USACE Expeditionary District Welcomes New Leadership

The “Always Forward” U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Expeditionary District conducted a combined change of command ceremony welcoming new leadership to the only forward-deployed district serving in the Central Command area of responsibility.

Col. Mohammed Z. Rahman relinquished command of the district to Lt. Col. Eder C. Ramirez and Sgt. Maj. David C. Kluba passed the colors to Sgt. Maj. Alan E. Thomas in a ceremony officiated by Transatlantic Division Commanding General Brig. Gen. William C. Hannan, Jr. at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, June 16. District staff and local leadership attended in person along with a virtual presence online from division, family, and friends.

Serving at the “tip of the spear”, the Expeditionary District provides innovative, theater-wide engineering solutions and expertise in support of U.S., Coalition and Host Nation partners.
During his remarks, Hannan extended his appreciation to the outgoing command team for their work strengthening partnerships and highlighted the accomplishments under their leadership.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Expeditionary District’s outgoing command team, Sgt. Maj. David J. Kluba, senior enlisted advisor (left) and Col. Mohammed Z. Rahman (right) pass the unit colors relinquishing command and responsibility during a combined change of command ceremony at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait June 16, 2024. USACE PHOTO

“Col. Rahman’s efforts to stand up the Middle East Engineer Network, assisted in building an engineer team that worked together solving problems and delivering projects. These partnerships greatly enabled mission success and ultimately improved regional security,” said Hannan.

Hannan said Rahman and Kluba led the district to mission success across all areas, supporting more than 300 projects totaling over $1.2 billion including logistics, energy and security projects, building barracks and other facilities in direct support of CENTCOM mission objectives.

Rahman expressed gratitude to the organization, division leadership and partners for their support. “Thank you for putting your trust in me,” he said. “After a successful year in command, this is my time to handover the guidon.”  

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He thanked team members by name for contributing to the success of the district over the past year and for volunteering to deploy.

“The civilian and military workforce is the bedrock of this organization; I value you the most,” he added.  “Your cooperation and teamwork were the reasons for successful completion of so many construction projects in Kuwait, and across the U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility.”  

Rahman, an Army Reservist, also expressed gratitude to his family, who watched the ceremony virtually from their home in Illinois.

Lt. Col. Eder C. Ramirez shares a few words after taking command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Expeditionary District during a combined change of command ceremony June 16, 2024 at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. The ceremony officially marked the transfer of authority from Col. Mohammed Z. Rahman to Ramirez and Sgt. Maj. David J. Kluba to Sgt. Maj. Alan E. Thomas. USACE PHOTO
Lt. Col. Eder C. Ramirez shares a few words after taking command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Expeditionary District during a combined change of command ceremony June 16, 2024 at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. The ceremony officially marked the transfer of authority from Col. Mohammed Z. Rahman to Ramirez and Sgt. Maj. David J. Kluba to Sgt. Maj. Alan E. Thomas. USACE PHOTO

“They are the center of gravity of my life,” he said. “I couldn’t do what I do in uniform without the support of my family, my colleagues at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the American people.”

The incoming commander previously served as the deputy commander for the USACE Middle East District and is looking forward to continuing to build on all USACE represents in the CENTCOM theater.

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“It is a great honor and responsibility we all have to represent the castle,” said Ramirez, referencing the red Corps castle insignia, a symbol of engineering excellence and service to the nation. “We recruit the best to come here and do great things.”

The ceremony marks the fifth change of command for the Expeditionary District since it was established in 2021 from the merger of the Transatlantic Afghanistan District and Task Force Essayons. The district remains the only USACE forward deployed district in support of contingency operations – postured to continue to adapt with the changing environment.