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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Honolulu District Public Affairs
FORT SHAFTER FLATS — Maj. William Hannan Jr. became the second commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Honolulu District’s 565th Engineer Detachment, Forward Engineer Support Team-Advance (FEST-A), March 18, during a change of command ceremony, here.
Hannan took command from Maj. Evan Ting, who is moving on to work in the Emergency Management branch within USACE-Pacific Ocean Division.
At the ceremony, Ting recalled personnel changes and short-notice travel for training to Europe, Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands and Pakistan since he assumed command of the unit in March 2009.
“It’s been a whirlwind of activity since that day,” Ting said. “The training schedule continues to build, as does the experience and knowledge for our future missions. The team has achieved some incredible accomplishments in a very short time. I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve done. I feel so fortunate to have been a part of this organization.”
The current unit, which has been active since Oct. 2007, has the mission of providing responsive technical engineer planning and limited design capabilities in support of combatant commands and civil agencies, and has traveled to the Philippines, Palau, Marshall Islands, Germany, Korea and Thailand.
Ting thanked the members of the 565th Engineering Det. and everyone within Honolulu District who worked to build the team into one with a reputation for accomplishing the mission.
“They’re ready to serve the Corps, the Army and our nation – whenever and wherever the need may arise,” he said.
With military deployments to nations such as Somalia, Bosnia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army and USACE discovered gaps in their ability to rapidly provide the facilities that U.S. service members need to conduct operations in these austere environments. USACE responded with the concept of field force engineering.
The FEST-A staffing consists of a detachment commander, a noncommissioned officer in charge and six Department of Defense civilians who serve as a geographic information system specialist/cartographer; a contract specialist; and civil, environmental, mechanical and electrical engineers, with other engineering disciplines available for augmentation depending on the mission.
The detachment provides technical engineering support, including engineer reconnaissance, engineering design and planning of construction projects, construction management, limited contingency contracting support and other general engineering tasks, with reach-back support to USACE experts.
The teams are typically attached to combatant commands, divisions or brigade combat teams to provide skill sets that are not organic within the organization. FEST-A helps to accomplish USACE’s No. 1 goal in its campaign plan to deliver support to combat, stability and disaster operations through forward deployed and reach-back capabilities.
Hannan reports to the 565th Engineering Det. from the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.