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Consistency is key in delivering world-class Reserve program

Published Feb. 12, 2019

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District manages a $280 million dollar per year Reserve Construction Program building facilities across the United States and Puerto Rico. To ensure quality facilities for the nation’s Army and Air Force Reserves, the district provides centralized management of design, procurement, and construction services to deliver the program.

“Being the center of standardization means that the Army Reserve and Air Force Reserves have acknowledged the value of having one district within our agency managing their entire construction program,” Hans Probst, chief, reserve branch, construction division said.

The Louisville District Construction Division Reserve Branch plays a unique part in the process of delivering the robust program, because they are responsible for managing construction nationwide—far beyond the district’s typical five-state military construction footprint. The 14-member construction team in Louisville, which functions like a “mega area engineer office,” oversaw construction of nearly 60 Army and Air Force Reserve projects in fiscal year 2018 with another 49 new contracts underway in fiscal year 2019.

“The level of commitment and professionalism cannot be understated,” said Terry Durham, construction division reserve section chief, of the daily service his staff provides. “We owe our stakeholders a high level of quality and consistency in the delivery of these facilities so that it is indistinguishable to them whether we are constructing a reserve center in Los Alamitos, California, or a corrosion control/fuels systems maintenance hangar in Pittsburgh.”

The Louisville District maintains contractual authority and oversight of the current workload being completed at 32 field offices across 17 geographic districts. Geographic districts provide on-site construction contract administration and quality assurance.

“Our centralized approach relieves the Reserve program sponsors of the burden of trying to control a broad range of geographically-dispersed project management, design project engineers, design architect/engineers, contracting and construction personnel,” Probst said. “With projects spread across the country, you can imagine the additional personnel that would be needed to execute those projects throughout the activities in the acquisition cycle.  Our centralized model economizes the human resources necessary from program sponsors project officers, USACE project managers, design project engineers, architect/engineers and contracting personnel.” 

This one-stop-shop for construction management services allows for a more cost-effective, streamlined, and expedited delivery. 

 “We’re saving a huge amount of effort for our program sponsor clients. The beauty of this is that we have this core group of people here that create consistency between the field offices and the rest of the project delivery team because we speak construction,” said Probst.

The construction reserve branch serving as the liaison between the construction field staff and the rest of the PDT is integral to the success of the program. 

“Our multi-discipline project delivery team includes project management, engineering, contracting and construction division, all working together executing the program, Probst said. “Being the center of standardization simplifies the entire process.”

Sharon Raque, chief, planning, programs and project management, reserve branch echoed that sentiment. “We couldn’t execute this massive workload and deliver these state-of-the-art facilities without the construction division’s expertise and oversight,” Raque said. “Often times they are our eyes on the ground making sure we are turning over quality facilities.”

“The importance of the PDT working together from floor-to-floor and coast-to-coast in one fluid motion is often misunderstood and frequently understated,” Carl Lindsay, quality assurance representative said.  

Quality and consistency are key in delivering a world-class program. 

“This team here is as strong and capable as we’ve ever been,” said Probst, who has worked with the district’s reserve program for more than 15 years, serving as the chief of the construction reserve branch