By Joseph Bonfiglio
FORT SHAFTER, HI -- Lt. Col. Douglas B. Guttormsen, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Honolulu District Commander, recently attended the Association of Pacific Ports (APP) winter conference at Ko'olina on Oahu and presented a briefing called, the "U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Your Partner in the Pacific."
Guttormsen updated the Association with the latest information on the Corps' Civil Works, Navigation and Regulatory missions in the Pacific.
The audience included about 40 directors and leaders from ports across the Pacific including,
Hawaii, the West Coast and most of the island communities which interact with the Corps.
Guttormsen's briefing focused on the Corps' unique roles and authorities in the region and how
port leaders can best partner with the Corps by planning far ahead due to the long range nature
of Civil Works and Regulatory projects.
"Outreach and cooperative planning with the public and various stakeholders, including the
Corps, is the key to ensuring a successful project," Guttormsen said. According to Guttormsen,
the Corps and the Pacific Ports have a common purpose. "There's a lot of synergy in the services
that each of our organizations provide," he said.
According to APP Director, David Hunt, the Corps' unique expertise and experience in
infrastructure investments were invaluable for the conference attendees.
"We come to Hawaii because of its central location and the fact that it depends on maritime
commerce. Hawaii and other Pacific Islands cannot function without maritime commerce and
none of these ports function without the assistance of the Corps of Engineers," Hunt said.
"I thought that LTC Guttormsen had it right this morning when he talked about the partnership
between the Corps and ports because it is so critical," he said.
"Unless there is a regular dredging and regular maintenance and jetties are maintained, there
won't be effective access in and out of ports and without that, nothing in Hawaii or the whole
Pacific region functions," Hunt said.
The main purpose of the Pacific Ports Association is to bring together leaders from ports and
businesses from across the Pacific to build partnerships, share best practices and learn what is
working and what is not as ports throughout the Pacific face similar challenges in different
The conference was attended by about two-thirds port commissioners/directors and about
one-third port industry business leaders from across the region.