Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1970
Civil Works and Military Engineering
Army engineering efforts are divided into two major functional areas: public works and military engineering. As might be expected, some activities are common to both fields, even while they are applied in a civil environment on the one hand and a military environment on the other. As they are divergent in application, these activities are treated in a functional rather than a topical manner in this chapter.
Water Resources Development
As the primary developer and manager of the nation's water resources, the Department of the Army's Corp of Engineers is at the hub of one of the most critical issues facing the country today: how to serve the needs of an increasing population with a multitude of water uses without upsetting the cycles of nature that sustain all life.
Public Works and the Environment
During the last several years, increasing public concern for environmental quality has been reflected in a series of administrative changes aimed at adapting the Army Department's water resources program to meet changing public goals. Policy was established to consider environmental impact and to make projects as attractive as possible. Libby Dam, under construction on the Kootenai River in Montana, was designed with the aid of a landscape architect to fit the natural landscape and present a pleasing appearance. Planting trees and seedlings is a general practice at projects. Other beautification measures include using trees to screen hurricane barrier dikes in urban areas, landscaping soil banks along channels, aligning channels and floodways to preserve adjacent vegetation and scenery, and clearing reservoir pool areas to avoid unsightly exposure of dead trees.
To provide a broad range of environmental expertise, experience, and perspective, the Army's Chief of Engineers established a six-member environmental advisory board in April 1970. The board meets quarterly, provides advice on specific policies, programs, and problems, and contributes to an enhanced mutual understanding between the Corps of Engineers, the general public, and the conservation community.
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 requires that, with every project recommendation, information be provided on the environmental impact, any adverse environmental effects, alternatives to the proposed action, the relationship between man's local short-term uses of the environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity, and any irreversible or irretrievable commitments of resources which would be involved. The possible alternatives, which include the status quo, and an economic, social, and environmental analysis for each are indicated.
The problem of water pollution has involved the Army's Corps of Engineers in a wide variety of water quality control activities, including abating waste disposal in navigable waterways, preventing and reducing pollution originating on Army-owned lands, providing treatment facilities for the corps' floating plant and reservoir recreation facilities, regulating streamflow for increased oxygenation and optimum water quality, developing acceptable measures for projects to comply with newly established federal and state water quality standards, and devising methods for disposal of polluted dredged material.
Sweeping new changes in Army regulations pertaining to issuing permits for work in navigable waters were announced in May 1970. The changes require that greater emphasis be given to environmental factors in evaluating permit applications, and re-emphasize that the Corps of Engineers is concerned with the impact a proposed project may have not only on navigation but also on fish and wildlife, water quality, economics, conservation, aesthetics, recreation, water supply, flood damage prevention, and ecosystems in general.
Before issuing permits for dumping in navigable waters, the Army Corps of Engineers requires complete reports on waste content. The Water Quality Improvement Act of 1970 requires certification by the state or interstate agency responsible for water quality, or by the Secretary of the Interior, to the effect that there is reasonable assurance that the permitted activity will not violate water quality standards.
The corps can take legal action against polluters under the Refuse Act of 1899, which gives the Engineers authority to ban from navigable waters all wastes except domestic sewage. When industries are negligent or outside the law, the Army can recommend that the Department of justice prosecute.
Construction and Management
Since 1936 the Army Corps of Engineers has completed over 669 flood control projects. Corps projects of all categories that con-
tribute to effective flood control have prevented well over $18 billion in damages since 1918. In addition to many major reservoir projects, seventy-eight specifically authorized construction projects were under way during fiscal year 1970 to provide flood protection to local communities. Many small projects were also constructed under general authorities.
The federal program to improve rivers and harbors for navigation, now in its 144th year, was the first water resource development activity assigned to Army Engineers. The program consists of three major elements: coastal harbors and channels, Great Lakes harbors and channels, and inland and intracoastal waterways. Each of these systems has more than justified construction and operating costs by savings in transportation costs. For example, the federal government has improved in varying degrees some 22,000 miles of inland and intracoastal waterways, of which about 19,000 are currently in commercial use. Latest available statistics indicate that foreign and domestic traffic on inland waterways increased 3.4 percent during calendar year 1968 to establish a new record of 291.4 billion ton-miles.
In addition to providing flood control and aiding navigation, a great number of the corps' projects also generate pollution-free hydroelectric power. In fiscal year 1970, 1,156,500 kilowatts of generating capacity were placed in commercial operation. At the end of the fiscal year, a total of 12,031,900 kilowatts of generating capacity was in operation at fifty-three projects located in twenty states, representing 3.8 percent of the total generating capacity of the nation.
One public use of the water resource that has skyrocketed in recent years is that of recreation. In 1969, over 254 million visits to the corps' reservoirs were recorded, making the Army the conductor of the largest recreation program in the federal government. The attendance figure is particularly significant when compared with the sixteen million visits recorded in 1950. Large multiple-purpose reservoirs, such as the Walter F. George lock and dam on the Chatahoochee River bordering Alabama and Georgia and the Dworshak Reservoir now under construction on the North Fork of the Clearwater River in Idaho, provide excellent opportunity for camping, water sports, and related activities. Typical recreation facilities include tent and trailer sites, picnic areas, boat launching ramps, swimming beaches, and sanitary facilities, as well as visitor centers and overlooks. Many of the larger areas are leased to states and counties for public park and recreation use. Most of the remaining public use areas are operated by the corps.
The fiscal year 1970 appropriation for the Army Corps of Engineers water resources program was $1.145 billion, which covers investigations and surveys, planning, construction, and the operation and maintenance of flood control, river and harbor, beach protection, and hydroelectric projects.
Construction activities were performed on 266 specifically authorized navigation, flood control, and multiple purpose projects during the fiscal year. Construction on the $1.25 billion multiple-purpose plan for the Arkansas River and its tributaries in Arkansas and Oklahoma continued on schedule. Twelve of the seventeen locks and dams are in operation, and the navigation channel is now open from the Mississippi River to Fort Smith, Arkansas. The remaining five locks and dams are scheduled to be placed in operation by the end of 1970. In addition to opening a large portion of the land-locked interior of the Southwest to year-round water transportation, the project will provide flood control, produce hydroelectric power, permit low-flow regulation, and furnish opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Dworshak Reservoir, an important project in the Columbia River Basin, is 52 percent complete. Scheduled for storage in June 1972 and for power generation in November 1972, it will also provide flood control, navigation, and recreation benefits. The reservoir will have the highest concrete gravity dam in the United States, 723 feet high. The largest steelhead trout fish hatchery in the world has been constructed as a part of the project.
Another important multiple-purpose project in the Columbia River Basin is Libby Dam on the Kootenai River in Montana, which will provide benefits from flood control, power production, and recreation. Relocations necessitated by the project include 60 miles of railway and 118 miles of roads and highways. The over-all project is over 70 percent complete.
In Tennessee, the J. Percy Priest Reservoir located in the Cumberland River Basin is near completion. The combination earth and concrete gravity structure is 2,176 feet long and 147 feet high. The power plant, an integral part of the dam, will have a capacity of 33,000 kilowatts in a single unit. The project will provide flood control benefits in the metropolitan area of Nashville.
To think only of dams, dikes, and diversions in connection with flood problems is to overlook the important fact that a flood problem is related as much to the area subject to floodingthe flood plainas it is to the flood. Over the years, efforts have been concentrated on controlling floods by structural means. Only recently has substantial attention been given to proper use of the flood
plain as a means of limiting the susceptibility of the land to flood damage. Increasing recognition of environmental attributes of the flood plainand of the larger area of which it is a partis being given in corps survey investigations and reports. This broad approach is also presented as part of the planning assistance furnished to communities under the Flood Plain Management Services Program, which has produced nearly 400 flood plain information reports on about 1,000 locations throughout the nation, and has furnished flood hazard information on several thousand sites. Nearly 700 locales have used these reports in some phase of land use and related planning. About 185 have adopted or strengthened land use regulationsan important step forward in slowing the increase in the nation's flood losses.
The major emergency activity engaged in by the Army Engineers in fiscal year 1970 was caused by Hurricane Camille, the most intense hurricane on record to enter the U.S. mainland. The toll was 128 deaths, 57 people missing, 17,914 homes destroyed or severely damaged, and $1.68 billion in damages in Mississippi and Louisiana. A broad band of rainfall caused by the hurricane resulted in flooding in Virginia, with $113 million in damages, 105 deaths, and 67 people missing.
In the stricken gulf coast area the Corps of Engineers engaged in disaster operations, closing breached levees and clearing navigation channels under statutory authorities. At the request of the corps, the Third Army ordered the 43d Engineer Battalion into the area to assist in recovery operations consisting mainly of clearing debris from roads and streets. Company D of the 818th Engineer Battalion and the 20th Construction Regiment (Navy) also assisted, all under the operational control of the Army's Mobile (Alabama) district engineer. At the request of the Office of Emergency Preparedness, the corps undertook a disaster assistance program under Public Laws 84-875 and 91-79 at a total estimated cost of $55 million. The corps also restored damaged flood control works and federally authorized shore protection structures and navigation facilities at an estimated cost of $12.3 million.
During the fiscal year the Army continued its activities as a member of the Federal Water Resources Council, with the Corps of Engineers participating directly in the activities of the Council of Representatives and the various supporting technical committees and work groups.
The Army continued its participation in the council's nationwide program of comprehensive river basin water resources development studies. The Corps of Engineers furnished members of the interagency co-ordinating committees and commissions established by the council to co-ordinate federal, state, and local planning for comprehensive river basin development. The river basin program consists of twenty framework studies and sixteen detailed type-2 studies; seven more of the latter are under consideration. One framework study has been completed and ten are in progress. Five type-2 studies have been completed by field-level co-ordinating committees. The reports submitted by the committees contain recommendations for water and related land resource development to meet the needs of both the near and distant future.
A necessity in careful resource planning is the involvement of the public in the planning process. To this end, a variety of communication techniques were tried in the Susquehanna Comprehensive River Basin Survey, nearing completion as the year closed. In addition, this study marked the first time in any federal water resources study that environmental quality was treated as one of the primary objectives for resource development and management. The plan will reflect, to the maximum degree feasible, publicly expressed preferences for environmental restoration and protection. The Federal Water Resources Council is considering adopting similar evaluation principles for water resources projects on a governmentwide basis.
As a result of the governmentwide planning, programing, and budgeting system (PPB) , the Army Corps of Engineers has adopted a regional approach to multiyear investment planning. Nineteen program categories have been established for PPB purposes, consistent with regional boundaries defined by the Federal Water Resources Council. The regions are then broken down into river basins131 basins in all. For each river basin, needs are then projected for urban flood damage reduction, rural flood damage reduction, water supply, commercial fisheries, recreation, navigation, and hydroelectric power.
The character and intensity of water resources problems and opportunities vary significantly among the major regions of the nation. Consequently, resource development needs and opportunities must be measured not only in physical terms but also in relation to the region's level of economic development and its concerns for environmental restoration or preservation.
During fiscal year 1970, primary attention was focused on refining estimates of need and on improving methods of program devel-
opment to reveal more clearly the impact of alternative objectives. Through analysis of regional needs and objectives, a five-year water resources investment program, responsive to varying regional requirements, was submitted for consideration by the administration as a basis for selecting new construction and planning starts, and for allocating the funds available for civil works among the nineteen major national regions. Work continued on improving the PPB data base and in determining priorities for surveys to insure the timely response of civil works activities to emerging needs.
Research and Development
Research and development to support the civil works mission, funded at about $10.5 million in fiscal year 1970, continued to advance Corps of Engineers capabilities in conservation, utilization, and enhancement of the nation's inland and coastal water and related land resources.
Engineering research continued on soils, concrete, and other construction materials; on improvements in design techniques to assure more economical construction of locks and dams, with longer service life and lower operation and maintenance costs, and better able to resist earthquake forces; and on more efficient construction procedures. Continuing efforts were aimed at improving the analysis of hydrologic data, with special emphasis on water supply, water quality control, navigation improvement, and shore protection on the Great Lakes. The corps, as the designated U.S. lead agency for the joint U.S.-Canada International Field Year on the Great Lakes, a major component of the International Hydrological Decade, carried out the preparatory planning. Work continued on development of techniques for protecting coastal shores and beaches from erosive forces of waves and currents, and for minimizing shoaling of coastal harbors and channels. A start was also made on identifying the causes and establishing techniques for restoring or maintaining the usefulness and values of coastal inlets. Research was undertaken on developing practical methods for minimizing the annual losses resulting from ice jams on large northern rivers.
Fiscal year 1970 was the first full year of operation of the Institute for Water Resources. Activities of the institute principally concern research and study in three main areas: improving the scope, depth, and validity of economic evaluation; giving fuller consideration to social and environmental values and effects in the formulation of proposed water resources programs and projects; and improving the total planning process.
Research on preservation, enhancement, and utilization of en-
vironment received increased emphasis. Work continued on improving the assessment of water-oriented recreation demands, on determining the effects on biota of variations in reservoir releases and impoundments, and on formulating aesthetic criteria in the planning of water resource developments. Preliminary studies were made in identifying the effects of dredging, construction, and related developmental activities on ecological balance and environmental values.
Nuclear explosives appear to hold great promise for moving massive quantities of earth and rock economically. The knowledge of channel cutting and harbor construction by explosive means was advanced with the successful completion of a chemical explosives experiment, Project Pre-Gondola III, Phase III, by the U.S. Army Engineer Nuclear Cratering Group during the second quarter of the fiscal year. A channel between the reservoir at Fort Peck, Montana, and an existing row crater was cut on October 6, 1969, with the simultaneous detonation of five charges of aluminized ammonium nitrate slurry totaling seventy tons. The resulting navigable channel varies in width from 135 to 200 feet at water level and is about 35 feet deep.
Another experiment using chemical explosives was carried out at Kawaihae Bay, Hawaii, where a small boat harbor entrance channel and berthing basin was excavated in a series of detonations during the period from April 23 to May 8, 1970. Although the experiment demonstrated the value of chemical explosive excavation in creating a harbor, all charges did not detonate properly, and a small amount of remedial excavation work still remains to be done.
As a result of guidance by the Bureau of the Budget, the Nuclear Cratering Group will become a subordinate agency of the Waterways Experiment Station, the Corps of Engineers' largest research and development laboratory. The Nuclear Cratering Group will remain located at the Atomic Energy Commission's Lawrence Radiation Laboratory in Livermore, California, where it will emphasize its chemical explosive excavation program.
Military Activities and the Environment
The enactment of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 brought into focus the increasing national concern for the quality of the general environment and gave impetus to a variety of programs, in the military as well as the civil area, designed to protect both air and water from pollution. By Executive Order 11507 of February 5, 1970, President Nixon directed that the fed-
eral government would provide leadership in the nationwide effort to protect and improve the quality of the atmosphere and of water resources. Attention was to be given to these matters in the design, operation, and maintenance of federal facilitiesbuildings, installations, structures, public works, equipment, aircraft, vessels, and other vehicles and property owned by the government or constructed or manufactured for lease to the government.
As a result of prior programing, the Army in fiscal year 1970 funded $19 million for air and water pollution projects in the military construction, procurement, and operation and maintenance sections of the budget. About $40 million and $85 million respectively will be requested for these purposes in the budgets for fiscal years 1971 and 1972.
In fiscal year 1970, $100,000 was also allocated to develop policy and plans and begin operation of a program of limited research and testing of fuels, additives, and emission devices. Funding requests will be enlarged to a total of about $9.6 million for the five coming years. Investigations will cover equipment powered by gasoline, diesel, and turbine engines and their fuels. The Army has co-ordinated its efforts with those of other federal agencies, and especially with the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Army plans and programs are compatible with those developed by the National Air Pollution Control Administration. An Army representative will sit as a member of an advisory committee on advanced power systems that is assisting the Council on Environmental Quality.
In addition to the close attention paid by the Army to the preservation of the natural environment through the water resources development program described above, planning for the proper use of natural resources on Army installations was emphasized. Land, forest, and wildlife management plans include the development of recreation projects, the preservation of wildlife, and retention or restoration of natural beauty with landscape plantings and other vegetative cover. The Army-wide conservation program is applied over approximately thirteen million acres, of which 335,000 are improved groundsareas that receive intensive turf grass management for dust and erosion control to provide lawns for buildup areas and turf for drill fields, aircraft landing fields, and athletic facilities. Also in the past year, improvements were made in the technical direction given to the forest management program, and active fish and wildlife programs were operated at 110 Army installations under co-operative plans with the Department of the Interior and state fish and game agencies.
National attention to air and water pollution control was reflected in activities related to existing Army facilities. Congress appropriated $6.4 million for construction of air pollution control projects and $6.6 million for construction of water pollution control projects. Further progress was also made in actions to eliminate open burning of refuse, procure fuels with lower sulfur content, and replace coal-fired heating plants with gas or oil units. Corrective actions for presently known sources of pollution will cost about $160 million.
Military Engineering Research and Development
Research in military engineering methods and techniques for support of the Army in the field was broadened and increased during the past year. As indicated previously, new designs for aircraft revetments were developed and disseminated to engineer units in the field. Development of shelters providing overhead cover was also initiated. A thin-walled metal arch structure having a clear span opening of eighty feet is a pilot item in the program. This structure is designed to support a two-foot-thick layer of concrete on top of the shell, which will provide protection from direct hits of most artillery, mortar, or rocket projectiles. The structure is large enough to shelter any Army aircraft.
Research has also continued on development of methods of locating covered sources of aggregates (gravels) in delta areas through analysis of various types of aerial photography. Excellent progress has been made to date in special construction materials maps which are being used to aid the LOC highway program in Vietnam.
In conjunction with the Air Force and Federal Aviation Administration, the Army Chief of Engineers is developing permanent design and evaluation criteria applicable to the Air Force C-5A and other multiwheeled and very heavy aircraft. Development of criteria for expedient pavement-surfacing of airfields for such aircraft in theaters of operations was also initiated. Initial test reports indicate present design theories and practices are adequate for portland cement concrete pavements and slightly conservative for asphaltic concrete pavements.
At the request of the U.S. Army, Vietnam, Engineer, a study was conducted to determine critical standoff distances for various types of bridge piers with regard to a variety of explosive charges. This study has led to the initiation of new research to develop the methodology for blowing the deck off a bridge by means of a water column produced by an explosion. Methods of protecting against this form of bridge demolition are also being investigated.
A pre-engineered collapsible and reusable battle area bunker system which can be emplaced by a squad of men in under eight hours was being developed. The system can be put into position without the use of special tools.
Investigation of a new method of constructing a roadbed without the use of gravel was initiated in fiscal year 1969 and is scheduled for completion in fiscal year 1971. The technique consists of encapsulating common soil in a durable, trafficable, watertight membrane. One of the primary features in the system is the ability to construct the roadbed over soft soils. Research presently indicates that a twelve-inch layer of the encased material, including the wearing surface, can be emplaced at a rate of approximately 300 feet an hour.
Research and testing was also continued in nuclear construction engineering under the Corps of Engineers portion of the Army's Nuclear Weapons Effects Research and Test program. Reports and technical papers on nuclear cratering, and on underground and underwater effects of nuclear weapons, were published. Data contained in these reports will be useful in design and construction of ballistic missiles and related defensive systems. A five-year, long-range, nuclear weapons effects research plan, which integrates the nuclear effects research required by numerous U.S. agencies, was developed and published by the Army.
Improvement and modernization of Army bridging capabilities continued. A cable-reinforcing kit for standard Bailey panel bridges was developed. This kit will increase allowable bridge loads by prestressing the Bailey bridge components. Development and testing for a mobile amphibious bridge-ferry (MAB) was completed. The bridge has been adopted and is being procured for troop use in Europe. The MAB consists of self-propelled amphibious transporters with bridge roadway superstructures which can be easily linked together to form a continuous bridge or rafts of various sizes and load capabilities. The mobility of these units and their speed of assembly will permit rapid assault crossings in support of military operations.
Development of a rapidly erectable floating bridge known as the ribbon bridge has proceeded. This bridge is designed to be erected in one-fifth the time of current comparable U.S. float bridging. Delivery of prototypes for testing is scheduled for December 1970. Two of the recently developed British medium girder fixed bridges are also being procured for confirmatory testing. These bridges, scheduled for delivery in mid-fiscal 1971, are made of high strength aluminum alloy components that can be assembled and
installed rapidly, without heavy erection equipment, to support class-60 loads on spans up to 100 feet.
A new organizational concept for real property maintenance activities (RPMA) support in oversea theaters of operation was developed as a result of recommendations made by the Lincoln Board. The concept emphasized centralization and stovepiping of RPMA units in order to provide the technical supervision, co-ordination, and control by the theater Army staff engineer to insure more efficient use of available RPMA resources. Adoption of the concept will require the transfer of RPMA responsibility from theater Army service support elements to the theater Army engineer command; development of three new Army engineer organizations to provide an adequate organization capability for RPMA support; and modernization of the current service team series for augmentation of basic engineer units including the three new organizations. These new organizations, the facilities engineering team, group, and district, will serve as the framework upon which RPMA support is formed, and will be assigned to the Engineer command.
The facilities engineering team will serve as the basic mobile element for initial and immediate RPMA support for division-size forces in a theater of operations. It will deploy with a division-size force with equipment and any specialized tools needed to erect, operate, and maintain new or unique facilities. The team structure will contain a maximum number of operating craftsmen and a minimum essential amount of supervisory, management, and planning personnel.
The team will normally be replaced by the phased deployment of a facilities engineering group. The group will have a complete staff to plan, program, schedule, and account for the complete range of facilities engineering activities of the installation or area concerned, and a full complement of operating craftsmen to execute RPMA tasks.
In a large theater of operations, a facilities engineering district will provide the intermediate level of command, management, and administration necessary to control two to four facilities engineering groups. It will have only those technical craftsmen necessary for the proper planning, supervision, inspection, and accounting of RPMA tasks. Modern, sophisticated management systems will be employed to insure full utilization of RPMA resources, immediate response to emergencies, accounting for real property and funds, and long-range requirements planning and budget, materiel, and manpower programing.
Mapping and Geodesy
The U.S. Army Topographic Command (USATOPOCOM) completed three major projects which yielded large quantities of data for the precise determination of distances and directions, and determination of specific locations on the surface of the earth. Two of these programs, sequential collation of ranges (SECOR) and ballistic camera #4 (BC-4) employed satellites which were tracked electronically (SECOR) and optically (BC-4). The third program, designated as twelfth parallel survey, employed optical and electronic surveying instruments operated by ground survey parties. Observations from these projects are processed by computer and integrated into the topographic data bank. These data are used to increase man's knowledge of the size and shape of the earth, produce more accurate maps, and support national environmental and space programs. An associated program for measuring the variance of gravity of the earth's surface continued, and a follow-on program using the Doppler system for tracking electronic satellites was initiated to reinforce and refine previously accumulated topographic data.
USATOPOCOM also closed out operations of the 64th Engineer Battalion on the continents of Asia and Africa. Among the accomplishments of the battalion were completion of a 1200-mile-long arc of first-order triangulation in Libya, which closed the loop of geodetic survey around the Mediterranean Sea; establishment of survey control (latitude, longitude, and elevation) for approximately 1,250,000 square miles in Libya, Iran, Ethiopia, and Liberia as the first step in the new mapping of these countries; and collection of essential information concerning names of towns, rivers, and mountains, locations of boundaries, types of roads and bridges, and like data for approximately 1,000,000 square miles in these countries.
A third-generation computer (UNIVAC-1108) was delivered to the USATOPOCOM in June 1970. When acceptance tests are completed this computer will provide increased data processing capability; less efficient equipment will be phased out and costly contracts for computer support will be discontinued.
During fiscal year 1970 USATOPOCOM began to support the Army's new surveillance, target acquisition, and night observation (STANO) program and the field phase of that program, Project MASSTER. Topographic support is divided into two categories. The first involves the provision of topographic products and services necessary to carry out the STANO tests. The second is the development of techniques to determine soil conditions for effective
location and emplacement of unattended ground sensors. Support is also being provided for the 524th Engineer Topographic Company (Corps) at Fort Hood, Texas, for the survey of test areas and the development of the unit's photogrammetric capabilities.
The U.S. Army Topographic Command has active co-operative agreements with the mapping agencies of more than fifty countries. In conjunction with these agencies the command has continued to provide a wide variety of topographic products to U.S. and Free World forces. It has also furnished assistance in the form of maps and topographic information to civilian agencies engaged in disaster relief operations, such as those following Hurricane Camille. The command also participated in the settlement of the Chile-Argentina boundary dispute by providing aerial photography, maps, and technical consultant services to the boundary commission.
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Last updated 9 August 2004