PHOENIX – Col. Julie Balten, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District, and David Van Dorpe, deputy district engineer, toured Arizona-Nevada Area Office projects Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 in Arizona. Her first visit to Arizona since assuming command in July. Balten met stakeholders, spoke with employees, presented awards and viewed key projects.
One of the first site visits Dec. 1 was to the Rio de Flag flood control system in Flagstaff. At $52 million, the project is in the District's Fiscal Year 2020 Work Plan, to finalize its construction and to close out the flood-risk management project, a cost-share effort with the City of Flagstaff.
"Rio De Flag is a flood-control project that will not only protect infrastructure and human life from flooding events but will enable economic stability and community vitality," Balten said. "That is a project we can all be proud to work on together."
Strengthening the nation’s security by supporting service members where they train, work and live also is an important mission for the district. It is an endeavor in keeping with the priority set by Gen. James McConville, 40th chief of staff of the U.S. Army, stating people are our greatest strength.
In that vein, Balten and Van Dorpe met Dec. 2 with Col. Ryan Richardson, 56th Mission Support Group commander, and Lt. Col. Clint Townsend, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron commander, at Luke Air Force Base. The district team later toured a recently completed project site, now home to the 310th Fighter Squadron. In all, the district will build six aviation maintenance unit facilities for the F-35 at Luke AFB.
Day three began with a tour of the Rio Reimagined - Rio Salado Project in Phoenix. The site is one of 20 in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Urban Waters program.
"I enjoyed a great visit to Phoenix," Balten said. "I enjoyed meeting with our valuable partners on projects that provide a trifecta of flood control, ecosystem restoration and recreation."