On Thursday, May 19, 2016, NWRA Executive Director Bob Johnson and Legislative Specialist Valentina J. Valenta attended the Change of Command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from Lieutenant General Thomas P. Bostick to Lieutenant General Todd T. Semonite at Fort Myer, Virginia. The Change of Command and Retirement in honor of Lieutenant General Bostick was hosted by General Mark A. Milley, 39th Chief of Staff of the Army. Lieutenant General Semonite became the 54th Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the USACE.
As the Chief of Engineers, an Army Staff Principal, [Lieutenant General Semonite will] advise the Army on engineering matters and serves as the Army's topographer and the proponent for real estate and other related engineering programs. As the USACE Commanding General, he is responsible for more than 32,000 Civilian employees and 700 Military personnel who provide project management, construction support and engineering expertise in more than 110 countries around the world.
Following the Change of Command and presentation of awards and retirement, Bob Johnson and Valentina Valenta met with Lieutenant General Semonite and his wife Connie in the receiving line and wished them well in their new roles with the Army, and expressed enthusiasm about working on the nation's most important water resources issues in the coming months.
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Mr. Stockton and Mr. Johnson had a long and successful history of working together to solve our nation's water resources challenges. Mr. Johnson noted that Mr. Stockton always put service to our nation and the people first. When the gate at Folsom Dam, California, failed in 1995, (a project built by the Army Corps and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation), Mr. Stockton and Mr. Johnson would work together on the Folsom Dam Auxiliary Spillway project - an approximately $900-million cooperative effort between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, that will help the Sacramento region achieve 200-year level of protection, meaning there will be a one-in-200 chance for flooding in any given year. "The project will construct an auxiliary spillway to compliment the functions of the main Folsom Dam. It will allow water to be released earlier and more safely from Folsom Lake during a high water event."
Mr. Johnson wishes Mr. Stockton well in his retirement and thanks him for his years of dedication to making our nation's water resources infrastructure the best in the world.
On behalf of Mr. Bob Johnson, Executive Vice President of the National Water Resources Association, Ms. Valentina Valenta attended the retirement ceremony of Mr. Steven Stockton, Director of Civil Works, HQ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, on August 5, 2016, in Washington, D.C. This special event honored Mr. Stockton's 45 plus years of federal Service, 41 years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.