The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District Project Management Chief Tom LaVean is deploying to Afghanistan on October 30, 2016. This is Mr. LaVean’s third civilian deployment since starting with the Corps of Engineers in 2009. His first deployment was a 16-month stint in Basra, Iraq as a resident engineer and his second deployment was for 9 months in Kabul, Afghanistan as a program manager for a variety of projects with the Afghanistan Police.
Some civilian positions have been offered as “deployable”, in which civilian employees agree to be deployed as a condition of their employment. LaVean’s first position as a Project Engineer with the Corps of Engineers was deployable and therefore he was required to complete an assignment in either Iraq or Afghanistan. He was later promoted as a project manager and his most recent promotion was to serve as the Chief of Project Management. For the second and now the third deployments, both in Afghanistan, he volunteered to go in order to hone his skills and to glean unique and new experiences offered from traveling abroad.
“Overseas deployments are great developmental opportunities and learning experiences. I estimate that the experience one gains in Afghanistan is equal to roughly 10 years’ experience at home. This is primarily due to the large amount of projects that you work on which are in a variety of phases of either development or completion,” said LaVean.
The application process for voluntary civilian deployment opportunities is the same that an individual would follow to pursue other federal jobs. Prospective candidates search for opportunities on USAJobs.com and complete an online application. “I have extensive experience in the area of engineering and project management, but this opportunity will give me a broader base of experience in program management in a supervisory role,” said LaVean.
The Corps of Engineers mission in the Afghanistan supports the broader objectives of the United States Army to provide Capacity Development for the Afghanistan Government. Mr. LaVean will be on a team working to help make the Afghan government more viable by assisting with security enhancement and leading infrastructure improvement projects. Individuals interested in developmental deployment opportunities may visit www.usajobs.com to view current postings.