In 1881 Capt. Thomas Handbury assumed officer-in-charge responsibilities for a collection of Corps of Engineers waterway improvement projects in a wide geographical area. The boundaries for his waterway improvement mission stretched from Wichita, Kansas to Memphis, Tennessee, and from the Ozark Mountains to south of the Louisiana border. Upon his arrival, 136 years ago this February, Handbury opened the Army Corps of Engineers office in Little Rock.
The Little Rock District’s presence in the region has definitely helped shape the success of the communities around your infrastructure projects. Northwest Arkansas’ rapidly growing economy and the tourism industry along the White River in southern Missouri and Arkansas are a true testament to that success.
Your civil works and military missions impact millions of people at home and around the globe. The district’s $6.5 billion in public infrastructure provides reliable navigation, renewable electricity, flood risk reduction, clean drinking water and some of the best recreation opportunities in the nation. Managing and maintaining 12 reservoirs, 13 navigation locks and dams, 7 hydroelectric power plants, 138 public parks, and 308 miles of navigation channel is no small feat and I applaud your contributions to the nation.
Because of your forward thinking and strong stakeholder relationships, the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System is reliable, resilient, relevant, and promotes growth for future generations.
Both Beaver and Millwood Dams marked their 50th anniversaries last year and Nimrod Dam is knocking on the door of a 75th anniversary in 2017. I know these and all your other projects will be there for generations to come thanks to the dedication of our Corps teammates in the Natural and Show-Me states!
Thank you for all you do to ensure success in the Little Rock District. Without your extraordinary contributions, our Division would not be what it is today.
Happy Birthday to each of you!
David C. Hill
Brigadier General, U.S. Army
Commander, Southwestern Division
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
“Building Strong…Army Strong!”