News Release Manager

Corps’ LA District to change commanders at July 19 ceremony

Published July 16, 2018


LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District will conduct a change of command ceremony at 10:30 a.m. July 19 at the Community Center, Fort MacArthur, in San Pedro.

Col. Kirk Gibbs, LA District’s 61st commander, will relinquish command to Col. Aaron Barta in a traditional Army ceremony.

Brig. Gen. Pete Helmlinger, South Pacific Division commander, will host the event.

Barta previously served as the battalion commander for the U.S. Army in Europe’s Battalion Headquarters at Wiesbaden, Germany, and as the U.S. European Command’s deputy division chief for engineering and logistics strategy at Stuttgart, Germany.

As the 62nd LA District commander, Barta will oversee a multimillion-dollar program that provides engineering, construction, planning, contracting, real estate, emergency operations, environmental and regulatory services to military, federal, state and local governments across a 226,000-square-mile area of Southern California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah.

Gibbs has been the commander of the LA District since 2015. He will now serve as the chief of staff at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored tradition, which signifies the transfer of responsibility from one commander to the next one.



Established in 1898, the LA District provides support to major civil works projects in California, Nevada Arizona and Utah. Some of those projects include the Tropicana-Flamingo Wash and the Santa Ana River Mainstem projects and operation and maintenance of 16 dams, 14 navigation projects, 13 miles of breakwater and 54 miles of flood-control channels.

Ecosystem restoration projects also form a major part of the LA District’s workload and include the Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration project in California, and the Rio Salado and Tres Rios projects in Arizona, which are focused on water-quality improvements and recreational opportunities.

Military missions at 11 installations in California, Arizona and Nevada include a hospital at Fort Irwin and F-35 facilities at Nellis and Luke Air Force bases.

The District also provides engineering design and construction support to agencies like the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Additionally, the LA District provides disaster and emergency response, most recently supporting a debris removal mission in Santa Barbara, home relocation services for residents in Texas following Hurricane Harvey and power restoration services in Puerto Rico.

FOR THE MEDIA: The ceremony is by invitation only and will be on a closed military installation. Media wishing to cover the change of command ceremony should contact the LA District Public Affairs office at (213) 452-3920/3925 by noon July 17. Media should provide after-hours contact information, including an email address and phone number, in the event there are any changes to the program’s schedule. Media representatives should also provide the number of news team members, as well as indicate any special needs or interview requests.



Dena O'Dell
Jay Field

Release no. 18-037