BAGHDAD - The Gulf Region District (GRD) made history when Col. Jon Christensen became the district's final commander. Col. Dionysios Anninos relinquished command of the district during a change of command ceremony held July 9 at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, GRD headquarters located in Baghdad, Iraq.

As the senior engineering commander, Col. Christensen is responsible for managing engineering and construction services throughout the GRD as part of the reconstruction efforts in Iraq. The district currently manages more than 245 construction projects across all 18 provinces in Iraq.

Col. Anninos, the outgoing GRD commander, commanded a 2,030-person joint organization consisting of military service members (Army, Navy and Air Force), Department of the Army Civilians, Iraqi Associates and contractors stationed in offices throughout Iraq. Col. Anninos carefully managed more than $700 million of construction and reconstruction projects in support of U.S. Military Forces, U.S. Department of State, Iraqi Security Forces, Iraq infrastructure, and Iraq civil works.

"I am extremely humble and proud to have commanded a workforce that is constantly seeking and striving to deliver quality facilities and services to the government of Iraq," said Col. Anninos during his farewell speech. "I am thankful to the workforce that was able to dream of things that never were and make them real."

Col. Christensen comes to GRD from the USACE St. Paul District where he served as the Districts 62nd commander. During his tenure with St. Paul, Col. Christensen managed the Corps' water resources development and navigable waterways operations for four river basins spread out over five states, to include the Mississippi River, Red River of the North, Souris River and Rainy River basins.

"This is a 'get to' moment for me, I get to command this fine organization and I have to pinch myself when I wake up in the morning. This is what I asked for and this is what I wanted to do," said Col. Christensen during his commencement speech. "I look forward to working beside all of you as we finish what we started here at GRD."

The Gulf Region District was activated on July 7, 2009 as the enduring district following the deactivation of the Gulf Region North, Central and South districts. With the responsible drawdown of troops in Iraq, GRD will close its doors around the end of 2011.


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Note: LaDonna Davis is a public affairs specialist with the Gulf Region District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Iraq. For more information, contact LaDonna Davis at (540) 678-2963 or e-mail requests to For more information on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Iraq, visit <> .

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The Gulf Region District, headquartered in Baghdad, is a joint effort comprising Civilians, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Contractors. GRD provides quality and sustainable engineering in support of civil/military construction in Iraq. GRD and its Iraqi partners are building a strong foundation for Iraq's future.

BUILDING STRONG® is the official slogan of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16