Reshaping Security Cooperation: Army Engineers in Defense, Diplomacy and Development

  • Colonel Marc Hoffmeister

Combatant Commanders (CCDR) should maximize every opportunity to enhance joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational (JIIM) partnerships and improve strategic alliances. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) operates globally and integrates across the interagency, providing unique regional access, understanding and opportunity. Integrating USACE activities during all phases of planning synchronizes Combatant Command (CCMD) strategic effects with the planning efforts of the Department of State (DoS) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Formalizing the relationship of the aligned USACE Divisions with each CCMD enhances this process. Growing the capability of the USACE Liaison teams, improving the integration of engineer assets, and formalizing the USACE Division’s role on the CCDRs staff will enhance the strategic nexus of defense, diplomacy and development. To achieve the full potential for interagency support, the USACE and Army Engineer Regiment should pursue opportunities to refine and expand how engineer effects are integrated into security cooperation activities at all levels of planning from strategic to tactical.