The Aurora VA Medical Center, USSTRATCOM and the Missouri River Recovery Program Environmental Impact Statement are among the many significant accomplishments for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Omaha District in 2018. The District closed out the fiscal year on September 30 with a $1.29 billion program, one of the largest the district has ever managed.
Omaha District Commander Col. John Hudson stated, “I’ve had the opportunity to visit projects across the district’s 700,000 square mile area of responsibility, from Fort McCoy in the east, all the way up to Fort Peck to the northwest, and down as far south as Colorado Springs. I have seen the great team of dedicated civilians we have across the district. I’ve been impressed by the professionalism, quality of work, and teamwork I’ve seen throughout the district,” Hudson said.
The completion of the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado, marked the most significant accomplishment of the year. The VA facility is a 1.2 million square foot complex which replaced an older hospital in Denver. The new facilities include a 148-bed VA medical center, a 30-bed spinal cord injury center, a research lab, parking structure and administrative space. The project was completed this year and was a huge success for the district and the VA.
“This was the first in a series of VA hospitals the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been directed by Congress to complete. Our success at the VA Medical Center in Aurora has paved the way for future success across the Army Corps of Engineers as other districts begin seven other hospital projects across the country. They are taking lessons from our project and applying it to theirs so they too will have the success that we have experienced at Aurora,” Hudson said.
One of the major focus areas for the district was working to finish construction of the U.S. Strategic Command and Control Facility at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska. The building will boost USSTRATCOM’s command and control abilities by providing the most up to date information to the President, Secretary of Defense, and other decision makers privy to the information. The building will also house an updated global operations center which in essence is the command’s nerve center. The facility is essentially complete and will be formally transferred to the installation on October 30, 2018.
“As is traditional for Omaha District and our hard working ‘take the hill’ mentality we executed a very robust combined program in a very difficult climate, and in some cases pulled rabbits out of our hat to meet our commitments in support of our nation,” Vincent C. Turner, Chief of Military Construction said.
The Civil Works mission was also very successful along the Missouri River. The Missouri’s headwaters in the northern Rockies experienced 160% snowfall this year (the third highest runoff year in recorded history). Thanks to the superb management of river flows and operation of the system, there was no significant flooding along the main stem of the river despite having to maintain high flows throughout the summer into this fall. There was however localized flooding in Montana as well as central portions of the basin due to the deep snow pack and a number of significant rain events.
Omaha District was heavily engaged in disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas, California, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. More than 120 individuals across the district deployed, some of whom even rode out hurricanes in the Caribbean. Most recently, our dedicated civilian and military personnel deployed to Hurricane Florence ravaged North Carolina, in support of critical national infrastructure at the MOTSU (Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point) ammunition depot.
“Omaha District's commitment is to help others in their time of most need. The dedication of our district employees to support contingency operations is commendable and wonderful to witness; but we also cannot forget the Omaha District employees who took up the mantle and continued to carry out our ‘regular’ program execution during these disasters. It is a combination of these people that make the Omaha District the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers leader that it is,” Matthew Krajewski, Readiness Branch Chief said.
Omaha District’s Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricants (POL) Mandatory Center of Expertise (MCX) had a banner year. The POL-MCX managed a $120 million program, and worked on 375 projects in 385 sites around the world.
This coming year will be another big year for the Omaha District as we celebrate our 85th anniversary of providing engineering excellence and outstanding support in service to the nation. The Omaha District plans to execute more than one billion dollars of work across the region in 2019. In addition to continuing a robust work load, the district expects to grow with additional personnel. Currently there are about 1,250 Department of the Army civilians in the district, but by the end of 2019 hopefully that number will likely increase to over 1,300.
The district expects to continue to have between $1 -$1.5 billion in workload annually for the foreseeable future. The exceptional professionalism, skill, and expertise of its workforce will enable Omaha District to continue to build on this year’s success for decades to come.
Release no. 18-077