Category Archives: Operational Priorities

Regional priorities within the Southwestern Division

Corps lays foundation for Fort Sill training support facility

By Edward Johnson

FORT SILL, Okla. — U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa District, personnel were on site Feb 2, 2019, overseeing operations as contractors lined up 22 cement mixer trucks to pour a concrete slab, as part of a troop training support facility currently under construction here.

Scheduled for completion in late summer 2019, the facility will include an open, high-bay vehicle storage space, offices, classrooms and a consolidated entry and reception area.
Supporting facilities will also include exterior lighting, storm drainage, fire protection systems, walkways, curbs and a vehicle parking area.

With fair skies and relatively warm winter weather, crews were able to work at a more rapid pace than expected.

“Today we’re placing the third slab for this project, which consists of approximately 1,500 cubic yards of concrete,” said David Smith, a USACE laboratory manager and construction material engineer assigned to the Army Corps’ Fort Sill project office, “We’re using two pump trucks, two different concrete plants and numerous cement mixer trucks to keep the work moving.”

According to Smith, a cubic yard of concrete equates to about four thousand pounds. To put that into perspective, the slab being poured today will weigh approximately 6 million pounds when finished.

“Successfully placing a concrete slab of this size and scope is both an art and science,” said Patrick S. Beard, the District’s chief of military programs. “Given all the engineering and atmospheric variables, it takes a seasoned crew of contractors, project engineers and quality control professionals to ensure everything goes according to plan.”

For that reason, laboratory managers, like Smith, remained onsite throughout the day and will continue to make follow-up sampling of the concrete to ensure it meets rigid Army stress-test standards once the pouring operations here are complete.

“The slab for this project is 24-inch thick and reinforced with two mats of #8 rebar on 12-inch center,” added Smith. “We’re using a laser leveling screed machine to accurately level the concrete to ‘finish-floor’ elevation.”

Smith went on to say the concrete is machine-troweled into a smooth surface using gas-powered troweling machines. A curing compound is then sprayed on the surface to eliminate rapid evaporation loss and prevent surface cracking.

According to Maj Joe S. Cho, an Army Engineer officer with the Fort Sill USACE military construction program, the slab depth necessary for this project is determined by engineering standards necessary to support the structure’s end-use requirements and weight of the building’s overall structural steel.

“Access for persons with disabilities will also be provided,” added Cho.

Managing one of the largest military construction programs in the region, Beard takes a special interest in this project because of the District’s hands-on approach to the project’s design and the structure’s enduring value to the installation and the Soldiers serving here.

“This project was designed by our in-house engineering team and I am extremely proud of the innovative and cost-effective work they’ve done to support military construction here and around the globe,” added Beard.


The Army Corps of Engineers is hosting two workshops about the Greers Ferry Lake Draft Master Plan Revision and Draft Environmental Assessment.  The workshops will be held Feb. 4 and 5 to discuss the master plan update process and to collect public comments.

The drop-in workshops will be held from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Heber Springs Community Center, Room 3, 201 Bobbie Jean Lane in Heber Springs, Ark., and from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Feb. 5 at the Fairfield Bay Lions Club, 365 Dave Creek Parkway, in Fairfield Bay, Ark. Anyone interested in the future of Greers Ferry Lake is invited to drop in anytime during the workshops.

The Corps’ master plans set the vision for all use and development of a project’s federal public lands and waters surrounding our reservoirs, recognizing the ongoing activities of others in the watershed; specifically, environmental stewardship and recreation related purposes.

There will be resource tools associated with the draft documents to review and staff will be available to answer questions about the draft master plan and explain the difference between a master plan and a shoreline management plan.

A draft Environmental Assessment, which evaluates the potential impacts of each alternative, will also be available for review.

The Corps is requesting comments on the draft master plan and the draft Environmental Assessment.

The public’s input may be provided at the workshops or at any time during the public comment period. The comment period will run from Jan. 25 through Feb. 25.  Comments can be mailed to:  Greers Ferry Lake MP/EA Project Manager, Little Rock District, Programs and Project Management Division, P.O. Box 867, Little Rock, Ark., 72203; or email your comments to  An on-line fillable comment card is available at

For more information about the master plan revision process go to the following website: