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Dripping in champagne the M/V Dan Reeves gets to work

With the traditional smashing of a champagne bottle, the latest addition to the Corps’ fleet of tow boats is officially christened the Motor Vessel Dan Reeves.

Corps employees, Reeves’ family members and friends, and people from across the navigation industry gathered at Murray Lock and Dam in Little Rock, Arkansas, to formally christen the M/V Dan Reeves as it is placed into service in the Little Rock District.

Corps employees, Reeves’ family members and friends, and people from across the navigation industry gathered at Murray Lock and Dam in Little Rock, Arkansas, to formally christen the M/V Dan Reeves as it is placed into service in the Little Rock District.

“By naming this vessel the Motor Vessel Dan Reeves, we get to honor a member of our Corps family who made a big impact on the Little Rock District, the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System and our country,” said Col. Courtney W. Paul, district commander.

Dan Reeves retired Jan. 3, 1991 after more than 30 years of service, all with the Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District. His dedication, loyalty, and faithful service contributed substantially to the successful operation of the MKARNS.

“His contributions have far outlasted his career and the system’s outstanding reputation for reliability is largely attributable to his work,” added Paul.

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Lee Bass, former Reeves colleague, remembered his friend and coworker as a man who could be counted on to find solutions to the hardest problems.

“I think it [the new tow boat] is truly fitting and worthy of the name Dan Reeves,” said Bass. “Tow boats do all the heavy hauling and Dan was considered, a workhorse of an engineer.”

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Bass said that Dan’s genius helped establish the MKARNS as one of the most reliable in the nation. Reliable navigation system, reliable Dan.

“Dan had several unique qualities,” said Bass. “The most impressive was his problem solving capabilities. He could see what caused problems most people would miss. He also had a knack for finding solutions and developing detailed sketches to make the repairs. His ability as a human calculator and problem solving was utterly amazing.  Utterly amazing results from amazing Dan.”

The crowning moment of the ceremony came as Virginia Reeves, Dan Reeves’ widow, joined district leaders on stage to pass the ship’s Bible to the vessel’s new captain Allen Best followed by Reeves’ niece, Patrina Greenway, smashing a champagne bottle on the hull.

MV Reeves 3

 

“Our entire family was very pleased with the whole event,” said Gregg Greenway, nephew of Reeves.  “It exceeded all of our expectations and I learned things about Uncle Dan that I didn’t know. Plus the boat was way nicer than I pictured it. I know that Uncle Dan would be proud.”

And with that, the newest addition to the district’s inventory baring Reeves’ name is ready for service. The M/V Dan Reeves is a high-tech tow boat designed for maintenance and repair activities on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System infrastructure. The system includes 445 miles of navigation channel, 18 lock and dam structures, four federal powerhouses, and numerous park and recreation waterfront areas and boat ramps. The majority of these activities require heavy lift capability and are inaccessible from land.

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Dan Reeves Bio

JAMES DANIEL REEVES

Dan Reeves retired Jan. 3, 1991 after more than 30 years of service, all with the Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District.  He began his career designing the mechanical components of navigation and flood control projects in the district.

When construction of the navigation system was mostly completed, he utilized the expertise he honed while designing the mechanical components of the navigation locks and dams to continue his stellar career as a mechanical engineer in the Maintenance Engineering Section of Operations Division.

He possessed exceptional engineering skills.  To this day, more than 20 years after the end of his career, many of the drawings, maintenance procedures, and lists of critical spare parts created by Dan Reeves are still referenced and used daily by maintenance crews on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System.

Dan Reeves was known for his ability to work with people.  He was the go to person that everyone could call whenever they needed help.  His greatest enjoyment was assisting employees in the field.  The district’s floating plants personnel considered him a valuable source of information because of his intimate technical knowledge and his ability to remember the smallest of details.  He also possessed the ability to draw detailed sketches that clearly communicated complex engineering concepts.

Dan Reeves invented a jacking system for miter gates that became industry standard and a procedure for tensioning the adjustable diagonal bracing on miter gates to keep them plumb and level.  He was also instrumental in developing lock dewatering procedures and methods for the safe disassembly of the large components on the locks.

His expertise was invaluable during the Dam 2 barge accident in 1982, the miter gate failure at Kerr Lock in Tulsa District in 1986, and the barge accident at Sanders Lock and Dam in 1990. Each of these incidents could have closed the MKARNS for months had it not been for Dan Reeves’ engineering skills and expertise.

Dan Reeves’ dedication, loyalty, and faithful service contributed substantially to the successful operation of the MKARNS.  His contributions have far outlasted his career and the system’s outstanding reputation for reliability is largely attributable to his work.