Aqueducts and Megawatts: Integrating the United States Army Corps of Engineers with Operational Commanders
MARINE CORPS UNIV QUANTICO VA SCHOOL OF ADVANCED WARFIGHTING
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The United States Army Corps of Engineers USACE has played a role in every major conflict since the American Revolution, and has steadily been playing a more expansive role in the global war on terrorism GWOT. Expeditionary operations conducted by American military forces since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 have included missions that involve operational infrastructure development. Operational infrastructure development is the establishment and repair of power facilities, roads, airfields, ports, installations, and communications systems by operational-level military commands. In the strategic environment of the 21st Century, the United States Army Corps of Engineers USACE possesses operational and tactical capabilities that can be decisive when integrated, leveraged, and properly utilized by operational commanders and their staffs. American military officers can gain from a better understanding of the USACE specifically, its composition, organization, and purpose its engagement in recent operations in Afghanistan and Iraq how its state-side components have been aligned with the regional combatant commanders and what this suggests for the future. The USACE has the depth of engineering skill and the technical expertise to help commanders use operational infrastructure development as a means to create lines of operations for the application of national power. Moreover, the lessons from Afghanistan and Iraq show that the USACEs capabilities can create favorable second- and third-order strategic effects when properly integrated into a campaign. In the future, the USACE will play a larger role in expeditionary operations and should be familiar to planners who work at the operational level.
- Civil Engineering
- Structural Engineering and Building Technology
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Unconventional Warfare