The U.S Army Corp of Engineers, Omaha District took part in the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Omaha Post Industry Day event, Oct. 5 – 7, bringing together the national engineering community in Omaha, Nebraska. In alignment with the USACE mission to “solve this nation’s toughest engineering challenges”, the partnership with SAME unites public and private sector entities and individuals in the architecture, engineer, and construction fields so that they can prepare for and overcome natural and manmade disasters, acts of terrorism and improve security at home and abroad.
It takes a lot of people from across the engineering community to keep the mission of the Army Corp of Engineers successful. One group that is dedicated to bringing the engineering community together is SAME. This organization leads collaboration among government and private industry to develop architecture, engineering, construction, environmental, facility management, cyber security, and other related disciplines solutions to national security infrastructure challenges. With 105 Posts and Field Chapters around the world, SAME provides its nearly 30,000 members with extensive opportunities for training, education, and professional development through a robust offering of conferences, workshops, networking events, publications, webinars, and other member-driven programs.
The event offered its members professional and personal development, and networking, enabling organizations to help create opportunities to address and resolve issues that enhance and strengthen our national security posture.
The event kicked off with a golf tournament, allowing members to network and reconnect. Participants ranged from current USACE members to construction company owners and even former Omaha District commanders who have continued to work in the engineering sector after leaving service. But for those that couldn’t make it out to the course, or those who needed some training, a Construction Quality Management Training course was available. Whether it was networking or training, the Industry Day events were off to a great start.
Day two is when the main activities really began. After a breathtaking rendition of the national anthem sung by Jodi Vaccaro from HDR, Col. Mark Himes, Commander, USACE Omaha District and SAME Omaha Post President, gave the opening remarks.
“There are some great networking opportunities. And I’m sure that’s why a lot of you are here” said Col. Himes. “But this is also a chance for the Omaha District to give a number of presentations on some of the programs and projects coming up in this fiscal year and beyond.”
Following this, SAME recognized the accomplishments of some of its members and the students that are trying to enter the engineering field with presentations of the RVP Medal, The Golden Eagle Award and the SAME scholarships.
Keynote speaker, Elizabeth McCormick, a former Black Hawk Helicopter pilot, gave a motivational and engaging speech which had the attendees on the edge of their seats as she described her training as a Black Hawk pilot and how it taught her to never give up, among other things. McCormick’s speech also included messages encouraging attendees to ask the question, “why not?”, when given “no,” for an answer –further deepening her message about ‘never giving up’.
Afterwards, more briefings were presented, including a USACE program overview and look-ahead, a cybersecurity briefing, a presentation on the status of Offutt Air Force base, one of Omaha’s biggest military contract sites, and a presentation about professional ethics. The day ended with a USACE Small Business Workshop.
The final day began with Col. Himes speaking as the District Commander, and Mr. Ted Streckfuss, USACE Omaha District Deputy District Engineer. Streckfuss reminded the attendees of their importance to the District and USACE missions. “As the commander says, if you drive around the different Districts, you don’t see a lot of construction equipment,” said Streckfuss. “We don’t do the work, you guys do the work, you’re integral to the process. Without you, we’re not successful for the nation.”
Following this, the USACE Omaha Section Chiefs spoke and then had a Q & A session.
SAME operates all around the country and their goal is to build leaders and lead collaboration among government and industry. And, to develop multi-disciplined solutions to national security infrastructure challenges which are vital to the continued success of USACE and its partners. Without its members, USACE wouldn’t be able to perform its vital mission.