Life’s Constant: Change

Brig. Gen. Ed Jackson, recently appointed as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations, learned about Portland District's hydropower operations during a tour of Bonneville Lock and Dam, July 21. (Photo by Billie Johnson, ACE-IT)

Brig. Gen. Ed Jackson, recently appointed as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations, learned about Portland District’s hydropower operations during a tour of Bonneville Lock and Dam, July 21. (Photo by Billie Johnson, ACE-IT)

 

Portland District Commander Col. Jose L. Aguilar

Portland District Commander Col. Jose L. Aguilar

Corps Teammates,

I write today upon completion of our visit to Washington, D.C. where we conducted a briefing on July 30 to the Civil Works Review Board.   Collectively, with District and Northwestern Division staff and city of Portland representatives, we sought approval from the CWRB to release the Lower Willamette Environmental Dredging and Ecosystem Restoration Project for state and agency review. This was our last step in this effort before Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, our Chief of Engineers, forwards the report to the administration and Congress for authorization.  I’m happy to report we were successful in these efforts, thanks in large part to the significant work and collaboration between our District and our agency partners.

I would also like to focus on the many changes happening around us, starting with our Corps headquarters office in Washington, D.C.  Brig. Gen. Ed Jackson was recently appointed as the Corps’ Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations. He replaces Maj. Gen. John Peabody, who retired in July after a tremendous career serving our nation as Lt. Gen. Bostick’s point man for Civil Works – our District’s primary mission.

Portland District also hosted Brig. Gen. Jackson a few weeks ago as part of his visit to the Northwestern Division, where he toured the Bonneville Lock and Dam and learned about our hydropower projects.  He is a superb officer and I look forward to his leadership in his new position.

At the regional level, a number of significant changes have occurred at Northwestern Division and its districts.  Brig. Gen. Scott Spellmon assumed command of the Division from Brig. Gen. John Kem on July 16.  On the same day, Col. Bill Leady, NWD’s deputy commander, retired from the U.S.  Army and transferred his duties to Col. Torrey Diciro.  The Omaha District also conducted a change of command, where it was a pleasure to witness Col. Joel Cross’ retirement as he handed over the mantle of command to Col. John Henderson.

At Portland District, we have experienced multiple changes.  I will highlight a few, starting with the Support Division.  Former Portland District Counsel Doug Craner retired in June and handed over his responsibilities to Jennifer Richman, who was selected to succeed him.  Ralph Banse-Fay retired Aug. 3, handing over his office as chief of the Contracting Division to Tracy Wickham.   It’s also significant to note that the Contracting Division has had significant turnover in its branch leadership positions, with all four leaders changing since the beginning of this year. Irene Gilbertson became our new chief of the Strategy and Mission Support Office, and Jen Muller took over as our District’s head librarian. Amanda Dethman was selected to lead Real Estate earlier this year and Kathryn Kirkpatrick will come in behind Doug Dailey, who departed for the Bonneville Power Administration, as chief of the Security and Law Enforcement Office.

The Hydroelectric Design Center has experienced transition in its leadership as well.  John Etzel, HDC’s deputy director took a position with the Pacific Ocean Division in Hawaii and Dick Nelson was selected to assume John’s deputy duties. Other HDC management changes include the selection of Mike Posovich as Product Coordination Branch chief; the selection of Steve Ernst as Electrical Branch chief; and the selection last year of Jim Calnon, as the new Mechanical/Structural Branch chief.

Oaks Bottom, located in the Willamette River, is one of five sites included in the environmental restoration project partners the Corps of Engineers and the city of Portland will undertake. The Corps announced the project had received approval from the Civil Works Review Board in Washington, D.C. on July 30, 2015. (Photo by Mike Houck)

Oaks Bottom, located in the Willamette River, is one of five sites included in the environmental restoration project partners the Corps of Engineers and the city of Portland will undertake. The Corps announced the project had received approval from the Civil Works Review Board in Washington, D.C. on July 30, 2015. (Photo by Mike Houck)

Bern Klatte was selected as Operation Division’s deputy chief after Dianne Edwardson departed to become the chief of Baltimore District’s Operations Division.  John Easton was selected as chief of the Technical Operations Branch, replacing Kevin Moynahan who took on the job of operations project manager at John Day Lock and Dam, replacing Glenn Smith, who moved on to the Walla Walla District.

The Engineering and Construction Division has also had its share of management changes, including the selection last summer of Jean Swalley as the Technical Services Branch chief, and Liza Wells, who recently replaced Bob Buccholz as chief of the Hydraulics and Hydrology Branch.

The Planning, Programs and Project Management Division has remained relatively stable in its management staffing and is doing great work.

Please congratulate these District individuals when you see them, welcome them into their new positions and actively help them integrate into their new roles with our District team.  Good luck to those who have departed – you will always be a part of the Portland District.

I share this information with you for situational awareness and to depict that change is all around us.  As I have progressed through my own Army profession, I have learned to appreciate change as a constant.  I also have observed that the units or organizations that can quickly reassess and respond to change thrive, while still holding on to their core values and making required adjustments to accomplish the mission. Portland District will thrive, too.

Competence follows Character,

Col. Jose L. Aguilar
61st Colonel of the District

 

USACE DCG MG Stevens Bonn. Dam Tour
USACE DCG MG Stevens Bonn. Dam Tour
USACE DCG MG Stevens Bonn. Dam Tour
USACE DCG MG Stevens Bonn. Dam Tour
USACE DCG MG Stevens Bonn. Dam Tour
USACE DCG MG Stevens Bonn. Dam Tour
USACE DCG MG Stevens Bonn. Dam Tour
USACE DCG MG Stevens Bonn. Dam Tour
USACE DCG MG Stevens Bonn. Dam Tour
BG Donald(Ed)Jackson Bonneville Dam Tour
BG Donald(Ed)Jackson Bonneville Dam Tour
BG Donald(Ed)Jackson Bonneville Dam Tour
BG Donald(Ed)Jackson Bonneville Dam Tour
BG Donald(Ed)Jackson Bonneville Dam Tour
BG Donald(Ed)Jackson Bonneville Dam Tour
BG Donald(Ed)Jackson Bonneville Dam Tour
BG Donald(Ed)Jackson Bonneville Dam Tour
BG Donald(Ed)Jackson Bonneville Dam Tour
BG Donald(Ed)Jackson Bonneville Dam Tour
BG Donald(Ed)Jackson Bonneville Dam Tour
BG Donald(Ed)Jackson Bonneville Dam Tour
BG Donald(Ed)Jackson Bonneville Dam Tour
BG Donald(Ed)Jackson Bonneville Dam Tour
BG Donald(Ed)Jackson Bonneville Dam Tour
150722-A-TP618-001
150721-A-TP618-006
150721-A-TP618-005
150720-A-TP618-001

,