Editors Note: April 6, 2020 was the day the Memphis District awarded the contract to build an Alternate Care Facility (ACF) in Memphis, Tennessee. The article below was written by Cpt. Alex Burruss, who at that time deployed to the Memphis District to work as an Operations Officer and assist with ACF projects and operations. This is his account of what happened during his few months working here.
At the onset of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. USACE collaborated with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to develop a plan for the rapid expansion of COVID-19 treatment spaces. USACE assigned each of its districts an area of responsibility, and the districts integrated into the local and state response agencies within their areas of responsibility.
As local civil authorities conducted analysis and projected bed space requirements, USACE developed facility modification options for accommodating additional beds. Districts completed site assessments and provided project management support for converting existing buildings into alternate care facilities (ACFs).
In April 2020, three weeks after the President declared a national emergency, the U.S. Army Engineer School (USAES), Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, deployed more than 30 Soldiers in support of the USACE response effort; Cpt. Alex W. Burruss was deployed to the Memphis District, USACE Mississippi Valley Division, Tennessee, for more than 60 days.