USACE-POD greets new commander

| July 7, 2011 | 0 Comments
Brig. Gen. Richard Stevens (center right) receives the Army colors from Maj. Gen. Merdith Temple (center left), during a change of command ceremony, June 30, at Palm Circle, Fort Shafter. Col. Edward Kertis (left) relinquished command of the USACE-POD to Stevens, who became the 30th commander of the division. (Dino W. Buchanan | U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Honolulu District)

Brig. Gen. Richard Stevens (center right) receives the Army colors from Maj. Gen. Merdith Temple (center left), during a change of command ceremony, June 30, at Palm Circle, Fort Shafter. Col. Edward Kertis (left) relinquished command of the USACE-POD to Stevens, who became the 30th commander of the division. (Dino W. Buchanan | U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Honolulu District)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Public Affairs

Stevens to lead division’s mission

FORT SHAFTER — Col. Edward Kertis relinquished his position as commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Pacific Ocean Division to Brig. Gen. Richard Stevens, during a change of command ceremony, June 30, at historic Palm Circle, here.

With the passing of the ceremonial flag, symbolizing the official change of command, Stevens now leads nearly 1,800 military and Department of the Army civilian engineers, technicians and other professionals in the annual execution of a $2 billion program.

The mission includes engineering design, construction and real estate management for Army-Hawaii, Army- and Air Force-Alaska, and for all Department of Defense agencies in Japan, the Republic of Korea and Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

“I am exceptionally proud to be taking charge of a division that is justifiably regarded as one of the most professional and well-respected public engineering enterprises in the world,” Stevens said. “I am honored.”

Stevens previously served multiple duty assignments within Headquarters, Department of the Army, at the Pentagon, culminating with his most recent assignment as the executive officer to the 36th Army chief of staff, retired Gen. George Casey Jr.

Maj. Gen. Merdith Temple, acting commanding general, USACE, hosted the ceremony and expressed his confidence in Stevens’ leadership.

“Your leadership, technical savvy and ability to build (a) productive partnership will absolutely ensure the success of the POD,” Temple said.

Temple then thanked Kertis for his focused and insightful leadership.

“POD’s efforts and leadership are an important and positive component of our national strategy in this increasingly vital part of the world,” Temple said. “We are grateful for the leadership of Col. Kertis. He stepped into command in this position and never missed a beat.”

Kertis expertly directed a full range of engineering capabilities throughout the U.S. Pacific Command’s area of responsibility.

He directed the two largest host-nation military construction projects in the history of the USACE, including the $10.4 billion Korea Transformation Program, which will relocate U.S. troops from various bases in Korea to an expanded U.S. Army Garrison-Humphreys in the Republic of Korea, and a $15 billion Defense Policy Review Initiative in Japan.

Kertis also led the division in executing 100 percent of its civil works, and its American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects, which helped put local contractors to work in Hawaii and Alaska. The division also completed more than 130 humanitarian assistance projects in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia, totaling $36 million.

For his exceptional service from July 2010 to June 2011, Kertis received the Legion of Merit award.

Kertis will deploy to Afghanistan, as USACE’s assistant division commander for operations of the Trans-Atlantic Division.

 

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