When there are theater level engineer forces such as forward engineer support teams
or prime power, topographic, or theater construction units, the theater engineer command DCP provides mission command for these units and forms the basis of the joint force commander's engineer staff.
While both of Howell's parents are Mississippi natives, his first visit to his roots was in 2010 when he joined ERDC as the military deputy commander, providing training to Forward Engineer Support Teams
and other military organizations with the U.S.
During both Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, their forward engineer support teams
(FESTs) have been materially involved supporting stability operations and support operations, as well as making significant contributions to combat operations.
Well drillers, divers, and topographic, bridging, and prime power soldiers, as well as USACE Forward Engineer Support Teams
(FESTs) were also provided on an as-needed basis.
Forward Engineer Support Teams
(FESTs) from USACE were key to this effort, as was a strategy to hire local Iraqis to provide construction materials, equipment, and services as rapidly as possible to repair and build Iraqi civil infrastructure, as well as military infrastructure and bases.