Former locals fighting terrorism

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 29, 2001

[11/28/01]A retired Army officer and the head of the Army Corps of Engineers, both of whom served in Vicksburg, are part of a venture to provide engineering and construction expertise for the war on terrorism.

Pat M. Stevens, now executive director of the Society of American Military Engineers, retired from the U.S. Army as a major general. When he was in Vicksburg from 1985 to 1988, he was commander of the Vicksburg District of the Army Corps of Engineers.

Lt. Gen. Robert B. Flowers, now commander of the Army Corps of Engineers, was in Vicksburg from 1997 to 1999 as commander of what is now the Mississippi Valley Division.

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletter

Receive daily headlines and obituaries

They said Dwight A. Beranek, chief of engineering and construction in Flowers’ office, proposed forming The Infrastructure Security Partnership on Sept. 21, just 10 days following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.

TISP will bring together design and construction industry groups with federal agencies to collaborate on issues related to the security of buildings and other structures such as airports and dams.

The objective set out in the organization’s charter is to use the collective technical expertise of people in the design and construction industry and government, to share information and build professional relationships to protect American citizens. They plan quarterly forums and annual conferences.

“Together we are a tremendous resource of expertise,” Stevens said. “Our society has stood for engineering in the nation’s defense for over 80 years and brings thousands of military and civilian engineers and over 2,400 corporate members to the table.”

“If architects and engineers can work together to prevent another disaster, we should not hesitate,” Flowers said.

Groups involved are the American Institute of Architects, Society of American Military Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Council of Engineering Companies, Associated General Contractors of America, Corps of Engineers, Federal Facilities Council, Federal Emergency Management Agency and Naval Facilities Engineering Command.