Military working dogs might look like your average pet, but they are highly trained animals used for security on military installations and in deployed environments. The Kansas City District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is currently working on the planning, design and construction of a new kennel facility for the working dogs of the 22nd Security Forces Squadron located at McConnell Air Force Base, or MAFB, in Wichita, Kansas. The current kennels were constructed several decades ago and require much-needed updates.
“[The current kennel facility is] just antiquated,” said Gary Shirley, military programs project manager with the Kansas City District, “it doesn’t meet the current requirements for housing working dogs.”
Like the training of military working dogs, the kennel facilities that house the dogs must meet strict requirements that are mandated by the Department of Defense, or DoD, and the U.S. Air Force. The DoD requires the use of a standard design template but allows for modifications to accommodate each specific facility. For example, the design for the new facility at MAFB will take into account sun and wind exposure, among other things.
“We take into consideration sun angles for the outdoor kennels so the dogs aren’t sitting out there in the late afternoon getting hot, or [ensure the dogs will not] get all northerly wind exposure,” said Shirley. “The design of the kennels themselves is absolutely critical.”
Shirley and his team understood that the design of the new facility needed to accommodate the specific conditions at MAFB, not only for the dogs but also for their handlers. The team ensured that the handlers of the 22nd Security Forces Squadron were part of the design process so that the new facility meets the needs of the unit.
Tech. Sgt. Noah Hyatt, kennel master for the 22nd Security Forces Squadron, joined the team in November 2022, and his first thought when he was asked to provide feedback on the new kennel design was to improve quality of life for the dogs.
“When I first took on this project and saw the kennel … the first thing I thought of was how to make the dogs more effective because without the dogs, there’s no handlers,” said Hyatt. “So first we take care of the dogs, giving them the space they need, giving them the ability to rest… Operationally, it will make things much easier.”
Overall, the current facility is insufficient for the handlers and the dogs who work there. According to Shirley, the current facility doesn’t meet nearly a third of the current DoD requirements. The Kansas City District is working to ensure that problem is not repeated with the new facility.
“The military working dogs have a very strict regimen that the trainers and the dogs have to follow,” said Shirley. “[The design staff] go through a great deal of care to make sure that these facilities are designed to generate the least amount of stress on the dogs.”
MAFB’s mission is primarily air refueling, a vital part of the Air Force’s capability. The 22nd Security Forces Squadron dog handlers support that mission in many different ways.
“We support [MAFB’s mission] through securing the installation and law enforcement and conducting security patrols,” Hyatt said. “Whenever we get different types of resources coming in on the ground, we use our explosives dogs to sweep the area that crews go into. We also deploy our dogs.”
With projects like this, USACE is able to remove barriers that inhibit servicemembers from performing a necessary job to ensure national security. The handlers take a lot of pride in their work, not only in the security they provide to the installation, but in training the dogs to be the best they can be.
“I think it’s the satisfaction that comes out of training the dogs,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua Espinoza Stewart, military working dog trainer. “Training dog teams and [certifying] them … I know, hey, I was able to train that team and put them out there, and now they’re in the fight.”
These working dogs are highly trained and highly skilled. The handlers of the 22nd Security Forces Squadron understand better than most, the duty and sacrifice that is asked of military working dogs. The respect that exists between the working dogs and their handlers is evident.
“You know, we talk about mental health of people in the military all the time, but it’s huge in the dogs as well and you can tell,” said Hyatt. “When dogs are in a better kennel environment, they don’t have these issues.”
By working with the handlers directly during the design phase, Shirley and his team were able to understand the importance of this project.
“This is about the animals,” said Shirley. “They needed this pretty badly.”
The new kennel facility, which is currently in the design phase, will be built from the ground up and cost about $5.3 million. The project has an anticipated completion date in 2026.
Douglas Saxon, deputy chief of Construction Division for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, received the Society of American Military Engineers’ James Connolly Award during the SAME Annual Program Review at the Savannah Riverfront Marriot, June 27, 2023.
Named in honor of James B. Connolly (1868-1957), Olympic gold medalist, Spanish-American War veteran, distinguished author, and former Corps’ Savannah District employee, the Connolly Award is presented annually to a civilian or military engineer for notable contributions in the field of engineering. The award is presented on behalf of the Savannah Community of Engineer organizations, which includes the SAME Savannah Post, and the American Society of Civil Engineers, Savannah Branch.
Saxon, who has served 33 years with the Corps’ Savannah District, was recognized for his outstanding accomplishments as a key team member in the execution of numerous high-profile projects throughout the years, most notably, the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project. Other key projects he has worked on include the Fort Stewart Modularity Complex and the 5th Infantry Brigade Combat Teams Complex at Fort Stewart, Georgia.
“Doug has been a backbone of our construction community within Savannah and across the region for many years,” said Col. Joseph Geary, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District. “So it’s great for him to be recognized by his peers across both the government and civilian sector.”
As the deputy chief of Construction Division, Saxon has been the catalyst in developing processes, tools, and metrics to improve the Division’s performance and skill. He is a subject matter expert on federal construction projects and is often sought out by USACE headquarters and numerous other Corps districts for input and guidance. Saxon has also been an outstanding leader and mentor to young engineers, encouraging them to seek additional training opportunities and obtain their professional credentials.
“I know a lot of people who received this award before me, and what they brought to the organization and the engineering profession, so I’m both humbled and honored to be nominated and selected for this award,” said Saxon “I’m very blessed to have the opportunity to work in this area, with the Corps and the people I work with.”
Saxon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Clemson University.
On June 29, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation funding the construction of the U.S. Interstate Highway System (IHS)--something Americans had dreamed of since Detroit starting building cars.
The Missouri Highway Commission awarded the first contract to begin building the interstate along the famous Route 66 in rural Laclede County, 160 miles southwest of St. Louis. However, construction on the first section of interstate actually began in St. Charles County, Missouri, on Aug. 13. Kansas and Pennsylvania have also made competing claims that their states were first to possess sections of interstate.
No matter who was first, the enthusiasm for a uniform system of roads, bridges, and tunnels was very high in 1956, nearly fifty years after the introduction of Henry Ford's Model T automobile. The building of the IHS, formally known as the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, proceeded rapidly throughout the country, and by the early 1990s, nearly 45,000 miles of interstate highway were complete.
In order to understand the IHS's importance in U.S. society, let's examine its history. President Eisenhower is widely regarded as the catalyst for the IHS. His motivations for a highway network stemmed from three events: his assignment as a military observer to the First Transcontinental Motor Convoy, his experience in World War II where he observed the efficiencies of the German autobahn, and the Soviet Union's 1953 detonation of the hydrogen bomb, which instigated a fear that insufficient roads would keep Americans from being able to escape a nuclear disaster.
In the summer of 1919, Lt. Col. Eisenhower was a dejected midcareer Army officer. He narrowly missed out on overseas service during World War I and anticipated a reduction in rank as the Army shrank and prepared for peacetime operations. Adding to his discontent, he was physically separated from his wife and infant child because of a shortage of military housing.
Eisenhower was assigned as an observer to an unprecedented military experiment--the First Transcontinental Motor Convoy. The operation was a road test for military vehicles and was used to identify the challenges in moving troops from coast to coast on the existing infrastructure. The excursion covered 3,200 miles from Washington D.C. to San Francisco. It included 79 vehicles of all sizes and 297 personnel.
During the expedition, Eisenhower gained some insight for the creation of a network of connected roads and bridges. Eisenhower's report to Army leaders focused mostly on mechanical difficulties and the condition of the patchwork of existing roads. He reported a mix of paved and unpaved roads, old bridges, and narrow passages.
Narrow roads caused oncoming traffic to run off the road and encounter added difficulty when reentering the roadway. Some bridges were too low for trucks to pass under. Eisenhower pointed out that the roads in the Midwest region of the United States were impracticable, but the roads in the east were sufficient for truck use.
Eisenhower singled out a western section of the Lincoln Highway, a transcontinental road with routes through Utah and Nevada, as being so poor that it warranted a thorough investigation before government money should be expended. He praised California for having excellent paved roads. Lastly, he observed that the different grades of road determined much of the convoy's success.
During World War II, as the supreme Allied commander, Gen. Eisenhower was the architect of the defeat of Nazi Germany. As Allied armies raced across France and into Germany, he marveled at the vast highway system built by the Germans prior to the war. Eisenhower wrote in his presidential memoirs, "During World War II, I had seen the superlative system of German autobahn--[the] national highways crossing that country."
This advanced European highway system helped the Allies. The autobahn aided the Allied victory by enabling the Allies to efficiently resupply forces that pursued the German Wehrmacht across France and into Germany. The famous Red Ball Express was a magnificent achievement that kept swift-moving Allied field armies resupplied.
In August and September of 1944, an around-the-clock operation of 6,000 trucks delivered materiel to forces on the move. It involved a 300-mile divided road that eventually converted to a super highway. The road extended from the Normandy beachhead to terminals near Paris. Later, a second super highway extended from Paris into Germany.
Instrumental in the logistics success following the D-Day landings was Lt. Gen. Lucius Clay. He was a key aid to Eisenhower during the war and later when Eisenhower ascended to the presidency. Eisenhower knew Clay, a West Point-trained engineer, was a respected troubleshooter, an effective administrator, and politically adept.
In 1954, Eisenhower appointed Clay to head the President's Advisory Committee on the National Highway System. The so-called "Clay Committee" began work to develop a national highway plan, and its outcome was a report to Congress on the National Highway Program.
The resulting "Grand Plan" obligated $50 billion of federal funds over 10 years to build a "vast system of interconnected highways." The committee based its proposal on four points. The first point appealed to safety. It cited 36,000 traffic fatalities each year and the multibillion dollar effect on the economy.
Next, the report cited the physical conditions of existing roads and their effect on the cost of vehicle ownership. It was thought poorly maintained roads adversely affected the economy by increasing transportation costs, which were ultimately borne by the consumer.
The third point involved national security. The pervasive threat of nuclear attack in the United States called for the ability to execute the emergency evacuation of large cities and the quick movement of troops essential to national defense.
The last point appealed to the health of the U.S. economy. Improvements in transportation must keep up with the expected increase in U.S. population. Moreover, road improvement is essential to the economy and an efficient use of taxpayer money.
The Clay Committee concluded its report by stating that the positive economic attributes of the highway system were the potential for economic growth and the well-being of the economy through "speedy, safe, transcontinental travel" that could improve "farm-to-market movement."
The IHS was the largest public works project undertaken in the Unites States and came at a time when the Cold War consumed not only a large part of the federal budget but also the attention of the U.S. public.
The Cold War played a pivotal role in the creation of the IHS. Shortly after Eisenhower took office in 1953, Soviet leader Josef Stalin died, setting off a power struggle in the Kremlin. It was not until September that Nikita Khrushchev emerged as the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
On Aug. 12, 1953, the Soviets exploded their first hydrogen bomb, thus moving closer to the United States in nuclear parity. It was unsettling to have a superpower with an unstable government armed with the latest nuclear weapons technology. This event further jolted an already rattled U.S. public, which routinely engaged in civil defense drills. Citizens built bomb shelters, stockpiled food, and prepared for imminent nuclear war.
In a July 1954 speech to the Governors' Conference, Vice President Richard Nixon expressed concern over the "appalling inadequacies" of the existing U.S. road infrastructure and its inability to meet the needs for responding to a national emergency on the scale of atomic war. Nixon mentioned atomic or atomic war no less than 10 times in the speech.
This topic was on the minds of most Americans. Seventy-nine percent of the public thought a nuclear conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union was imminent. In the event of war, 70 million urban residents required evacuation by road.
The Clay Committee also warned of the need for large-scale evacuation of cities in the event of nuclear war. Furthermore, it cited federal civil defense authorities who were worried that a withdrawal from urban areas would be the largest ever attempted. The Committee soberly stated, "The rapid improvement of the complete 40,000-mile interstate system, including the necessary urban connections thereto, is therefore vital as a civil-defense measure."
A large scale urban evacuation drill conducted in June 1955 drove home the importance of an evacuation plan. The ensuing confusion coupled with crowded evacuation routes seemed to make President Eisenhower's case for the IHS. Moreover, the administration was serious about the role of a uniform system of roads for national defense and directed Department of Defense (DOD) involvement.
When the IHS began in earnest, a testing facility was created in central Illinois to evaluate pavement, road standards, and construction techniques, among other things. The DOD contributed equipment and personnel for the tests. Military leaders knew from their experiences in the two previous world wars that roads were vital to national defense. During World War I, military truck traffic destroyed roads. In World War II, defense plants were often supplied by truck, but the lack of road standards sometimes impeded timely delivery.
Over a two-year period, Army trucks drove 17 million miles on the test roads. Some vehicles carried blocks of concrete in an effort to see how long a 24-ton truck would take to destroy roads and bridges. Highway building and maintenance standards were developed from the tests.
Congress passed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 creating federal funds for interstate highway construction. As the IHS developed so did its ability to support national defense. For example, throughout the system, mile-long stretches of concrete pavement double as emergency landing strips for military aircraft. Many Army posts, especially where division-level units are garrisoned, are near interstate highways.
For example, the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas, is adjacent to I-70, and the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas, is close to I-10.
During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, the IHS contributed to the success of mobilizing the military for war in the Middle East. Military planners were emboldened by the ability to move personnel and materiel with ease during national emergencies.
Despite the convenience and ease of movement, the IHS is showing its age. When funding was appropriated in 1956, planners knew that, at some point, roads, bridges, and various infrastructure would deteriorate. The IHS was expected to last only into the 1970s when improvements would be needed. The 1956 appropriation ran out in 1972 and current funding is sustained by the motor fuel tax, which is funneled into a trust fund.
The IHS's disrepair was highlighted in July 2007 with an unfortunate tragedy in Minnesota. On a summer day near Minneapolis, a section of a steel arch bridge on Interstate 35 collapsed into the Mississippi River. The accident killed 13 people and injured another 145.
The accident remains one of the worst bridge failures in the U.S. history, and it highlights the poor condition of the nation's infrastructure. At the time of the incident, approximately 150,000 of the nation's nearly 600,000 bridges "were considered either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete," according to a 2012 ABC News report. Since the I-35 incident, political leaders have called for a major investment in the nation's infrastructure.
Most Americans see the IHS for what it is: a quick, efficient, and convenient means of travel. The automobile culture, which hit its stride in the 1960s, thrived on networks of paved roads and inexpensive gasoline. Along the way, an entire segment of the economy was born. Businesses catered to travelers. Hotels, motels, restaurants, and service stations appeared at interstate exits to serve weary motorists.
The IHS is an icon and marvel of man's ingenuity. Great leaders such as Dwight Eisenhower and Lucius Clay had the foresight to conceive and build a network of interconnecting highways that helped to shape and define postwar America. Who from the current generation of leaders will repair, rebuild, and expand the IHS?
Lee Lacy is a retired Army Reserve lieutenant colonel and an assistant professor at the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and holds a master's degree from Webster University.
This article was published in the March-April 2018 issue of Army Sustainment magazine.
On June 24, 1948, with the Cold War in its early stages, the Soviet Union blocked access for all supplies going into portions of West Berlin. This cut roughly 2 million people living there off from the most basic necessities. Gen. Lucius D. Clay was the commanding general of U.S. Army forces in Europe and the military governor of American zone in Germany at the time and quickly and decisively called for what is now known as the Berlin Airlift.
It was an ambitious idea and involved using war-torn infrastructure and limited resources to execute the largest airlift in history to provide basic necessities to the men, women and children living in the sectors of Berlin overseen by Western European allies. The newly formed U.S. Air Force made the first deliveries via the one runway available at Tempelhof Airstrip just two days later on June 26, 1948. Between June 26, 1948 and September 30, 1949, the airlift delivered more than 2.3 million tons of cargo according to the U.S. Air Force Historical Support Division. This included everything from food to medicine to coal to support those behind the blockade.
It was immediately obvious that more than one runway would be needed and U.S. Army engineers began work building two additional runways at Tempelhof Airstrip right away. The first new runway, along with taxiway improvements, were in use by September 1948 and the third runway was in use by Thanksgiving that same year.
While the improvements at Tempelhof were underway, crews also began building the new Tegel Airport on the site of a former German artillery range in August 1948. In addition to two new runways, crews there also built administrative facilities, a hangar, a warehouse, a control tower and more. The first new runway at Tegel Airport was operational by Christmas 1948 and the second was in use the next summer.
Maj. Gen. Norman Delbridge retired as the Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1986. In the earliest days of his career though, he was one of those Army engineers overseeing crews building and maintaining runways and other facilities at Tempelhof Airport and later Tegel Airport in Berlin.
Delbridge shared his experiences in Berlin with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Office of History in 1991 and provided a detailed look at the unique way Army engineers delivered key air infrastructure in war-torn West Berlin to ensure the success of the airlift.
“We had 20,000 (people) per shift and we worked 24 hours a day with lights, generator sets -- so there were 60,000 people,” Delbridge said. “We had more women than men that did all of the earth moving… and they moved the earth by hand.”
In all, records from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Office of History estimate that more than 9.8 million work hours went into the effort between military personnel and local Germans. Local Germans – mostly women according to Delbridge - accounted for the vast majority of that figure (more than 9.6 million work hours).
Delbridge said eventually they were able to incorporate small rail cars and earth movers to support operations and limited heavy equipment was also airlifted in over time.
“The Germans have these little, it looks like the mine cars, that can lay these little tracks all over everything, and that was how, essentially, they cleaned up the country after the war. They'd lay these little tracks and they'd throw the bricks in these little cars and push the cars by hand,” Delbridge said. “Well, on this site what you did was you laid the little tracks over… we’d pull together a group of people, generally mostly women -- there weren't very men left in Berlin during that time -- and they would go out there with shovels and they would shovel this sand into the little carts and push it where we said, and then dump it and go back.”
Delbridge also described using rubble from war-damaged Berlin as material for the base of the runways.
“We would find -- of course the whole city was level -- and so we tried to find as much of the bombed-out buildings that had little structural steel in it,” Delbridge said. “We would load these little two-and-a-half-ton dump trucks with this rubble from wherever we could… there was very, very little in the way of the major buildings standing, so there was lots of rubble. But you just tried to find that which was clean. And we brought it in and we laid it down on the runway, in 10 inch lifts.”
They would then use dozers going back and forth to break the material and then they would compact it and grade it. Between both airports, they brought in and used an estimated 755,000 cubic yards of brick rubble.
That initial layer was then covered with additional layers including asphalt that had to be flown in and a surface coat made from fine crushed cobblestones gathered from the cleaning up of the city followed by a “quick, fine” seal coat. Approximately 2.2 million gallons of asphalt was flown into Berlin and used for the new runways.
In the years after Berlin, Delbridge commanded several other U.S. Army Corps of Engineers offices all over the world, including operations in Turkey (now part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District’s mission) from 1960 to 1963, the Pittsburgh District from 1972 to 1975, the Europe Division (now the Europe District) from 1976 to 1978 and the Pacific Ocean Division from 1978 to 1980.
While the Berlin Airlift was near the beginning of Delbridge’s career, the man known for calling for the airlift and administrating it was wrapping up his illustrious military career at the time. Most people don’t realize though that Gen. Lucius D. Clay was a key leader with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers prior to his World War II and post-war heroics and he credits his time with the Corps of Engineers for his later successes.
Before World War II, Clay was serving at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The 1930s was transformative for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with its mission greatly expanding as a result of the Flood Control Act of 1936.
“The flood control act made the Corps of Engineers into a much broader engineering organization than it had been because it involved it for the first time in the construction of major dams and reservoirs,” Clay told historians in a 1977 interview. “Up to that time we had only constructed reservoirs and things of that type and kind as a part of a channelization approach and not as part of a flood control approach.”
As part of that growing mission, Clay was sent to Texas to oversee the construction of the Denison Dam on the Red River to supply water, hydropower and reduce flood risks near the border of Texas and Oklahoma.
Then Capt. Clay set up the now-defunct U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Denison District essentially from scratch and went to work. He said that experience helped prepare him for his later roles.
“I think this is where you really get the experience that helps the engineer officer in war,” Clay told historians, referring to being assigned to Denison to build a District and a dam. “I was sent to Denison, Texas to build Denison Dam by myself. I went out and looked at a river where there wasn’t any water. I immediately began to borrow men from other organizations, other Districts.”
He said he pulled engineers from construction of what is now known as the Conchas Dam in New Mexico where construction was winding down, personnel from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District and other places and within a few months had an operational organization.
Together, the team he pulled together oversaw construction of what at the time would be the largest rolled-earth fill dam in the United States. Today, the dam is still operated by the U.S. Army Corps pf Engineers, Tulsa District and is generally better known as Lake Texoma, the name of the lake created by its impounded water.
To this day the dam still supplies water for millions of people living in an arid region, produces up to 100 megawatts of hydropower energy to customers of Rayburn Country and the East Texas Electric Cooperative power companies in the surrounding communities thanks to upgrades over the years and has prevented an estimated $844 million in damages through its flood risk management benefits.
Clay credits his experience both managing large-scale infrastructure projects and having to do so with limited support to begin with for his successes later in his career.
“I owe everything I have in life to the Corps of Engineers,” Clay told historians when asked if his time with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers served him well later in life.
While Delbridge was working in Berlin, the materials flown there were coming from airfields in West Germany. Much of that came from the Wiesbaden Air Base, which is still in use today and is located on what is now Lucius D. Clay Kaserne – part of the larger U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden.
In fact, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District – headquartered in Wiesbaden - is currently managing the replacement of the airfield’s air traffic control tower so it can continue to support U.S. military operations going forward.
The air traffic control tower is just one of 100s of projects the Europe District is managing in Europe as well as in Israel and Africa supporting regional security.
“From the beaches of Normandy to the Berlin Airlift through the Cold War and now through the delivery of our more than $7 billion design and construction program across Europe – Army engineers have a legacy of delivering solutions when called upon in Europe,” said Europe District Commander Col. Pat Dagon. “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is proud of our role in that legacy and delivering for U.S. forces, allies and partners.”
Kenji Hayashi, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Japan Engineer District’s (USACE JED) Value Engineering Officer (VEO), was recently awarded the USACE ‘Value Engineering Professional of the Year award.’
Value engineering, or the processes implemented by contractors to identify and offer cost savings opportunities on projects during construction, was adopted by USACE in 1964 as a cost saving tool and has since been implemented into common practice at all USACE units.
Hayashi has taken these base-level processes and elevated them.
“Mr. Hayashi’s determined efforts in Fiscal Year 2021 placed The District near the top of USACE during a challenging year, making him worthy of consideration for Value Engineering Professional of the Year,” said Stephen Karwan, JED’s Engineering Division Chief. “Kenji exemplifies excellence within USACE and the Value Engineering Community of Practice, and his leadership, performance, and work products are consistently superior.”
Kenji has applied his design and construction knowledge, inclusive leadership, and levelheaded approach assisting in turning JED’s VE program around. To his credit, The District has achieved 6-straight years of “green” metrics compliance and has facilitated JED’s VE studies with in-house teams to assist in growing their knowledge base.
“[I have helped JED’s VE program by] conducting VE study workshops using our in-house team members, to include civilians and Japanese nationals, [especially] focusing on evaluating Japanese contractors,” explained Kenji when prodded. A man of action rather than words, Kenji allows the fruits of his labor to speak for themselves. “I believe in our VE program, [and how we assist in] awarding projects on time, and within budget.”
Since October 2015, Hayashi has taken the reins as JED’s VEO, becoming responsible for a program that had historically ranked poorly in the Military Program USACE Command Guidance metrics. During that time, JED’s workload was rapidly increasing and flooded market conditions in Japan provided trouble with contract bidding. These factors, coupled with the distance and time difference from the continental U.S. (CONUS) put The District at a distinct disadvantage.
“For many, VE is a box to check in the review process - for our stakeholders in Japan, it’s a way to make sure that Japanese products and construction methods are incorporated into our projects to make them more affordable and constructable,” said Rob Baulsir, JED’s Engineering Support Branch Chief. “As a testament to Kenji and his team’s work, they often get asked for value engineering even when it’s not required - that’s a real-life demonstration of “value-added” from my point of view.”
To revamp the program, Kenji focused his efforts on ensuring JED projects are suitable for the Japanese market, stressing the importance on designing, taking advantage of Japanese products, and allowing local Japanese contractors to implement construction techniques they are familiar with.
“Kenji strives to assemble a team with a strong knowledge in Japanese construction that can identify the inefficiencies in a project and propose alternatives that add value, and save money,” said Karwan. “The groundwork Mr. Hayashi put in allows him to contribute to mission readiness, strengthening the alliance.”
Utilizing his host nation ties, Hayashi actively reaches out to Japanese contractors during U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) industry days to gather feedback on how to improve biddability for contracts, and constructability for future projects.
“Fluent in Japanese and English, he communicates effectively with American and Japanese team members, as well as local vendors, to not only identify and develop strong cost savings and added value proposals, but to teach and share his lessons learned with teammates,” noted Karwan.
In 2018, Mr. Hayashi received the Rising Star award by USACE VE, and he followed that up in 2020, where he earned the title of Certified Value Specialist (CVS), becoming the only CVS in the Pacific Ocean Division (POD) region which includes Alaska, Hawaii, Japan, and Korea.
“The level of professionalism and precision that Kenji brings to the table for every project is amazing,” said JED’s Deputy Commander, Lt. Col. Chelsey O’Nan. “He continually proves his value to the team here, and his commitment to the alliance is incredible.”
JED’s once ‘Rising Star’ shows no signs of setting and plans to continue his innovative approaches to ensuring The District’s VE program stays ‘under budget and beyond expectations.’ and he has the buy-in from leadership to help provide him guidance and assurance.
“I feel great knowing that what JED does helps improve and strengthen the U.S. and Japan alliance,” said Hayashi.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Galveston District will host a Multiple Award Task Order Contract (MATOC) Pre-Proposal Conference for potential Architect and Engineering (A-E) service-related government contractors Tuesday, June 13, 2023, 1-4 p.m. CST, at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jadwin Building, 2000 Fort Point Rd, Galveston, TX 77550.
This event is open to all large and small businesses interested in working with the Galveston District. The conference will include presentations from USACE staff and an open session for participants to ask District staff questions.
The purpose of the event is to present upcoming work opportunities for the Galveston District and hold exchanges with industry before receipt of proposals, to improve the understanding of government requirements and industry capabilities for the Galveston District Civil Works Programs. Potential offerors can judge whether they can satisfy the government’s requirements for the District’s Civil Works Program. This increases the government’s ability to obtain quality supplies and services--including construction at reasonable prices--and increases efficiency in proposal preparation, evaluation, negotiation, and contract award.
Attendees must participate in person as no live virtual option will be available.
Registration is required no later than 4 p.m. CST, June 9, 2023. Each firm will be limited to three attendees. For security reasons, visitors must be U.S. citizens and present a state or federal issued identification for access to USACE facilities.
To register for the event, please visit this URL: bit.ly/900M-MATOC. Please enter only one attendee name per registration form.
As stated in FAR 15.201(f), any general information disclosed in these meetings will be made available to the public as soon as practicable, but no later than the next general release of information, to avoid creating an unfair competitive advantage. Any materials distributed by the Government at these meetings shall be made available to all potential offerors, upon request to the contract specialist identified.
For more news and information, visit https://www.swg.usace.army.mil/Missions/Projects/.
2000 Fort Point Road, Galveston, TX 77550
Five companies will compete for each order of a $49,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for architect and engineering services issued by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Alabama.
Bids were solicited via the internet with 12 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of April 7, 2028. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Alabama, is the contracting activity.