VICKSBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – Covid 19 has been called our invisible enemy, but it turns out the U.S. Army it pretty good at fighting it. At the Engineer Research Development Center in Vicksburg some very smart people are committed to staying ahead of the pandemic and returning our country to health.

The ERDC sits on 750 acres in Vicksburg. If you’ve ever been behind its gates, you’ve probably seen science in action.

Colonel Teresa Schlosser in the is the Commander for the ERDC U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

She says, “We’re doing everything we can to solve the nation’s toughest problems.”

Today that problem is Covid-19. In early days of the pandemic the ERDC answered the call to create easy to build Intensive Care Units.

Colonel Schlosser says, “They did one with a (storage) container and then they did one, which we call, ‘stick built’, where they just built a a room from scratch, that could be replicated primarily in arenas, coliseums, things like that, where you just want to create a hospital.”

Those soon went up in hot spots like Detroit and D.C.

Colonel Schlosser adds, “Once it was done, we released it into the wild and everybody can use it.”

ERDC is also home to a very powerful computer. It’s pretty good at looking into the future.

Colonel Schlosser explains, “So it really ramps up how quickly we can do these models and see how the vaccines might work, see how the virus might spread.”

While most of the 2100 people who make up the Corps are working remotely, we can all rest a little easier, knowing that they haven’t stopped solving problems. 

Colonel Schlosser concludes, “ERDC as with the rest of the Corps of Engineers, we are doing everything we can to support FEMA and the national interests to get everybody back up and running so whatever way that we can do it.”

In all the Army Corps of Engineers has 7 labs, and four of those are in Mississippi.