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U.S. Army Corps Chief Resigns because of failure in reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan
The Vicksburg Post/AP
August 11, 2006

WASHINGTON - The chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, under fire for the pace of reconstruction in Iraq and the failure of levees in New Orleans, is retiring.

Citing personal reasons Lt. Gen. Carl A. Strock, 58, commander of the government's engineering, design and construction agency, on Thursday requested retirement "based on family and personal reasons, which the Secretary of the Army honors and supports," the Army said in a statement later Thursday.

Strock assumed the post in July 2004, overseeing an agency with a key role in reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. During his tenure as chief of engineers, Strock has made many stops in Vicksburg, visiting Corps installations here, the Mississippi Valley Division/Mississippi River Commission, the Vicksburg District and the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center.

He also managed the agency's recovery efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina last year. Critics blamed him in part for the failure of the levee system there, which led to severe flooding of the below-sea level city.

Strock admitted the Corps had overlooked a flaw in the design that caused some of the most significant breaches.

Strock's scheduled visit to Vicksburg on Aug. 28 for a townhall meeting with the Vicksburg District remains planned, said Karen Beuhler, a spokesman for the MVD/MRC Public Affairs Office.

She also said a board will be assembled within the next 30 days to consider possible nominees to be Strock's replacement. He will continue to serve until his successor is confirmed by Congress, a process that could take until the end of the year or early 2007.

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