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Corps of Engineers Welcomes New Commander

Lt. Col. Damon A. Delarosa

Posted on July 14, 2016

By Andy Porter,

The new head of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District was welcomed to town Friday.

In a change-of-command ceremony, Lt. Col. Damon A. Delarosa took over from Lt. Col. Timothy Vail, whose new assignment takes him to the Assistant Secretary of the Army’s office in Washington, D.C.

Brig. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon, commander of the Corps’ Northwestern Division, presided at the change of command ceremony held at the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center.

Delarosa’s most recent assignment was as counter-improvised explosive device staff officer at the NATO Joint Forces Command in Brunssum, The Netherlands.

He was commissioned into the Corps of Engineers in 1998 after graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served at numerous assignments in the United States and abroad.

In an interview before Friday’s ceremony, Delarosa said he and his wife, Alina, have found this area to be “a hidden secret” as a place to live. Spellmon voiced almost the same thought later that morning, saying the town “is one of the best-kept secrets as being one of the best places to serve.”

Delarosa said his new assignment is quite a change from his previous posting with NATO, but as an Army engineer “you get used to always having to do something different.”

However, he said one similarity is the need to cooperate with many different entities.

“In NATO, we had to work with 28 nations,” he said. “It’s a similar challenge here,” involving federal, state, local and tribal governments, environmental groups and others.

Established in 1948, the Walla Walla District encompasses more than 107,000 square miles in parts of six states — Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada and Utah and includes multiple dam and flood-control projects.

Spellmon said Delarosa will be taking over program that employs nearly 900 personnel “who perform some of the most important field work in the U.S. Army.”

“This is an organization where the rubber meets the road,” Spellmon said.


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