Offutt proactive against potential flood waters

Offutt Air Force Base
Published June 26, 2024
Army corps of engineers commander speaks to Offutt commander

Col. Robert Newbauer, commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District, discusses the rising floodwaters of the Missouri river with Col. Mark Howard, 55th Wing commander, in Bellevue, Neb. on June 25, 2024. (U.S. Air Force photo by Chad Watkins)

Army corps of engineers commander meets with Offutt commander and bellevue mayor

Col. Robert Newbauer, commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District, discusses the rising floodwaters of the Missouri river with Col. Mark Howard, 55th Wing commander, and Bellevue mayor Rusty Hike in Bellevue, Neb. on June 25, 2024. (U.S. Air Force photo by Chad Watkins)

Colonel Howard surveys the Missouri river

Col. Mark Howard, 55th Wing commander, surveys the Missouri River in Bellevue, Neb. on June 25, 2024. Col. Howard is working with the Army Corps of Engineers to assess potential disasters that could affect Offutt Air Force Base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Chad Watkins)

debris floats down the missouri river

Debris floats down the Missouri river in Bellevue, Neb. on June 25, 2024. Rising floodwaters are being addressed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Offutt Air Force Base leadership. (U.S. Air Force photo by Chad Watkins)

Picnic tables by Missouri river

Picnic tables line the bank of the Missouri river in Bellevue, Neb. on June 25, 2024. The midwest is experiencing potential catastrophic flooding. (U.S. Air Force photo by Chad Watkins)

Offutt Air Force Base leadership, under the direction of Col. Mark Howard, 55th Wing commander, took proactive steps in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers to strengthen flood defenses around the base perimeter. The initiative is a direct response to rising water levels in the Missouri River, ensuring the base remains secure and operational.

“Learning from the challenges of the 2011 and 2019 floods, we have implemented advanced flood
management strategies to ensure the highest level of preparedness and protection for our base
and its assets," said Howard. "Our commitment to readiness and resilience stands firm as we monitor the
approaching flood waters from the Missouri River, prepared for any scenario."

The ongoing partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers actively involves reviewing and
enhancing existing levee systems to ensure they meet current safety standards and are fortified
against potential breaches. This collaboration highlights the base's commitment to utilizing
expert advice and cutting-edge technologies to protect its personnel, infrastructure, and critical
national assets.

"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District is being proactive and keeping
communication lines open with the 55th Wing and Team Offutt leadership teams,” said Col.
Robert Newbauer, Omaha District commander. “We’re incredibly grateful for the relationship
we’ve developed with them since the March 2019 flood, and we remain committed to providing
assistance or answering any questions they may have.”

The 2011 and 2019 floods posed significant challenges to Offutt AFB, prompting a thorough
review of flood response strategies and the implementation of improved measures. The lessons
learned from these events have been instrumental in shaping current flood prevention tactics,
which focus on robust surveillance, rapid response capabilities, and continuous improvement of
infrastructure resilience.

Offutt AFB continues to work closely with local, state, and federal agencies to monitor the
situation and respond effectively to any developments. The safety and security of our personnel
and facilities remain our top priority as we address the challenges posed by natural events.


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