USAG HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea -- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Far East District (FED) hosted a visit for 40 Soldiers assigned to the 11th Engineer Battalion, May 13, to educate them on the impact FED has in the Indo-Pacific, and to strengthen the partnership by exploring opportunities that are mutually beneficial.
Col. Christopher Crary, the FED commander, briefed Soldiers on the mission and roles of the District and how it fits into the greater USACE mission. He also covered active-duty broadening opportunities and civilian employment.
“I think it’s important that we come together as a community,” he said. “I really value building relationships within the community, and I am committed to finding out how we can continue to do so.
“No one invests in leadership like the Army...When we are hiring, we are looking at not only what can they do for us today, but what they can do for us tomorrow. If you are applying for a job and you are credentialed within that profession, you have a ‘leg up,’” said Crary.
Resident Engineer, Aaron Schuff, shared a wealth of knowledge with the Soldiers and coordinated a visit to the FED Materials Lab, Environmental Lab, FED's geotechnical equipment, staged in the motor pool, and several construction sites, to include project site AF100, the next set of family housing towers scheduled for completion.
“I live in the towers and have been here for almost three years,” said Capt. Devon Compeau, the 814th Multirole Bridge Company commander, 11th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Sustainment Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. “When I arrived at Humphreys, this site was a hole in the ground. On Saturday mornings, drinking a cup of coffee, I have watched this [tower] being built.
“Seeing the process of how USACE works with host nation contractors and the Yongsan Relocation Plan, working with different dollars and dealing with funding requirements,” he said, “it’s a different taste of what I have been exposed to.”
With the 11th Engineer Battalion reactivating at Humphreys in 2017 and FED relocating from USAG Yongsan to USAG Humphreys, late 2018, the now settled units can collaborate on their way ahead.
Currently, the District and Battalion have an agreement that provides a space for a junior Soldier to serve in the Construction Division and learn the scope of the section.
When asked about the distinction between FED and an engineering battalion, Compeau said that as a green-suiter, they could build a temporary construction, usually lasting less than two years. USACE can build a permanent construction, that lasts 50-plus years.
“We are expeditionary, in that, we are the first ones in and doing the initial setup and can build a small road out of gravel. USACE can come through and build a highway,” he said.
“With construction, they [USACE] contract out, we build it ourselves,” said Compeau. “I can build a couple barracks, that are one-story, made of wood. USACE builds Camp Humphreys.”