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Civil Works

What is it?
The Army Civil Works Program is one of the four primary missions of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The primary duty of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) is oversight and policy direction for this mission. Civil Works is funded by the annual Energy and Water Development Appropriation Act, contributions from state and local project sponsors, and reimbursement from agencies supported by USACE. It is not funded by defense or military construction appropriations.

Today's Civil Works missions include: development and management of water resources infrastructure; protection, restoration, and management of environmental resources; disaster response and recovery; and engineering services and program and project management.

What has the Army done?
The following are examples of tasks performed by Army Civil Works:

  • Own or operate 610 dams.
  • Serve 926 ports and 12,000 miles of commercial inland navigation channels in 41 states, including all states east of Mississippi River.
  • Own or operate 241 navigation lock chambers at 195 sites.
  • Manage 383 major lakes and reservoirs.
  • Prevent, annually (on average), $19.6 Billion in property damage from floods.
  • Issue some 53,472 Clean Water Act permits annually.
  • Manage 11.7 million acres (18,281 square miles) of real estate - an area the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined.
  • Operate 75 hydropower projects producing 70.9 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. The USACE is the largest hydropower operator in the United States, with responsibility for 24 percent of U.S. hydropower capacity or 3 percent of total U.S. electrical capacity.
  • The USACE is the number one federal provider of outdoor recreation, with 372 million visitors per year. Ten percent of the U.S. population visit one of the 4,488 sites at the 423 USACE projects with recreation areas at least once each year.
  • Support more than 70 federal agencies, the following being the largest customers:
    • Federal Emergency Management Agency, $946 Million
    • Border & Transportation Security, $316 Million
    • Environmental Protection Agency, $266 Million
    • U.S. Agency for International Development, $108.9 Million
    • Department of State, $57.4 Million
    • Department of Interior, $50 Million

In addition, the USACE provides more than $2.1 Billion in engineering and technical support to more than 70 federal, state, local, and international agencies.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The USACE will continue to play a leadership role in commercial navigation, flood and coastal storm damage reduction, and ecosystem restoration. It will continue to support the development and management of a safe and reliable world-class maritime transportation system which is essential to U.S. economic and national security. The USACE will continue to provide water resources solutions and infrastructure to save lives and reduce property damage from floods and hurricanes while we restore, protect, and repair the environment to maintain the viability of our ecosystems.

Why is this important to the Army?
The USACE provides our Army with the organic capability to build, maintain, and operate national infrastructure. This is as applicable in our homeland as it is in operational areas of responsibility overseas. For more than 200 years, the Nation has called upon the U.S. Army and the USACE to assist with nation-building.

Civil Works provides the USACE and the Army with a pool of about 22,000 people with a wide variety of engineering, technical and other expertise, who are able to deploy or otherwise support operational missions. More than 3,000 members of the USACE have volunteered for deployment to Iraq, Afghanistan, and other operational areas, where they manage the bulk of the Army's nation-building mission. Meanwhile, Army operational commanders have immediate links to stateside expertise through the USACE's "reach back" systems.

 
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