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.
“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.
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.”
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.
“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.
By Col. Richard A. Pratt, Commander, Tulsa District
Fellow Pacesetters, with fiscal year 2015 behind us, we can look back at a rewarding twelve months that saw us transition from a multi-year drought to one of the largest regional flood events in recorded history. Simultaneously, you accomplished numerous mission-critical events and activities important to those living and working within the Tulsa District area of responsibility, our regional partners and the Nation. Your dedication to duty and uncompromising professionalism throughout the year has been the driving force for our success. As we move forward, there is still much work to be done in the aftermath of the 2015 flood as well as the numerous projects we have in the works or already underway.
For example, the Canton Lake Dam Safety Project continues to make good progress with a scheduled completion date of summer 2016. With fuse gates in place, the project is currently in phase II, which encompasses excavating the remainder of the channel, reconfiguring the boat ramp area, vertical wall construction and completion of raising the disposal berm. The Canton Dam Safety Assurance Project is especially important due to its proximity to Oklahoma City, located just to the Northwest, on the North Canadian River.
Phase I construction efforts on the Cumberland Levee are also underway with the temporary cofferdam only 20 feet from its designed intended elevation of 640 feet above sea level. The cofferdam will allow for temporary repairs to a near breach area and various relief wells, as well as the implementation of internal seepage control measures along the levee. Phase II design efforts at Cumberland are scheduled to be complete in the spring of 2016. Phase II construction will focus on permanent repairs required to return the levee system to its pre-flood elevation once funding is in place.
On Tuesday, Nov. 3, we had a ceremony at Waurika Lake to kick-off dredging operations. This project will establish resilient water yield to the conveyance system with improved water quality and offer greater access to lower intake gates providing greater resiliency during drought. Similarly in May, we approved the Kansas Water Office’s Section 408 authorization request for the modification of John Redmond. The John Redmond Dredging Initiative was the first and largest (to date) inland Section 408 request in the nation to be approved by HQUSACE. The lake is approximately 50 percent silted in and removal will significantly increase the reservoirs water storage and increase the long term sustainability of that project ensuring availability of conservation storage and restoration of water supply capacity lost due to siltation. Both efforts have equal significance in their roles to deliver enduring and essential water resources solutions.
On Oct. 22, Tulsa District conducted a Pine Creek Dam Safety Modification Project tour for community leaders, media and stakeholders. A town hall meeting was held the same evening in Valliant, Oklahoma. An update of current operations, the planned path forward and the expectations for final completion were presented to those who attended. Contractors have completed the cutoff wall, one of four elements in the dam safety modification.
They are currently preparing to install a chimney filter, which will be the first ever on a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project. Following the chimney filter, the contractor plans to place the downstream filter and complete the project with a steel liner installation in the 13′ conduit through the dam. The construction phase of this dam safety modification project is expected complete in October 2016. A follow on risk assessment will be completed by the following July in 2017 to re-assess the dam and make recommendations for the future storage of Pine Creek Lake.
We held an industry day in downtown Oklahoma City, Oct. 21, in regards to Tinker AFB upcoming construction opportunities with their KC-46A program and other MILCON construction projects. The purpose of the industry day was to promote the contracting opportunities at Tinker AFB and generate maximum interest and visibility to the upcoming projects with results to maximize the number of offerers and the competition for upcoming solicitations. USACE representatives presented the out year KC-46A program and the immediate projects of interest including the FY15 KC-46A Complex Infrastructure and Two Bay Hangar, FY16 Design Build Depot Maintenance Hangar and the FY17 System Integration Lab. Additional MILCON projects presented were the FY16 Air Traffic Control Tower, FY16 Plating Shop Renovation and FY14 AFR 513th Air Control Group Squadron Operations Facility.
Natural Resources Specialist from the Tulsa District recently participated in an Outdoor Wildlife Expo hosted by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma. The ODWC, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Parks Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers all came together in an effort to provide a variety of outdoor educational activities for Expo visitors. Tulsa District Rangers provided an interactive water safety booth with a quiz that tested each participant’s knowledge of the USACE water safety mission, rules and regulations. Rangers also staffed an area where visitors could learn more about the Natural Resources Management Mission as well as find out more info about hunting opportunities on Corps managed land. Based on the number of promotional items distributed over the three day event, we estimate that approximately 20,000 people were reached through their educational efforts.
Recently, Tulsa District leaders met off-site at the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, to discuss the vision for the future of the District. Working groups conducted focus discussions on the topics of leadership, relevancy and human capital. Each group developed an action plan for future work in these areas to address identified needs and deficiencies within the District. The leadership also discussed the District’s Knowledge Management Action Plan and efforts that require leadership involvement in order for KM to be effective in the Tulsa District.
As you can see, we’ve had a busy and rewarding year. Thanks for all you do to support our mission and the people we serve. Keep up the great work. Essayons!