brigadier General from the Engineer Branch. The Engineer Regiment includes the U.S. Army
Engineer School (USAES) which publishes its mission as: Generate the military engineer
capabilities the Army needs: training and certifying Soldiers with the right knowledge,
skills, and critical thinking; growing and educating professional leaders; organizing
and equipping units; establishing a doctrinal framework for employing capabilities; and
remaining an adaptive institution in order to provide Commanders with the freedom of
action they need to successfully execute Unified Land Operations.===Other USACE organizations===
There are several other organizations within the Corps of Engineers:
Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) — the Corps of Engineers research and development
command. ERDC comprises seven laboratories. (see research below)
U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center (CEHNC) — provides engineering and technical services,
program and project management, construction management, and innovative contracting initiatives,
for programs that are national or broad in scope or not normally provided by other Corps
of Engineers elements Finance Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
(CEFC) — supports the operating finance and accounting functions throughout the Corps
of Engineers Humphreys Engineer Center Support Activity
(CEHEC) — provides administrative and operational support for Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers and various field offices. Army Geospatial Center (AGC) — provides
geospatial information, standards, systems, support, and services across the Army and
the Department of Defense. Marine Design Center (CEMDC) — provides
total project management including planning, engineering, and shipbuilding contract management
in support of USACE, Army, and national water resource projects in peacetime, and augments
the military construction capacity in time of national emergency or mobilization
Institute for Water Resources (IWR) — supports the Civil Works Directorate and other Corps
of Engineers commands by developing and applying new planning evaluation methods, policies
and data in anticipation of changing water resources management conditions. USACE Logistics Activity (ULA)- Provides logistics
support to the Corps of Engineers including supply, maintenance, readiness, materiel,
transportation, travel, aviation, facility management, integrated logistics support,
management controls, and strategic planning. Enterprise Infrastructure Services (CEEIS)
— designs information technology standards for the Corps, including automation, communications,
management, visual information, printing, records management, and information assurance. CEEIS outsources the maintenance of its IT
services, forming the Army Corps of Engineers Information Technology (ACE-IT). ACE-IT is made up of both civilian government
employees and contractors. Deployable Tactical Operations System (DTOS)
— provides mobile command and control platforms in support of the quick ramp-up of initial
emergency response missions for the Corps. DTOS is a system designed to respond to District,
Division, National, and International events. Until 2001 local Directorates of Engineering
and Housing (DEH), being constituents of the USACE, had been responsible for the housing,
infrastructure and related tasks as environmental protection, garbage removal and special fire
departments or fire alarm coordination centers in the garrisons of the U.S. Army abroad as
in Europe (e.g. Germany, as in Berlin, Wiesbaden, Karlsruhe etc.) Subsequently, a similar structure called DPWs
(Directorates of Public Works), subordinate to the United States Army Installation Management
Command, assumed the tasks formerly done by the DEHs.===Directly reporting military units===
249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power) — generates and distributes prime electrical power in
support of fighting wars, disaster relief, stability and support operations as well as
provides advice and technical assistance in all aspects of electrical power and distribution
systems. 911th Engineer Company — (formerly the MDW
Engineer Company) provides specialized technical search and rescue support for the Washington,
D.C. metropolitan area; it is also a vital support member of the Joint Force Headquarters
National Capital Region, which is charged with the homeland security of the United States
capital region. 412th Theater Engineer Command, U.S. Army
Reserve, located in Vicksburg, MS. 416th Theater Engineer Command, U.S. Army
Reserve, located in Darien, IL.==Mission areas=====Warfighting===USACE provides support directly and indirectly
to the warfighting effort. They build and help maintain much of the infrastructure
that the Army and the Air Force use to train, house, and deploy troops. USACE built and maintained navigation systems
and ports provide the means to deploy vital equipment and other material. Corps of Engineers Research and Development
(R&D) facilities help develop new methods and measures for deployment, force protection,
terrain analysis, mapping, and other support. USACE directly supports the military in the
battle zone, making expertise available to commanders to help solve or avoid engineering
(and other) problems. Forward Engineer Support Teams, FEST-A’s or
FEST-M’s, may accompany combat engineers to provide immediate support, or to reach electronically
into the rest of USACE for the necessary expertise. A FEST-A team is an eight-person detachment;
a FEST-M is approximately 36. These teams are designed to provide immediate
technical-engineering support to the warfighter or in a disaster area. Corps of Engineers’ professionals use the
knowledge and skills honed on both military and civil projects to support the U.S. and
local communities in the areas of real estate, contracting, mapping, construction, logistics,
engineering, and management experience. This work currently includes support for rebuilding
Iraq, establishing Afghanistan infrastructure, and supporting international and inter-agency
services. In addition, the work of almost 26,000 civilians
on civil-works programs throughout USACE provide a training ground for similar capabilities
worldwide. USACE civilians volunteer for assignments
worldwide. For example, hydropower experts have helped
repair, renovate, and run hydropower dams in Iraq in an effort to help get Iraqis to
become self-sustaining.===
Homeland security===USACE supports the United States’ Department
of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through its security
planning, force protection, research and development, disaster preparedness efforts, and quick response
to emergencies and disasters.The CoE conducts its emergency response activities under two
basic authorities — the Flood Control and Coastal Emergency Act (Pub.L. 84–99), and
the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Pub.L. 93–288). In a typical year, the Corps of Engineers
responds to more than 30 Presidential disaster declarations, plus numerous state and local
emergencies. Emergency responses usually involve cooperation
with other military elements and Federal agencies in support of State and local efforts.===Infrastructure support===Work comprises engineering and management
support to military installations, global real estate support, civil works support (including
risk and priorities), operations and maintenance of Federal navigation and flood control projects,
and monitoring of dams and levees.More than 67 percent of the goods consumed by Americans
and more than half of the nation’s oil imports are processed through deepwater ports maintained
by the Corps of Engineers, which maintains more than 12,000 miles (19,000 km) of commercially
navigable channels across the U.S. In both its Civil Works mission and Military
Construction program, the Corps of Engineers is responsible for billions of dollars of
the nation’s infrastructure. For example, USACE maintains direct control
of 609 dams, maintains or operates 257 navigation locks, and operates 75 hydroelectric facilities
generating 24% of the nation’s hydropower and three percent of its total electricity. USACE inspects over 2,000 Federal and non-Federal
levees every two years. Four billion gallons of water per day are
drawn from the Corps of Engineers’ 136 multi-use flood control projects comprising 9,800,000
acre feet (12.1 km3) of water storage, making it one of the United States’ largest water
supply agencies.The 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power), the only active duty unit in
USACE, generates and distributes prime electrical power in support of warfighting, disaster
relief, stability and support operations as well as provides advice and technical assistance
in all aspects of electrical power and distribution systems. The battalion deployed in support of recovery
operations after 9/11 and was instrumental in getting Wall Street back up and running
within a week. The battalion also deployed in support of
post-Katrina operations. All of this work represents a significant
investment in the nation’s resources.===Water resources===Through its Civil Works program, USACE carries
out a wide array of projects that provide coastal protection, flood protection, hydropower,
navigable waters and ports, recreational opportunities, and water supply. Work includes coastal protection and restoration,
including a new emphasis on a more holistic approach to risk management. As part of this work, USACE is the number
one provider of outdoor recreation in the U.S., so there is a significant emphasis on
water safety. Army involvement in works “of a civil nature,”
including water resources, goes back almost to the origins of the U.S. Over the years, as the nation’s needs have
changed, so have the Army’s Civil Works missions. Major areas of emphasis include the following: Navigation. Supporting navigation by maintaining and improving
channels was the Corps of Engineers’ earliest Civil Works mission, dating to Federal laws
in 1824 authorizing the Corps to improve safety on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and several
ports. Today, the Corps of Engineers maintains more
than 12,000 miles (19,000 km) of inland waterways and operates 235 locks. These waterways—a system of rivers, lakes
and coastal bays improved for commercial and recreational transportation—carry about
​1⁄6 of the nation’s inter-city freight, at a cost per ton-mile about ​1⁄2 that
of rail or ​1⁄10 that of trucks. USACE also maintains 300 commercial harbors,
through which pass 2,000,000,000 short tons (1.8×109 metric tons) of cargo a year, and
more than 600 smaller harbors. New locks are needed, according to the Corps
and barge shippers, where existing locks are in poor condition, requiring frequent closures
for repairs, and/or because a lock’s size causes delays for barge tows. Flood Risk Management. The Engineers were first called upon to address
flood problems along the Mississippi river in the mid-19th century. They began work on the Mississippi River and
Tributaries Flood Control Project in 1928, and the Flood Control Act of 1936 gave the
Corps the mission to provide flood protection to the entire country. Recreation. The Corps of Engineers is the nation’s largest
provider of outdoor recreation, operating more than 2,500 recreation areas at 463 projects
(mostly lakes) and leasing an additional 1,800 sites to state or local park and recreation
authorities or private interests. USACE hosts about 360 million visits a year
at its lakes, beaches and other areas, and estimates that 25 million Americans (one in
ten) visit a Corps’ project at least once a year. Supporting visitors to these recreation areas
generates 600,000 jobs. Hydroelectric Power. The Corps of Engineers was first authorized
to build hydroelectric plants in the 1920s, and today operates 75 power plants, producing
one fourth of the nation’s hydro-electric power—or three percent of its total electric
energy. This makes USACE the fifth largest electric
supplier in the United States. Shore Protection. With a large proportion of the U.S. population
living near our sea and lake shores, and an estimated 75% of U.S. vacations being spent
at the beach, there has been Federal interest — and a Corps of Engineers mission — in
protecting these areas from hurricane and coastal storm damage. Dam Safety. The Corps of Engineers develops engineering
criteria for safe dams, and conducts an active inspection program of its own dams. Water Supply. The Corps first got involved in water supply
in the 1850s, when they built the Washington Aqueduct. Today USACE reservoirs supply water to nearly
10 million people in 115 cities. In the drier parts of the Nation, water from
Corps reservoirs is also used for agriculture. Water Safety. The Corps of Engineers has taken an interest
in recreational water safety, with current initiatives for increasing the use rate of
life jackets and preventing the use of alcohol while boating.===Environment===The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers environmental
mission has two major focus areas: restoration and stewardship. The Corps supports and manages numerous environmental
programs, that run the gamut from cleaning up areas on former military installations
contaminated by hazardous waste or munitions to helping establish/reestablish wetlands
that helps endangered species survive. Some of these programs include Ecosystem Restoration,
Formerly Used Defense Sites, Environmental Stewardship, EPA Superfund, Abandoned Mine
Lands, Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program, Base Realignment and Closure, 2005,
and Regulatory. This mission includes education as well as
regulation and cleanup. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has an active
environmental program under both its Military and Civil Programs. The Civil Works environmental mission that
ensures all USACE projects, facilities and associated lands meet environmental standards. The program has four functions: compliance,
restoration, prevention, and conservation. The Corps also regulates all work in wetlands
and waters of the United States. The Military Programs Environmental Program
manages design and execution of a full range of cleanup and protection activities: cleans up sites contaminated with hazardous
waste, radioactive waste, or ordnance complies with federal, state, and local environmental
laws and regulations strives to minimize our use of hazardous materials
conserves our natural and cultural resourcesThe following are major areas of environmental
emphasis: Wetlands and Waterways Regulation and Permitting
Ecosystem Restoration Environmental Stewardship
Radioactive site cleanup through the Formerly Used Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP)
Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS)
Support to EPA’s Superfund ProgramSee also Environmental Enforcement below.==Operational facts and figures==
Summary of facts and figures as of 2007, provided by the Corps of Engineers:
One HQ, 8 Divisions, 2 Provisional Division, 45 Districts, 6 Centers, one active-duty unit,
2 Engineer Reserve Command At work in more than 90 countries
Supports 159 Army installations and 91 Air Force installations
Owns and operates 609 dams Owns or operates 257 navigation lock chambers
at 212 sites Largest owner-operator of hydroelectric plants
in the US. Owns and operates 75 plants—24% of U.S.
hydropower capacity (3% of the total U.S. electric capacity)
Operates and maintains 12,000 miles (19,000 km) of commercial inland navigation channels
Maintains 926 coast, Great Lakes, and inland harbors
Dredge 255,000,000 cubic yards (195,000,000 m3) annually for construction or maintenance
Nation’s number one provider of outdoor recreation with more than 368 million visits annually
to 4,485 sites at 423 USACE projects (383 major lakes and reservoirs)
Total water supply storage capacity of 329,900,000 acre feet (406.9 km3)
Average annual damages prevented by Corps flood risk management projects (1995–2004)
of $21 billion (see “Civil works controversies” below)
Approximately 137 environmental protection projects under construction (September 2006
figure) Approximately 38,700 acres (157,000,000 m2)
of wetlands restored, created, enhanced, or preserved annually under the Corps’ Regulatory
Program Approximately $4 billion in technical services
to 70 non-DoD Federal agencies annually Completed (and continuing work on) thousands
of infrastructure projects in Iraq at an estimated cost over $9 billion: school projects (324,000
students), crude oil production 3 million barrels per day (480,000 m3/d), potable water
projects (3.9 million people (goal 5.2 million)), fire stations, border posts, prison/courthouse
improvements, transportation/communication projects, village road/expressways, railroad
stations, postal facilities, and aviation projects. More than 90 percent of the USACE construction
contracts have been awarded to Iraqi-owned businesses — offering employment opportunities,
boosting the economy, providing jobs, and training, promoting stability and security
where before there was none. Consequently, the mission is a central part
of the U.S. exit strategy. The Corps of Engineers has one of the strongest
Small Business Programs in the Army—Each year, approximately 33% of all contract dollars
are obligated with Small Businesses, Small Disadvantaged Businesses, Service Disabled
Veteran Owned Small Businesses, Women Owned Small Businesses, Historically Underutilized
Business Zones, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Jackie Robinson-Burnette was named the Chief
of the Corps’ Small Business Program in May 2010. The program is managed through an integrated
network of over 60 Small Business Advisors, 8 Division Commanders, 4 Center Directors,
and 45 District Commanders.==Environmental protection and regulatory
program==The regulatory program is authorized to protect
the nation’s aquatic resources. USACE personnel evaluate permit applications
for essentially all construction activities that occur in the nation’s waters, including
wetlands. Two primary authorities granted to the Army
Corps of Engineers by Congress fall under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act and
Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of
1899 (codified in Chapter 33, Section 403 of the United States Code) gave the Corps
authority over navigable waters of the United States, defined as “those waters that are
subject to the ebb and flow of the tide and/or are presently being used, or have been used
in the past, or may be susceptible for use to transport interstate or foreign commerce.” Section 10 covers construction, excavation,
or deposition of materials in, over, or under such waters, or any work that would affect
the course, location, condition or capacity of those waters. Actions requiring section 10 permits include
structures (e.g., piers, wharfs, breakwaters, bulkheads, jetties, weirs, transmission lines)
and work such as dredging or disposal of dredged material, or excavation, filling or other
modifications to the navigable waters of the United States. The Coast Guard also has responsibility for
permitting the erection or modification of bridges over navigable waters of the U.S. Another of the major responsibilities of the
Army Corps of Engineers is administering the permitting program under Section 404 of the
Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972, also known as the Clean Water Act. The Secretary of the Army is authorized under
this act to issue permits for the discharge of dredged and fill material in waters of
the United States, including adjacent wetlands. The geographic extent of waters of the United
States subject to section 404 permits fall under a broader definition and include tributaries
to navigable waters and adjacent wetlands. The engineers must first determine if the
waters at the project site are jurisdictional and subject to the requirements of the section
404 permitting program. Once jurisdiction has been established, permit
review and authorization follows a sequence process that encourages avoidance of impacts,
followed by minimizing impacts and, finally, requiring mitigation for unavoidable impacts
to the aquatic environment. This sequence is described in the section
404(b)(1) guidelines. There are three types of permits issued by
the Corps of Engineers: Nationwide, Regional General, and Individual. 80% of the permits issued are nationwide permits,
which include 50 general type of activities for minimal impacts to waters of the United
States, as published in the Federal Register. Nationwide permits are subject to a reauthorization
process every 5 years, with the most recent reauthorization occurring in March, 2012. To gain authorization under a nationwide permit,
an applicant must comply with the terms and conditions of the nationwide permit. Select nationwide permits require preconstruction
notification to the applicable corps district office notifying them of his or her intent,
type and amount of impact and fill in waters, and a site map. Although the nationwide process is fairly
simple, corps approval must be obtained before commencing with any work in waters of the
United States. Regional general permits are specific to each
corps district office. Individual permits are generally required
for projects that impact greater than 0.5 acres (2,000 m2) of waters of the United States. Individual permits are required for activities
that result in more than minimal impacts to the aquatic environment.==Research==
The Corps of Engineers has two research organizations, the Engineer Research and Development Center
(ERDC) and the Army Geospatial Center (AGC). ERDC provides science, technology, and expertise
in engineering and environmental sciences to support both military and civil/civilian
customers. ERDC research support includes: Dam safety systems
Mapping and topography terrain analysis Infrastructure design, construction, operations
and maintenance Structural engineering
Cold-regions science and engineering Coastal and hydraulic engineering, producing
products such as HEC-RAS Environmental quality, including toxic chemistry
of bay mud and other dredge spoils Geotechnical engineering
Earthquake engineering High performance computing and information
technologyAGC coordinates, integrates, and synchronizes geospatial information requirements
and standards across the Army and provides direct geospatial support and products to
warfighters. See also Geospatial Information Officer.==Insignia==The Corps of Engineers branch insignia, the
Corps Castle, is believed to have originated on an informal basis. In 1841, cadets at West Point wore insignia
of this type. In 1902, the Castle was formally adopted by
the Corps of Engineers as branch insignia. The “castle” is actually the Pershing Barracks
at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.A current tradition was established
with the “Gold Castles” branch insignia of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, West
Point Class of 1903, who served in the Corps of Engineers early in his career and had received
the two pins as a graduation gift of his family. In 1945, near the conclusion of World War
II, General MacArthur gave his personal pins to his Chief Engineer, General Leif J. Sverdrup. On 2 May 1975, upon the 200th anniversary
of the Corps of Engineers, retired General Sverdrup, who had civil engineering projects
including the landmark 17-mile (27 km)-long Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel to his credit,
presented the Gold Castles to then-Chief of Engineers Lieutenant General William C. Gribble,
Jr., who had also served under General MacArthur in the Pacific. General Gribble then announced a tradition
of passing the insignia along to future Chiefs of Engineers, and it has been done so since.==Controversies=====Civil works===Some of the Corps of Engineers’ civil works
projects have been characterized in the press as being pork barrel or boondoggles such as
the New Madrid Floodway Project and the New Orleans flood protection. Projects have allegedly been justified based
on flawed or manipulated analyses during the planning phase. Some projects are said to have created profound
detrimental environmental effects or provided questionable economic benefit such as the
Mississippi River– Gulf Outlet in southeast Louisiana. Faulty design and substandard construction
have been cited in the failure of levees in the wake of Hurricane Katrina that caused
flooding of 80% of the city of New Orleans. Review of Corps of Engineers’ projects has
also been criticized for its lack of impartiality. The investigation of levee failure in New
Orleans during Hurricane Katrina was sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers
(ASCE) but funded by the Corps of Engineers and involved its employees.Corps of Engineers
projects can be found in all 50 states, and are specifically authorized and funded directly
by Congress. Local citizen, special interest, and political
groups lobby Congress for authorization and appropriations for specific projects in their
area.Senator Russ Feingold and Senator John McCain sponsored an amendment requiring peer
review of Corps projects to the Water Resources Development Act of 2006, proclaiming “efforts
to reform and add transparency to the way the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers receives
funding for and undertakes water projects.” A similar bill, the Water Resources Development
Act of 2007, which included the text of the original Corps’ peer review measure, was eventually
passed by Congress in 2007, overriding Presidential veto.===Military construction===
A number of Army camps and facilities designed by the Corps of Engineers, including the former
Camp O’Ryan in New York State, have reportedly had a negative impact on the surrounding communities. Camp O’Ryan, with its rifle range, has possibly
contaminated well and storm runoff water with lead. This runoff water eventually runs into the
Niagara River and Lake Ontario, sources of drinking water to millions of people. This situation is exacerbated by a failure
to locate the engineering and architectural plans for the camp, which were produced by
the New York District in 1949.===Greenhouse whistleblower suit===
Bunnatine “Bunny” Greenhouse, a formerly high-ranking official in the Corps of Engineers, won a
lawsuit against the United States government in July 2011. Greenhouse had objected to the Corps accepting
cost projections from KBR in a no-bid, noncompetitive contract. After she complained, Greenhouse was demoted
from her Senior Executive Service position, stripped of her top secret security clearance,
and even, according to Greenhouse, had her office booby-trapped with a trip-wire from
which she sustained a knee injury. A U.S. District court awarded Greenhouse $970,000
in full restitution of lost wages, compensatory damages, and attorney fees.==See also==Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations
Military engineering of the United States Coats of arms of U.S. Engineer Battalions
Combat engineer Sapper
United States Air Force Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers
United States Navy’s Seabees

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