Brooklyn Boro

New head of Army Corps of Engineers will oversee waterways around New York

Federal oversight plays primary waterfront watchdog role

June 25, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Col. Matthew Luzzatto on Thursday assumed command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, during a change of command ceremony held at the District’s Caven Point Marine Terminal in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Col. Luzzatto succeeds Col. Thomas Asbery, who commanded the New York District for the past three years.

Col. Asbery will continue his military career with a follow-on assignment as the Assistant Chief of Staff Engineer to the Commanding General U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. Asbery will be responsible for plans, programs, synchronization of combat, general, and geospatial engineer operations to assure mobility, enhance protection, enable force projection and logistics, and develop partner capacity/infrastructure for multi-domain operations, in support of a stable and secure USARPAC area of responsibility.

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Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Milhorn, commander of the Army Corps’ North Atlantic Division, presided over the event and thanked Col. Asbery for his leadership, while welcoming Col. Luzzatto to the North Atlantic Division team.

Col. Asbery’s tenure as District commander included many accomplishments, including the District’s recent response to the COVID-19 health crisis.  He oversaw the construction of four alternate care facilities meeting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s request to convert existing facilities to increase hospital capacity to help manage the crisis, which saw New York District execute a $350 million FEMA mission assignment in four weeks.

The change of command ceremony included the traditional passing of the colors that symbolizes a shift in command and loyalty within the command from one leader to another.

During his military career, Col. Luzzatto has held a variety of command and staff assignments, including serving as Executive Officer to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. Luzzatto is not new to the Corps. He previously commanded the Corps’ Charleston District and also served with the Corps’ Honolulu District.

As commander of the New York District, Col. Luzzatto is now responsible for the Corps’ water resource development, navigation, and regulatory activities in northeastern New Jersey, eastern and south-central New York State, including the New York Harbor and Long Island, as well as areas of Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. New York District is responsible for the design and construction at U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force installations in New Jersey, New York, and Greenland.

Col. Luzzatto hails from Milton, Vt. and received his commission as an Engineer Officer from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.

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