By USACE Public Affairs OfficeMay 24, 2017
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District welcomed incoming commander Col. John K. Baker while bidding farewell to Col. Matthew Tyler during a change of command ceremony May 24 at the Amelia Earhart Center in Wiesbaden, Germany.
Baker most recently served as the chief engineer for U.S. Army Europe. However, he's no stranger to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He has served as the executive director for Civil Works at USACE headquarters in Washington, D.C.; commander of San Francisco District; deputy district engineer for Baltimore District; resident engineer with the Afghanistan Engineer District; and, deputy area engineer with Baltimore District.
Brig. Gen. William H. Graham, USACE North Atlantic Division commander, presided over the ceremony.
"I've known John since he was a lieutenant in my company back in Fort Riley (Always First!). He is the exact right leader to lead this district into an ever busier future. Knowledgeable, insightful and driven to achieve excellence, John is a proven warfighter and an expert in how the Corps of Engineers runs," Graham said.
"Colonel Baker learned this business as the commander of the incredibly complex San Francisco District and he went on to hone his skills at the Corps' headquarters as the executive director to the deputy commanding general for Civil Works, Maj. Gen. John Peabody," Graham said.
Graham also praised Tyler for his success in overseeing many engineering and construction efforts during his three-year tenure with Europe District.
"As soon as you meet Matt, you immediately understand that he is a true professional - thoughtful, knowledgeable, insightful and incredibly skilled. He is easily among the best I've ever served with at building relationships and creating consensus," said Graham after enumerating Tyler's contributions to Europe District.
Tyler told the audience the district is a combat multiplier and is proud of its work.
"Europe District helps preserve regional stability and security, we assist in saving lives, and we create hope and prosperity in locations where little has been," He said. "With a rapidly changing environment and geopolitical landscape, our efforts remain as important and relevant today as ever before. Through our construction support to the European Reassurance Initiative, Army Prepositioned Stock Sites, and the enhanced forward presence for NATO forces, we are fulfilling our part to deter Russian aggression, and really any efforts of any actors that are attempting to challenge European security, or destabilize our NATO alliance.
"In Africa, our construction efforts assist in developing greater services for the people where, in many cases, governments continue to remain fragile. Our work supports humanitarian-assistance projects that bring education and health care to areas where it wasn't existing previously. Additionally, our efforts support security cooperation throughout the continent and have been vital to the fight against violent extremist organizations, against narcotics trafficking, against terrorism. And they help African nations strengthen their own national and security capabilities.
"I'm proud to have been part of an organization that had such an active role in improving the quality of life for those who serve within our area of responsibility."
Tyler's next position is the executive officer for the commanding general of U.S. Army Europe.
About USACE Europe District
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District provides premier engineering, construction, stability operations, and environmental management products and services for the Army, Air Force, other U.S. government agencies and foreign governments throughout the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of responsibility.