FORT SHAFTER, HI — Lt. Col. Thomas D. Asbery became the 68th commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Honolulu District in a military ceremony held July 18, 2012 on Fort Shafter, Hawaii's Palm Circle parade field.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pacific Ocean Division Commander Brig. Gen. Richard L. Stevens hosted the ceremony during which outgoing commander Lt. Col. Douglas B. Guttormsen and incoming commander Asbery passed the ceremonial flag symbolizing the official change of command. During the ceremonies, Asbery and his family were presented with fresh flower leis, a Hawaiian symbol of welcome, with the Guttormsen family also receiving leis as a tribute to their service.
For his outstanding work and contributions to the Honolulu District, Guttormsen received the Meritorious Service Medal. Guttormsen leaves to become the division engineer for the 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
During his tenure, Guttormsen met the challenge of successfully leading the District in executing all mission requirements: military construction (MILCON), civil works, international and interagency services, real estate, regulatory, environmental services and emergency management support. For fiscal years 2010 and 2011, the District's contracting team awarded more than $816.8 million in contracts in Hawaii and the Pacific Region.
Guttormsen led a highly motivated staff in support of U.S. Army military construction, transformation and Army initiatives on Hawaii Army posts that included barracks renewal on Wheeler Army Air Field, the renovation of several historic quadrangles (Quads) on Schofield Barracks, construction of new Army training facilities at Pohakuloa Training Area on the island of Hawaii. The U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii, Corps of Engineers and several contractors also joined forces under Guttormsen's tenure to start and finish construction of two state-of-the-art, energy-efficient barracks at Schofield Barracks and begin the construction of two others. The District also completed work on Schofield's new School Age Center for children ages 6 to 10, renovation of Schofield's 98 year-old Soldiers Chapel and began construction of a new Warrior in Transition barracks and complex in 2012. In March 2012, the District also awarded a contract for construction of a Child Development Center at Fort Shafter.
During Guttormsen's tour, the District also awarded the design and initial phase contracts for the future headquarters of the U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) at Fort Shafter, unveiled a new Army Reserve Center at Fort Shafter Flats and finished renovation and restoration of Fort Shafter's historic Aloha Welcome Center. Ground breaking for the USARPAC facility was done in April 2012.
Under Guttormsen's leadership, the District continued military construction support for the Air Force's C-17 beddown initiative which included the completion of a parking ramp, a strategic parking ramp, rehabilitation of Hangar 2, and a new, state-of-the-art hydrant fueling system at Hickam Air Force Base to service C-17 and other aircraft. The District also executed construction contracts in support of Hickam's F-22 program.
In addition, through Guttormsen's initiative, the District aggressively trained and in May 2012 deployed the 565th Engineering Detachment Forward Engineer Support Team-Advance (FEST-A) in support of Overseas Contingency Operations in Afghanistan.
Asbery will command an organization of about 330 engineers, scientists and support staff serving the Pacific Region, including Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Kwajalein.
Honolulu District is responsible for major military design and construction, civil works, international and interagency support, real estate services to the Army and Air Force, regulatory work, environmental services and emergency management. The District's current active program is valued at about $2 billion.
Asbery most recently served as the Executive Officer to the Commanding General, Human Resources Command, Fort Knox, Kentucky. Asbery deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also deployed to the Mississippi Coast in support of Hurricane Katrina disaster relief efforts in 2005 as a Forward Engineer Support Team leader.