ContentsThe RiverWatch Magazine • Vol 32 • No 1 • April 2013On the cover ...Aerial view of the WhiteRiver showing trees andthe sharp meanderingof the river. (Photo byMark Godfrey, The NatureConservancy)District reflects on freedom, equality 4Memphis District works to counter earthquake risks 6White River receivesNational BluewaydesignationFederally recognized tribes sign BPNMFloodway programmatic agreementBillingsley receives appreciation, recognition awardDEPARTMENTSCommander’s CornerGeorge Grugett honored at MRC meeting 38Security StrongDangers of posting to social media sites 12Watch us on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MemphisDistrictCorpsFollow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/MemphisDistrict1014Branch chosen as Featured Engineer 14Sirmans says goodbye after 34 years with USACE 16Safety Strong 13Portable Fire Extinguisher SafetyAround the District 15Follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Memphis-District-Corps-of-Engineers/152024974863322Follow the Birds Point-New Madrid FloodwayJoint Information Center on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds-Point-New-Madrid-Floodway-Joint-Information-Center/120898681323357?sk=wallCOMMANDERCol. Vernie L. ReichlingDEPUTY COMMANDERLt. Col. Thomas D. PattonCHIEF, PUBLIC AFFAIRSJames T. PoguePUBLIC AFFAIRS WEB SPECIALISTCheryl L. WillisEDITORGRAPHIC DESIGNERPUBLIC AFFAIRS SPECIALISTBrenda L. BeasleyThe RiverWatch is the magazine of theU.S. Army Corps of Engineers MemphisDistrict and is an unofficial publicationauthorized by AR 360-1. It is producedmonthly for distribution by the Public AffairsOffice.Views and opinions expressed herein arenot necessarily those of the Department ofthe Army or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.Articles or photographic submissionsare welcome and should arrive in the PublicAffairs Office by the 5th of each monthpreceding publication. They can be mailed ore-mailed to the below addresses. If submittedelectronically, all stories should be in Worddocument format. All photographs should behigh resolution (at least 5x7 inches and 300dpi), include photo caption information, andbe submitted as separate .jpg or .tif imagefiles.The mission of The RiverWatch Magazineis to support the Commander’s internalcommunication program for the MemphisDistrict. It also serves as the Commander’sprimary communication tool for accuratelytransmitting policies, operations, technicaldevelopments and command philosophy toMemphis District team members.Submissions can be e-mailed to:MemphisPAO@usace.army.milSubmissions can be mailed to:USACE Memphis DistrictATTN: Public Affairs Office167 N. Main St. Room B-202Memphis TN 38103-1894The RiverWatch Magazineis available online atwww.mvm.usace.army.mil2 | www.mvm.usace.army.mil
Commander’s CornerCol. Vernie ReichlingTeammates,This month, I’m honored to share this story featuring oneof our own true heroes.George Grugetthonored atMRC meetingstory by Jim Pogue,Chief, Public Affairs OfficeIn a brief ceremony at the conclusionof the Mississippi River Commission(MRC) public meeting in Memphis onApril 9, MRC President Maj. Gen. JohnPeabody and other officials honoredUSACE Memphis District retiree GeorgeGrugett with a ship’s plaque identical tothe one that will be placed on the newMotor Vessel George C. Grugett.Maj. Gen. Peabody spoke of Grugett’slifetime of public service includingduty as a bomber crewman in WorldWar II, three decades as a Corps ofEngineers employee and another threedecades with the Mississippi ValleyFlood Control Association. MemphisDistrict Commander Col. Vernie Reichling and members of theMississippi River Commission also attended the ceremony.In addition, Stephen Gambrell, Executive Director for theMRC, shared a Bible for the pilothouse that all the members ofthe Commission had signed.Grugett was involved in a traffic accident last fall and isPhoto courtesy of USACE Marine Design Centercurrently recovering from injuries he sustained as a result.The Motor Vessel George C. Grugett is under construction atHorizon Shipbuilding in Bayou La Batre, Ala. It will be 114 feetlong, 35 feet wide and will assume the duties now assigned tothe Memphis District’s Motor Vessel Strong.The dedication ceremony for the new vessel is currentlyplanned for late June or early July of this year.Photo by Jim PogueGeorge Grugett, center, at the presentation. Left to right, MRCPresident and MVD Commander Maj. Gen. John W. Peabody,along with current Commission members Brig. Gen. Margaret W.Burcham, Dr. Norma Jean Mattei, Sam E. Angel, R. D. James, RearAdm. Gerd F. Glang, and Brig. Gen. Anthony Funkhouser; andMemphis District Commander Col. Vernie L. Reichling.Photo by Jim PogueGeorge Grugett, center, surrounded by family members sharingin this prestigious occassion. Left to right, Judy Murray (sister),Johnny Winford (nephew), Mike Grugett (son), Greg Grugett (son),and Dianne Grugett (daughter-in-law).The RiverWatch Magazine • April 2013 | 3
Districtonstory and photos by Brenda L. BeasleyMayor AC WhartonAssisted by Special Emphasis Committee Chair Karen Brady (center),Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Dave Patton, left, presents a certificateof appreciation to Madeleine Taylor.In observance of African American/Black HistoryMonth, Memphis District team members gatheredat city hall council chambers Feb. 13 to reflect onthe struggles that Americans and the world have had, andcontinue to have, in the history with civil rights and freedom.Hosted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Officeand the Special Emphasis Program Committee, the programfocused on the 2013 theme: At the Crossroads of Freedomand Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the Marchon Washington; which is a commemoration of two seminalhistorical events -- the 1863 signing of the EmancipationProclamation and its impact on slavery and the 1963 marchon Washington and its impact on the Civil Rights Movement.The event included special greetings from the city ofMemphis Mayor, musical performances by the MemphisDistrict Choir, and a key note speaker who’s worked for theNAACP for more than 20 years. Following the program,the district’s Castle Club served refreshments at the CliffordDavis/Odell Horton Federal Building.“This is a critical time in our history,” said city ofMemphis Mayor AC Wharton during his greeting. “We’re notwhere we want to be, but thank God we’re not where we oncewere.”The year 2013 marks two important anniversaries inthe history of African Americans and the United States.On Jan. 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation set theUnited States on the path of ending slavery. On Aug. 27,1963, hundreds of thousands of Americans, Blacks andWhites, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics,marched to the memorial of Abraham Lincoln, the authorof the Emancipation Proclamation, in pursuit of the ideal ofequality of citizenship. It was on this occasion that MartinLuther King, Jr. gave his famous speech, “I Have a Dream.”“150 years ago the emancipation proclamation started thisquest that still has a long way to go,” said Wharton. “Then 50years ago, Dr. King and the march on Washington remindedus, oh so clearly, that we have not yet overcome.”Because he saw a lot of young faces in the crowd, Whartondescribed his younger days and his involvement in the civilrights movement. He wanted those who may have only heardabout it or read about it, to have an understanding of what itmeans to them.“It simply means that while there was a role for PresidentLincoln, while there was a role for Rosa Parks, Dr. King andothers, there is still a role for you,” he said.Asking listeners to take a brief journey with her back to4 | www.mvm.usace.army.mil
Photo by Cheryl WillisQuapaw Tribe Business Chairman John Berrey (right) performs an Eagle Blessing Ceremony to thank the workers of the ProgrammaticAgreement and bless future relations between the Quapaw Tribe and the Memphis District. Robert Dunn, Ph.D., (left), Col. VernieReichling (center), and Jimmy McNeil (partially hidden) represent the district.Federally recognized tribes sign BPNMFloodway programmatic agreementSix federallyrecognized tribeshave signed thenew Birds Point/New Madrid FloodwayProgrammatic Agreement(PA). Two tribes, the QuapawTribe and the DelawareNation, signed the PA duringa signing ceremony held atMemphis District Nov. 20,2012. Three tribes - OsageNation, the Absentee Shawnee,and the Eastern Shawnee -signed by mail in December2012, and the ThlopthloccoCreek signed in a ceremonyJan. 18.This PA puts theCorps of Engineers in fullcompliance with Section106 of the National HistoricPreservation Act of 1966, asamended, and the President’sAdvisory Council on HistoricPreservation (Council)regulation 36 CFR 800. TheMissouri State HistoricPreservation Officer (MOSHPO) signed the new PAAug. 24, 2012, and the Council10 | www.mvm.usace.army.milsigned it Sept. 20, 2012. Thenew PA replaces the 1996Floodway PA dealing with thespecifics of the mitigative datarecovery program conductedby Memphis District in theFloodway in the late 1990sand early 2000s. The 1996PA became obsolete with theactivation of the floodwayduring the historic recordflood in 2011.The invited signatory tribesinclude the Quapaw Tribe, theOsage Nation, the DelawareNation, the Absentee Shawneeand Eastern Shawnee Tribes,and the Thlopthlocco (Creek)Tribal Town. One other tribeinvited to sign, the ChickasawNation, has declined to doso because the Chickasawleaders and elders object tothe MO SHPO’s requirementthat human skeletal remainsinadvertently discoveredin the floodway must bephotographically documentedas part of the Native AmericanGraves Protection andRepatriation Act of 1990by Robert A. Dunn, Ph.D. RPA, Regional Technical Specialistprocess.This new PA has beenin development since 2010when a consultation meetingwith eight tribes and theMissouri SHPO was held inJuly in Cape Girardeau, Mo.Following the activation ofthe BPNM floodway in May2011, Regional Planningand Environmental DivisionSouth archaeologists JimmyMcNeil and myself, bothstationed at Memphis District,held numerous meetingswith the tribes culturally andhistorically affiliated with theOhio River-Mississippi Riverconfluence and particularlywith the Missouri counties(Mississippi and New Madrid)comprising the floodway. Onemeeting in particular held inSikeston, Mo., in August 2011is particularly noteworthy.This contentious andemotionally charged meetingprimarily focused on thedamage to Native Americangraves caused by floodwayactivation. Scouring exposedthe remains of not less than 25individuals associated with alate prehistoric Mississippiancomponent of site 23MI136when the levee was artificiallycrevassed by explosives on theevening of May 2, 2011. Thissite was previously knownas an historic 19th centuryhomestead. No one knew thesite also contained a highlysignificant late prehistoriccomponent.The Mississippian graveswere buried in a natural leveethat became part of a privatelevee in the late 19th centuryand then were incorporatedinto the Corps of Engineersfederal levee system in theearly 20th century. Whenthe floodwaters subsided inJune 2012 these scatteredremains were respectfullycollected by a team comprisedof USACE archaeologistsand engineers, the MOSHPO senior archeologist,and members of the OsageNation. In compliance withMissouri state law, the remains
Dangers of posting tosocial media sitesby Harold Harden, Chief, Securityand Law Enforcement OfficeSummaryRecently, an Army garrison commander cancelledclasses at a school located on the installation due toinclement weather, but did not close the installation. Asa result, parents had to find ways to take care of theirchildren and still work. One parent used a social mediasite to complain about the situation. In her complaint,she discussed the fact that her children were homealone because she was at work and the other parentwas deployed. However, using information from theparent’s profile, the family’s home address could belocated through people search engines (veromi.com, pipl.com, or zabasearch.com). In addition, more than 900registered sex offenders lived in the local area. Althoughthe children at home were of legal age to be home alone,the information from the post revealed an address andwindow of opportunity. Besides increasing the risk to herchildren, the parent’s social media post also revealed awindow of opportunity for theft.•Potential Impact•A parent’s reaction to a garrison commander’sdecision to close schools could have placed thespouse’s unit and family at risk. Assume adversaries aremonitoring social websites. Before posting anything,assume the information is available to adversariesincluding terrorists, and criminals.•Protection Principles• Educate your workforce and families of the dangersof social media; it is not about avoiding it, but using itintelligently• Regularly check and if necessary, update privacysettings and account settings on social media websites• Conduct regular Operations Security (OPSEC)reviews of official Department of Defense social mediawebpages for posted comments by service members andtheir familiesResults• Critical information concerning family, lifestyle, andlocation was made available on social media websites toadversaries• Family, personal, and professional lives could havebeen endangered through the open forum• The apparent desire to be “heard” combined withthe lack of knowledge of the risks inherent with the usesocial media sites presented unnecessary risk to familymembers Key Lessons• Consider the secondary impacts of posting personalinformation on social media sites• Do not assume that only individuals you know arereading your postings• Update your social media privacy and accountsettings; don’t rely on default settings to secure your posts• Balance your unit’s use of social networking againstthe risk of providing information to criminals andadversaries••Source: Exercpt from“Cyber Threat Vignettes,”dated November 2012, which is a product developed byHeadquarters, Department of the Army, Office of theProvost Marshal General in collaboration with the U.S.Army Cyber Command.12 | www.mvm.usace.army.mil
Portable FireExtinguisher Safety byRodney Kellow, Chief of SafetyDuring the last two years I have been able to visitnumerous construction and operations projectsthroughout our district. One thing I have observed isthat we have many portable fire extinguishers (PFEs).Having PFEs around is a very good thingprovided that:• They are mounted appropriately and are notobstructed• They are properly inspected, serviced, testedand maintained• Team members are properly trained on howto use themPortable fire extinguishers (PFEs) shall be distributedper Table 9-4 on page 211 (9-25) of EM-385-1-1. There arenumerous size/class requirements concerning PFEs in EM-385-1-1 pertaining to trucks, material storage areas, flammablestorage etc.What I recommend is that supervisors and/or Collateral DutySafety Officers (CDSO’s) do an EM-385-1-1 (2008) electronicword search for “fire extinguisher” at: to determine specific requirements that pertain to yourproject or situation.PFEs have to be approved by a nationally recognized testinglaboratory and labeled to identify the testing lab such asUnderwriters Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM).PFEs shall be inspected monthly and maintained as specifiedin NFPA 10. Monthly inspections have to be recorded. Thistypically means that a trained CDSO/team member conducts aproper monthly inspection to ensure that each PFE in his/herassigned area:• are charged• have the pull pin in place• have the breakable seal in place• have no visible defects in the barrel, handle or hose• are clean (i.e. no spider webs, thick dust on extinguisheretc.)• are not obstructed (i.e. always allow 180-degrees ofclearance below and around each PFE for proper emergencyaccess).“In addition to monthlyinspections ... we arerequired to have an annualservice inspection, ...”Now that we have touched on proper monthly inspectionslet’s shift gears to properly “servicing, testing and maintaining”our PFEs as this is where I have see the most confusion andweakness within Memphis District.In addition to monthly inspections, which we do “in-house”;we are also required to have an annual service inspection, 6-yearmaintenance and 12-year hydrostatic testing performed on eachPFE. Due to the cost of certification and equipment used theseservices are all done by NFPA compliant vendors.Essentially our projects use a PFE vendor/service companyfrom the yellow pages that will take a government credit cardto perform annual service inspections, 6-year maintenance and12-year hydrostatic testing. Please just ensure that your PFEvendor properly documents whatever they do.Annual service inspection of a PFE is accomplished by theinspection tag the vendor dates and attaches to the extinguishergauge or neck; whereas 6-year maintenance and 12-yearhydrostatic testing requires a barrel sticker that is dated and listswhat was performed, as well as, a service collar attached aroundthe neck of the PFE.Concerning training, many of our team members may not beaware that OSHA and USACE require ‘annual’ PFE training. ForPFE Training slides/support contact the District Safety Office.Supervisors/CDSOs need to ensure documentation is on filefor each worker to validate annual PFE training. The best wayto do this may be in ATMP with sign-in rosters maintained as aback up.“Think Safety Not Just Compliance”The RiverWatch Magazine • April 2013 | 13
Billingsleyreceivesappreciation,recognitionawardstory byBrenda L. BeasleyAs a testamentto his hardwork and dedication,the Bayou MetoWater ManagementDistrict presentedan appreciation andrecognition awardto Gary Billingsleyon Dec. 8, 2012, atthe 77th AnnualMississippi Valley FloodControl AssociationAnnual Meeting inNew Orleans, for hiscontribution to theproject. The citationreads: “In appreciationand recognition forproviding superiorConstructionManagement, dedicatedleadership and loyalcommitment to theMarion Berry PumpStation and the successof the Bayou MetoWater ManagementProject.”Courtesy PhotoLeft to right, Memphis District Commander Col. Vernie Reichling, Bayou MetoWater Management District President Gary Canada, Memphis District’s GaryBillingsley, P.E., and Mississippi Valley Division Commander Maj. Gen. JohnPeabody.Branch chosen as Featured EngineerApril J. BranchCourtesy Photostory byBrenda L. BeasleyThe National Society ofBlack Engineers, MemphisAlumni Chapter, has chosen AprilJ. Branch as the 2013 FeaturedEngineer. Since 2009, Branch hasserved as the program chair fortheir chapter. She has plannedchapter activities and submittedactivity reports to the regionalboard. The Memphis-Area JointEngineers Council presented thisprestigious award on behalf ofNSBE during the annual EngineersWeek Luncheon held at theUniversity of Memphis FogelmanExecutive Center Feb. 20.Memphis-Area JointEngineers Council (MJEC) is anumbrella organization for the20+ engineering organizationsand engineering educationalinstitutions in the Memphis area.MJEC has a membership of allmembers of these local chapters/sections and is governed by aBoard of Directors, comprisedof two representatives from eachparticipating organization.MJEC assists in coordinationof Engineers Week by providingcommunication amongengineering organizations. They’reresponsible for four parts ofEngineers Week: Engineers WeekStudent Contest, held the Saturdaybefore official E-Week; FeaturedEngineer/Featured SurveyorAwards, presented during theE-Week Kickoff Luncheon;Featured Engineering/EngineeringTechnology Student Awards,presented during the EngineersWeek Banquet; and MJEC Awardof Excellence, presented during theE-Week Kickoff Luncheon.14 | www.mvm.usace.army.mil
Photo by Willie McClendonCurrent and former coworkers join in the retirement celebration. Left to right, Mississippi Valley Division Counsel G. Rogers “Bitsy”Sloan, retired Memphis District (MVM) Paralegal Marilyn Shaw, Vicksburg District (MVK) Counsel Rymn Parsons, MVM Attorney AnnBruck, USACE Logistics Activity Counsel Alvin Ellis (formerly with MVM), retired MVM Attorney Jan Cornaghie, retired MVK CounselHenry Black, retiring Memphis District Counsel David E. Sirmans, MVM Attorney Charles Briggs, retired MVK Counsel Lanny Robinson,MVM Attorney Mary Ann Vandergriff, MVM Attorney Allen Scott Black, retired MVM Attorney Michael Parks, MVM retiree Odean Berry,MVM Attorney Janita Reliford, and MVM Paralegal Alexandria Cooper.Sirmans says goodbyeafter 34 years with USACEstory by Jim Pogue,Chief, Public Affairs OfficeMany of us havea vision ofattorneys asstuffy old guys in threepiecesuits. Nothing could befurther from the truth thanwas the case for recentlyretiredMemphis District16 | www.mvm.usace.army.milCounsel Dave Sirmans.Members of the MemphisDistrict celebrated his 34 yearsof federal service at a partyin his honor held on Nov. 30,2012.Not one to be comfortablesitting behind a desk, Davewas frequently out in thefield using his extensive legalknowledge and expertise onNo three-piece suits for Dave, hard at work right up untilretirement day.USACE Photobehalf of the Memphis Districtduring a variety of missionsand disaster responses.For example, hesuccessfully defendedUSACE’s right to operatethe Birds Point-New MadridFloodway during the 2011flood, a key component inensuring the survivabilityof the regional flood riskreduction system. He alsoserved as both the forwardand rear lead counsel in theOffice of Counsel in supportof the Louisiana RecoveryField Office followinghurricanes Katrina and Rita.Sirmans was alwaysanxious to share the extensiveknowledge he garnered fromhis experiences with USACE,and served as a legal instructorfor the Prospect TrainingProgram beginning in 1984.Since 1987 he also coordinatedthe Contracting Officer’sRepresentative (COR’s)course and its successor,the Construction ContractAdministration Course.USACE PhotoFrom the RiverWatch archives:This photo of David E.Sirmans appeared in theApril 1987 issue along withthe announcement of hispromotion to District Counselfor the Memphis District.Sirmans said he planned torelax for a little while, spendtime with his family, and thenprobably do some teaching inorder to stay engaged with hisprofession.We wish Dave and hisfamily all the best for a longand happy retirement.