News Releases

Local Corps unit sets change of command

Published June 8, 2015
Caldwell takes command of New York Engineer District

NEW YORK – Colonel David A. Caldwell assumed command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, during a formal change of command ceremony on June 8, 2015. Colonel Paul E. Owen, who has commanded the district since September 2012, relinquished command during the event at Castle Williams on Governors Island. Colonel Caldwell was commissioned into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1992 upon graduating from Wheaton College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology.

Colonel Caldwell also earned a Master of Science degree in Management (with a Project Management emphasis) from Thomas Edison State College. Colonel Caldwell is a graduate of the Engineer Officer’s Basic and Advanced Courses; the Mapping, Charting, and Geodesy Officer Course; the Combined Arms Services Staff School; and the Command and General Staff College. He is also Ranger, Airborne, and Air Assault qualified.

Colonel Caldwell’s previous assignments include serving as the Engineer Office Branch Chief at the U.S. Army Human Resources Command, Commander and District Engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District, Future Operations Chief for the U.S. Army Asymmetric Warfare Group; Battalion Executive Officer, 1st Cavalry Division Special Troops Battalion including a deployment to Baghdad, Iraq; Battle Command Training Program Observer/Trainer; Observer/Controller at the National Training Center; Commander, B Company, 16th Engineer Battalion including a deployment to Kosovo; V Corps Topographic and Construction Officer; Assistant Brigade Engineer for the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division; and Adjutant, Company Executive Officer, Line Platoon Leader, and Assault and Obstacle Platoon Leader in the 1st Engineer Battalion.

Colonel Caldwell’s awards and decorations include: the Bronze Star Medal, seven Meritorious Service Medals; Army Commendation Medal; three Army Achievement Medals; National Defense Service Ribbon (on Bronze Star); Kosovo Campaign Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal; two Overseas Service Ribbons; and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Service Medal (Kosovo).

Colonel Owen came to New York District in September 2012 after serving as a Senior Service College Fellow in the Secretary of Defense Corporate Fellow Program with duties at Cisco Systems San Jose, CA. A 1990 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, he holds a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. He earned a Master of Science in Engineering Management from Missouri University of Science and Technology and a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a licensed Professional Engineer (Civil) in the state of Missouri. Colonel Owen will be taking over as commander of the Army Corps of Engineers’ Transatlantic Afghanistan District.

As commander of New York District, Colonel Owen led a staff of more than 575 military and civilian personnel in executing a complex and diverse program including military construction, civil works projects and international and interagency support. He was responsible for overseeing the District’s emergency response and recovery efforts as a result of Hurricane Sandy, including unwatering/temp power for critical public infrastructure and debris management across New York City’s five boroughs and Long Island. Colonel Owen also oversaw the District’s Sandy coastal recovery program which consists of more than 60 projects and more than $3B in appropriated funds for coastal restoration and improvement.

The first restoration effort involved the District’s Flood Control and Coastal Emergency Program (FCCE) which was charged by congress with rebuilding many of the beaches impacted by Hurricane Sandy. In total, New York District placed roughly 16M cubic yards on sand onto impacted beaches restoring many to conditions that hadn’t been seen in decades and improving coastal storm risk reduction measures for the communities they protect.

Col. Owen also oversaw the District’s ongoing project to deepen the main channels of the Port of New York and New Jersey, a vital economic engine for the region, and robust military construction programs at the U.S. Military Academy, Fort Drum, Watertown, N.Y., Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., and McGuire Air Force Base, Burlington, N.J.

New York District is responsible for the Corps’ water resources development, navigation and regulatory activities in northeastern New Jersey, eastern and south-central New York State, and parts of Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut. The district is also responsible for design and construction at Army and Air Force installations in New Jersey, New York, and Greenland. The District also provides support following disasters and for the Global War on Terror. 


Ken Wells

Release no. 15-006