News Release Manager

Corps of Engineers to stage disaster exercise this week

Published May 2, 2005
MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 2, 2005 – If a massive earthquake ever devastates the Mid-South as many experts believe is possible, communications with the outside world will be a key factor in helping this region recover from the effects of the quake.

This week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will stage an exercise in Memphis aimed at ensuring those vital communication links can be reestablished.

Corps employees and equipment from around the nation will converge at the Corps’ Ensley Engineer Yard on McKellar Lake to test and operate their Deployable Tactical Operations System (DTOS) communication system.

Rich Kaiser, Logistics Manager for the Corps’ Memphis District, said this exercise will serve an important purpose in helping the Corps prepare for an earthquake or other natural disaster in this area.

“On May 2, four Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs) will arrive at Ensley Engineer Yard from the Baltimore, Md.; Fort Worth, Texas; Nashville, Tenn. and St. Louis Corps of Engineers districts,” he said. “These vehicles are specially designed and built as mobile platforms for emergency response. They will bring with them trailer-mounted generators and satellite communication systems.”

Kaiser said the DTOS is staffed by as many as 36 emergency personnel when in operation. During an actual event additional units called Deployable Tactical Operations Centers (DTOCs) that are 18-wheel type units would deploy to serve as Command and Control units as well as Planning and Response Team office. These units allow the Regional Field Office Commander to stay in round-the-clock communications with senior officials throughout the world and to ensure all missions given to the Corps of Engineers are performed quickly and efficiently.

Equipment and personnel will begin arriving at Ensley Engineer Yard Monday, and the exercise will officially kickoff Tuesday morning (May 3).

For access to the exercise area and for interviews with the participants, contact Jim Pogue at the phone numbers above or via e-mail at
Public Affairs Office

Release no. 05-14