USACE Deployment Center activity surging

Published April 23, 2010
Master Sgt. Joe Longinotti provides predeployment information to contractors during an off-site session. The UDC has recently welcomed new groups of deployees, including a special mission to Haiti.

The USACE Deployment Center, known for successfully processing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civilians to Iraq and Afghanistan, is taking on new responsibilities with new customers.

The UDC has started opening its doors to new deployment opportunities, including special missions for Haiti relief, a military exercise in Korea, and a large group of contractors, according to Keith Frye, UDC manager. Deployment groups such as these are examples of the UDC’s expanding customer base.

Kay King, an emergency operations technician in Plans and Operations who processed the Haiti mission group for deployment, said the mission consisted of roughly 20 people deploying over the course of a few weeks to aid in debris removal and structural salvage and reconstruction. The deployments lasted from 14 to 30 days, and began with abbreviated processing due to the special circumstances and short tour of duty. The group spent only one day at the UDC for medical evaluations and gear distribution since all mandatory pre-deployment training was completed prior to arrival. In addition, Corps personnel trained in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) were brought in for Haiti deployees and redeployees to address traumatic experiences.

Key Resolve, a military exercise in Korea, required a three-and-a-half week deployment of approximately 150 Corps civilians from multiple districts throughout USACE, according to Ric Terrazas, operations officer in Plans and Operations. The team participated in a contingency exercise that responds to a simulated North Korean incursion into South Korea. The USACE civilians provided direct support to the military in planning defense against fast avenues of attack.

“(This mission) was the first step in establishing a relationship with the Far East District,” said Terrazas.

The UDC is further broadening its mission to incorporate all USACE commands, continuing its growth into a position that enables support for missions throughout the world.

The UDC also accepted a special request for a large group of contractors recently. Because of space constraints, the in-processing and training took place at a local hotel. The two-day training session for 56 contractors was a success, said Ron Wagner, deputy UDC manager.

The UDC continues to successfully support its original mission. With the consistent flow of civilians deploying to the Middle East, the class sizes are currently at full capacity. Each week the UDC processes approximately 60 deployees, including about 30 USACE civilians and contractors and 30 personnel from Army Materiel Command. Iraq averages five to ten deployees each week, while Afghanistan deployees make up the rest of the groups.

Kristin Hoelen

Release no. 13-042