Category Archives: Hydropower


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.






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.”

MV Reeves 2
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.


Little Rock 2016 Engineer of the Year

Jim Milam has been named Engineer of the Year by the Army Corps of Engineers’ Little Rock District. Milam, who lives in Mountain Home, Ark., is the lead engineer for testing and maintenance of hydroelectric power plant equipment within the district.

Milam’s award announcement was the district’s capstone event during the 2016 Engineers Week, Feb. 22 thru 26 that honors how engineers make a difference in the world and increases dialogue regarding the need for engineers in the future.

“It’s a humbling honor to be named Engineer of the Year,” said Milam as he accepted the award from Chief of Engineering and Construction Division Tony Batey. “I’ve seen some really good engineers receive this award and it’s an honor to be recognized among them.”

Milam’s efforts have resulted in decreased forced hydropower outage times and improved safety for the repair of generation equipment. It is estimated that about $6 million dollars of added revenue was returned to the U.S. Treasury as well as $23 million of added benefits because of his efforts.

“I’ve known Jim for a very long time, it’s no surprise he’s being recognized for his outstanding work,” said Batey. “Jim is recognized as an expert in power plant equipment and is regularly consulted by other districts on the engineering analysis and repair of power plant electrical equipment.”

Milam has worked as an electrical engineer at the Bull Shoals Power Plant for more than 30 years and has almost 32 total years of federal service.

“The great people I’ve worked with in the district office, project offices and the hydropower section have made my job fun and rewarding,” Milam said. “I’d like to thank them all.”

Milam is a 1976 graduate of University of Arkansas with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. In 1981 he earned a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arkansas. He is also a licensed professional engineer in the state of Arkansas and an Arkansas licensed master electrician.