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STAND-TO! Edition: Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Today's Focus:

Operation Watershed: USACE's Mississippi River Flood Fight


"I'm going to ask you to be statesmen as well as Soldiers. I'm going to ask you to remember that you are citizens, first and foremost … It's not enough that you graduate from here and learn your skill and lead your troops. You must also help lead your nation, even as second lieutenants."

- Navy. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, while delivering a commencement address to 1,031 graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., May 21, 2011, urging the Class of 2011 to always remember that their responsibilities extend beyond their purely military duties.

Mullen: New Army officers should be Soldiers, statesmen


"[The mission is] why I joined. I want to serve my country and the people around me. This mission is just as important as the oil spill, hurricanes and deployments overseas. I'm helping my country and my citizens locally … We're ready. We're ready for whatever mission that comes."

- 2nd Lt. Robert Ogden, Louisiana National Guardsmen and the officer in charge of the search and rescue mission for the flooding along the Mississippi River.

Louisiana Guard search, rescue boat teams prepare to help flood victims


2010-2013: 60th Anniversary of the Korean War

150 Years: The Battle of Gettysburg: The American Civil War

National Military Appreciation Month

Mental Health Month:
- Army Behavioral Health

Asian Pacific Heritage Month:
- Asian Pacific Americans in the US Army

Monday, May 30: Memorial Day


Operation Watershed: USACE's Mississippi River Flood Fight

What is it?

Our nation has been experiencing historic flood levels throughout the Mississippi and Ohio rivers and their tributaries that continue to threaten the lives and property of millions of people and waterborne commerce. Operation Watershed is U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) front line flood fight along with their partners in managing an entire system of reservoirs and control structures to mitigate flooding impacts mitigate flooding impacts . At the center of this effort is the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) Project, an integrated system of locks, dams, levees, floodways and spillways managed by USACE. This system, designed to protect 4 million people, is being tested like never before.

What has the Army done?

USACE has maintained the MR&T system since it was first authorized after the 1927 floods. On May 2, at the direction of Mississippi River Commission President Maj. Gen. Michael Walsh, USACE began operating the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway south of Cairo, Ill., to begin relieving pressure on the MR&T system. On May 9, USACE opened the Bonnet Carre Spillway, followed by the May 14 opening of the Morganza Floodway, to reduce the river's flow as it approached Baton Rouge and New Orleans. This is the first time all three components have been operational at the same time. Operating the Morganza Floodway is reducing the river's crest by approximately 2.5 feet between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

What does the Army have planned for the future?

USACE is currently operating the MR&T to reduce the extent and impact of flood stages in both urban and industrial areas on the lower Mississippi. The Bonnet Carre and Morganza will remain open until the river flow drops to 1.5 million cubic feet per second and is projected to continue decreasing. Operating the system is keeping Mississippi River flows lower and slower than originally forecast.

Why is this important to the Army?

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a mission to manage and protect the nation's water resources. This current flood fight is a historic effort affecting the world's third largest watershed. Operating the MR&T system has reduced the risks of flooding for more than 4 million people, saved lives, reduced property damages and ensured continuing vital national commerce.


Social Media links:

U.S. Corps of Engineers on Facebook

U.S. Corps of Engineers on Twitter

Related videos:

Operation Watershed-Cairo, Ill., Press Conference

Operation Watershed: Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway Press Conference 5.5.2011


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