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Posted 5/15/2012

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By Karla Marshall
Afghanistan Engineer District-South

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan  — Keeping people safe is U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Afghanistan Engineer District-South Commander, Air Force Col. Benjamin Wham's number one priority. So when new employee, Jeffrey Ice won the New York Federal Executive Board Emergency Preparedness and Employee Safety Award, May 11, it was cause for celebration.

"Every time my safety specialists visit project sites, they teach USACE safety standards to contractors," said Wham. "Jeff is one of those guys who inspects construction sites, meets with the site safety managers and reinforces those precautions that make construction safer."

One of four safety specialists, Ice, who deployed from USACE New York District in April, won the Federal Executive Board award for his work while assigned to his home district.

"Last year, the New York district was tasked to build critical public facilities in Joplin, Mo., following the tornado devastation there," he said. "I spent 63 days in Joplin helping with the construction of two temporary fire houses and eight temporary schools. Because of the work we did, school opened on time which helped the children return to a somewhat normal schedule."

Ice was the only New York Federal Executive Board award recipient for the 2011 Emergency Preparedness and Employee Safety Award. "He also won the New York District's Safety Employee of the Year award for 2011," said Bruce Barrett, his supervisor in Afghanistan.

"I worked with Jeff during the Joplin (Mo.) recovery effort and was extremely impressed with his performance, so I encouraged him to volunteer for work in Afghanistan," said Barrett. "He's the first employee I've ever had in a safety office who won a Federal Executive Board award. It reflects his knowledge and performance each day as a safety professional."