With a district in Afghanistan as well as projects in Iraq and other contingency locations around the Middle East, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is fortunate enough to have a robust cadre of civilian volunteers eager to answer their nation’s call. When they do, they look to the Transatlantic Middle East District’s USACE Contingency Deployment Center (UCDC), USACE’s conduit for support to the warfighter, to ensure a smooth deployment from start to finish.
The UCDC was designed to alleviate the hiring burden from downrange as well as expedite the administrative actions that go along with processing someone for deployment. The UCDC’s contingency hiring model has been determined to be the enterprise model for contingency hiring and can be used to staff any contingency worldwide, saving time and money. It adds an expertise not found anywhere else in USACE.
“We recruit, hire, and execute all personnel actions for anyone deploying to the Transatlantic Division’s area of responsibility,” said Kirsten Smyth, UCDC acting chief.
The UCDC is divided into three sections: the Deployment Coordination Administrators Cell (DCAC), which works to recruit civilians globally from within USACE; the USACE Contingency Recruitment Cell, which ensures commanders in the field have the right personnel to meet mission requirements; and the Administrative Personnel Processing Office, responsible for ensuring those who deploy meet all requirements and are administratively taken care of from start to finish.
The DCAC holds roadshows monthly at different districts and answers innumerable questions and requests for information for people and their commands on Overseas Contingency Operations deployments.
The UCRC has four subject matter experts to ensure they are able to get the right people into the right positions.
“Between the four of us, there’s a wealth of project management and engineering knowledge to ensure we’re getting the best people in place to support mission requirements. Most of our hires come from within USACE, but we also have the ability to hire from any federal agency as well as use certain types of direct hires,” Smyth said.
Once the UCRC has screened applicants, helped management select the right person for the job, and processed all of the hiring actions, the APPO takes over to ensure they can get that person in place as quickly as possible.
“There are multiple things we’ve got to do to get someone ready for a deployment,” said Keith Frye, APPO chief. “There are medical clearances, pre-deployment training at Fort Bliss, making sure people have any equipment they need, and sorting out their passports and visas or country clearances. These are people who have stepped up to serve their country, so we want to make sure the administrative process doesn’t create any unnecessary burdens.”
According to Smyth, the UCDC successfully deploys more than 200 people a year and executes over 1,000 personnel actions relating to deployments, including extensions, promotions and curtailments.
Those interested in learning about current USACE deployment opportunities can visit the Transatlantic Division’s Deployment page as well as email their resume directly to: