ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA. The Commander of the Nigerian Army Engineers, Major General Funso Owonibi; Chief of Staff of the Nigerian Army Engineers, Brigadier General Chukwuemeka Okonkwo, and other members of the Nigerian Army Engineers (NAE) visited the Institute for Water Resources on December 12, 2013.
The visit was part of a larger tour of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) navigation and dredging operations that included USACE New York District, Baltimore District, and Headquarters.
In addition to the NAE mission to “live”, “move”, and “fight” in support of the Nigerian Army, the NAE is establishing a Dredging Command to address persistent issues of flooding and navigation on the Niger River.
The NAE has a history of involvement in a wide range of combat and construction engineering missions to include military construction projects, facility maintenance, clearance of oil pipeline right-of-ways, improvised explosive device (IED) detection, and route clearance, but dredging is a new NAE endeavor.
Dredging Command will consist of Light, Medium, and Heavy Dredging Units. Commanders of the Heavy and Medium Dredging units, Colonel Tonye Numbere and Colonel Oj Ariyo, participated in the visit.
The purpose of the IWR sessions was to inform the NAE delegation of USACE and IWR capabilities. IWR Director Bob Pietrowsky provided an overview of the organization; Chris Dunn, Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC) Director, discussed the capabilities of HEC software and software training opportunities; Mark Pointon, IWR Navigation Business Line Manager, and Tom Verna, Senior Policy Advisor for Dredging and Navigation, described the USACE dredging program; and Hal Cardwell, Conflict Resolution and Public Participation Center of Expertise (CPCX) Director, presented on conflict resolution and public participation.