REDZIKOWO, Poland — Maj. Katie Werback held her breath. She was seconds from jumping into 39 degree water, for fun.
Like most Sundays, she led a reluctant but excited group into the frigid Baltic Sea. As a Soldier assigned to a U.S. Navy base approximately 15 miles from the water, she couldn’t resist the chance to join a local polar plunge club during her time here.
Despite her enthusiasm for the water, it’s more common to find Werback in construction boots than a swimsuit. She’s part of the Europe District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers team managing the second Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense project in Europe. The land-based system will include a radar site and missile battery designed to protect U.S. and NATO forces and assets in the region. In partnership with the Navy, Missile Defense Agency and Polish officials, the district oversees construction of the missile defense complex and naval support facilities totaling approximately $224 million. The project is expected to be complete in 2018.