News: Middle East District welcomes new commander
Story by Erickson Barnes
WINCHESTER, Va. -- Col. Jon L. Christensen took command of the U.S. Army’s engineering and construction agent in the Middle East and Central Asia regions during a ceremony, Aug. 29, at the Cherry-Beasley Readiness Center here.
Christensen follows Col. Ronald N. Light who led the Middle East District from July 2007 to July 2008 and again in August 2009, following a year in command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region Division’s Central District in Iraq.
Prior to coming to MED, Christensen commanded Gulf Region District and guided the district toward inactivation and a transfer of project responsibility to MED. During his time at GRD, the district completed 250 projects valued at more than $1 billion. As the new MED commander, he will continue to oversee the work in Iraq, now that the district’s Iraq Area Office is officially the sole USACE project manager in Iraq.
“I feel like I’ve already been part of the team here during the last year, and look forward to the next three years,” said Christensen. “I am proud to be the next keeper of the Middle East District. I appreciate what you all do here every day.”
Christensen also served as commander of USACE’s St. Paul District from June 2007 to July 2010. Prior to beginning his command roles, Christensen served as program director for the electricity sector at the Corps’ Gulf Region Division in Iraq.
Transatlantic Division commander Maj. Gen. Kendall Cox officiated the change of command ceremony, which was attended by members of both Light’s and Christensen’s families, and by several military and local representatives. While speaking to those in attendance, Cox noted that he had personally requested Christensen for this command, and also called Light “one of the smartest USACE engineers I’ve ever met.”
“(Light) is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable commanders in USACE, which made him uniquely qualified to command in this challenging region,” said Cox. “It took tremendous dedication by Ron and his family, and he consistently delivered at our high standard of excellence. His impact will continue to be felt here for years to come.”
The Middle East District provides quality, responsive engineering, construction and related reach-back services on time, within budget, and safely to satisfy our customers, partners, and stakeholders in responding to military operations, international objectives overseas, and national emergencies. The Middle East District is a subordinate element of the Transatlantic Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.