Deep Draft Navigation Planning Center of Expertise


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Director of Civil Works established the National Deep Draft Navigation Planning Center of Expertise (DDNPCX) at the Corps of Engineers South Atlantic Division (SAD) in Atlanta, Ga. on Aug. 25, 2003. It is one of several national centers of expertise under the Corps of Engineers Planning Excellence Program dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of the planning process for water resources projects.

Over the years the center has continued to flourish and our mission has grown increasingly diverse. Currently, the DDNPCX functions as the primary point of contact for Corps of Engineers deep draft navigation planning at all levels, both nationally and internationally, with support from Regional Implementation Teams and Communities of Practice. Project execution actions requiring DDNPCX involvement are typically referred to the DDNPCX from District Support Teams or District Project Delivery Teams. However, there are circumstances where actions may be referred to the DDNPCX directly from other Major Subordinate Commands or Washington-level requests.


The DDNPCX is led and managed by the SAD Headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. The Chief of Planning and Policy for SAD serves as the center’s director. A technical center for deep draft navigation economics resides within the Mobile District and handles the day-to-day operations in coordination with the director. The Mobile District DDNPCX office consists of six planning and economics staff with special expertise in deep draft navigation planning as the core members and is led by the Center’s Technical Director.

The majority of the center’s expertise, however, will be comprised of technical deep draft navigation planners from throughout the Corps of Engineers and its research laboratories. The DDNPCX also utilizes connections to academia, state and private groups, and other stakeholders with deep draft navigation planning expertise.

The Mobile District's Planning and Environmental Division handles the day-to-day center operations in coordination with the director and core members of the center. The Mobile District’s Economic Analysis team leader is assigned as the Deputy Director for the Center. Four or five planning and engineering staff members at SAD with special expertise in deep draft navigation planning are core members of the center, along with one Corps of Engineers research laboratory designate, representing the research and development community. The Mobile District will maintain a concentration of deep draft navigation planning expertise, however, the majority of expertise will be comprised of regional technical deep draft navigation planners from each of the SAD Districts and other deep draft navigation planning experts from throughout the Corps of Engineers and its research laboratories.

Goals / Objectives

  • Develop an environment of open / honest communication within the horizontal & vertical team to foster more efficient project delivery.
  • Communicate new ideas, concepts, and issues in a timely manner.
  • Develop a cross-functional and multi-disciplinary team.
  • Focus attention on important issues, with the team working together to solve them.
  • Keep in touch with leadership, to keep them informed.
  • Build and maintain professional relationships.    
  • Develop and maintain communications with Congress, the ASA(CW), HQDA/AF, the OMB, and various other stakeholders. 
  • Maintain effective communications to assure corporate perspectives are maintained.