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    Army Science Board visits Nashville District to gauge effectiveness

    Army Science Board visits Nashville District to gauge effectiveness

    Photo By Leon Roberts | Bill DeBruyn (Second from right), Center Hill Dam Rehabilitation Project resident...... read more read more



    Story by Leon Roberts 

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 18, 2019) – Members of the Army Science Board visited Center Hill Dam and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Headquarters today as part of an ongoing assessment of “effectiveness” in delivering civil works studies and projects on time and within budget.

    Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper, currently acting Secretary of Defense, charged the board to study effectiveness, but also to identify ways of streamlining regulatory permitting of non-USACE projects.

    Lt. Col. Cullen Jones, Nashville District commander, welcomed Retired Army Col. William S. Crowder, study chair; Retired Army Col. Susan R. Myers, Retired Army Lt. Col. Dick Ladd, and Norm O’Meara with the Army Science Board, along with senior Corps of Engineers officials from USACE Headquarters and the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, to Center Hill Dam.

    Jones announced that Nashville District’s technical experts and project managers were ready and at their disposal to address the district’s various civil works missions.

    “We want to be able to have a dialogue with you to support you and to innovate,” Jones said to the group.

    At Center Hill Dam in Lancaster, Tenn., the board received a briefing from Anthony Rodino, Water Management Section chief, on the purposes of the district’s 10 multi-purpose projects in the Cumberland River Basin, ongoing operations at Center Hill Dam, including status of the dam rehabilitation and construction of a roller compacted concrete berm at the saddle dam.

    They also received information from Project Manager Loren McDonald about the ongoing Hydropower Rehabilitation Program, a 20-year program to rehab 28 units and modernize equipment at nine projects, and current work to rehabilitate the three hydropower units at the Center Hill Power Plant.

    The board toured the power plant and also visited the construction site at the saddle dam, stopping frequently to interact with project managers and to ask questions.

    Crowder explained that he wanted to visit a civil works district to take a close look at construction, to discuss funding constraints, learn more about regulatory permitting, and examine processes for planning studies.

    “We do ask a lot of questions,” Crowder said. “But we’re trying to understand civil works, how to do it, how the process works, how the money flows - that’s kind of our focus.”

    In the afternoon, the board visited the Nashville District Headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., where they received additional updates by Project Manager Adam Walker on the Chickamauga Lock Replacement Project and Project Manager Don Getty on the Kentucky Lock Addition Project.

    The group spent time discussing funding of capital improvement and major rehab projects, aspects of efficient project funding, contracting mechanisms and how appropriations, work plans, funding pots and contracting vehicles relate to the effectiveness of construction projects.
    The day culminated with a presentation on the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, and a dam safety overview.

    Board members encouraged a dialogue with Nashville District officials to assess the effectiveness of the regulatory permit decision-making process for non-Corps of Engineers projects and review previous federal government and legislative studies on USACE effectiveness to determine the value of study recommendations.

    Crowder said people opening up, talking, and sharing information is “critical” to explain what the issues are as they see them.

    “That’s what I wanted. That’s why we’re here. That’s why we go out in the field,” Crowder said. “People in the field will always tell you the gospel and it’s up to you to listen. I try to listen and then react to what I’m hearing, so that I understand what somebody is telling me.”

    The Army Science Board is expected to brief findings and recommendations by Sept. 30, which is the end of the current fiscal year.

    David Romano, study manager and deputy district engineer for the Buffalo District, said he recommended the Nashville District for the visit because it is a civil works district and supports a lot of different business lines.

    “You’ve got a multidisciplinary program that’s diverse, including navigation, flood risk management and hydropower, which the board is very interested in,” Romano said. “It was important to show them how effective the Nashville is in the region.”

    The board is comprised of 20 voting and 20 non-voting members, each serving three terms, and consultants who serve one-year terms. They provide the Army with a resource of world-class scientists, engineers, technologists and operational experts as well as business, policy and managerial specialists from the private sector, academia, non-DoD government agencies and former senior military officers.

    The Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1977 established the Army Science Board. It delivers independent advice and recommendations on matters relating to the Army’s scientific, technological, manufacturing, logistics and business management functions, as well as other matters the Secretary of the Army deems important to the Department of the Army.

    (For more news, updates and information please follow the Nashville District on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.)



    Date Taken: 06.18.2019
    Date Posted: 06.20.2019 18:14
    Story ID: 328562
    Location: NASHVILLE, TN, US 

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