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South Pacific Division welcomes new commander

South Pacific Division
Published July 23, 2020
Updated: July 21, 2020
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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Division conducted a Change of Command ceremony between Brig. Gen. Kim Colloton and Brig. Gen. Paul E. Owen at the Bay Model Visitors Center in Sausalito, Calif., July 21, 2020. (U.S. Army photo by Larry Quintana)

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Division conducted a Change of Command ceremony between Brig. Gen. Kim Colloton and Brig. Gen. Paul E. Owen at the Bay Model Visitors Center in Sausalito, Calif., July 21, 2020. (U.S. Army photo by Larry Quintana)

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Division conducted a Change of Command ceremony between Brig. Gen. Kim Colloton and Brig. Gen. Paul E. Owen at the Bay Model Visitors Center in Sausalito, Calif., July 21, 2020. (U.S. Army photo by Larry Quintana)

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Division conducted a Change of Command ceremony between Brig. Gen. Kim Colloton and Brig. Gen. Paul E. Owen at the Bay Model Visitors Center in Sausalito, Calif., July 21, 2020. (U.S. Army photo by Larry Quintana)

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Division conducted a Change of Command ceremony between Brig. Gen. Kim Colloton and Brig. Gen. Paul E. Owen at the Bay Model Visitors Center in Sausalito, Calif., July 21, 2020. (U.S. Army photo by Larry Quintana)

SAUSALITO, Calif. — Brig. Gen. Paul E. Owen assumed command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Division from Brig. Gen. Kim Colloton during a formal change of command ceremony today at the Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito, Calif.

As commander of South Pacific Division, Owen oversees water resources, military construction, environmental stewardship and restoration and emergency management in 10 states including 1,100 miles of coast line, 3.9 million acres of estuarine wetlands, 2,290 miles of federal levees and 46 dams and reservoirs. Most recently, South Pacific Division responded to the COVID-19 pandemic working with partner agencies to establish eight alternate care facilities across eight states.

“To our South Pacific Division stakeholders, I fully understand that our USACE mission is directly linked to the many essential government services that your constituents expect you to deliver every day,” said Owen. “I look forward to gaining an in-depth understanding of your requirements and how USACE can help you achieve your mission success.”

Owen comes to South Pacific Division from Southwestern Division in Dallas, Texas. He previously served Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The ceremony was conducted with limited attendees in accordance with the latest guidelines on face covering and social distancing.

“Kim is leaving tomorrow; she’s going to fly to Winchester, Virginia where she’s going to take another command,” said Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, 54th Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters. “That command is called Transatlantic Division and it’s our command that does all of our work in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Middle East. A very, very dangerous area and we need a commander who is absolutely committed to take care of our Soldiers and civilians who are out there.”

Colloton assumed command of South Pacific Division July 25, 2018 and upon her promotion to Brig. Gen., she became the first woman commanding general of the Division. During her tenure, she oversaw California wildfire recovery efforts, major Veterans Administration construction in California and Nevada, established South Pacific Border District to manage Dept. of Defense-funded border barrier construction and the assessment and construction of alternate care facilities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “Over the course of my two years here in command, I’ve seen this Division continuously be presented new challenges and missions,” said Colloton. “I must say, I leave this Division so proud of this entire team and what they have accomplished and I am glad that I have had the opportunity to be a part of it.”

Colloton has been assigned to command the Transatlantic Division headquartered in Winchester, Va., responsible for military construction supporting U.S. forces throughout the Middle East and Central Asia and for the Corps of Engineers’ international and interagency engineering missions supporting policy initiatives abroad.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Division provides vital engineering solutions in collaboration with partners to secure the nation, energize the economy and reduce risk from disaster. South Pacific Division operates in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and in parts of Colorado, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Texas.