Col. James J. Handura assumed command of the US Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Division in a ceremony held today at the Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito, Calif.
The ceremony was hosted by Lt. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon, commander of the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Handura assumed command from Col. Chad Caldwell, who currently serves as the Commander of the Sacramento District and has been serving as Acting Division Commander since August 30, 2023.
“Command of a division goes beyond accountability for projects, people, and money,” said Spellmon during the ceremony. “It’s about driving change, developing future leaders, and serving as guardians of the Corps’ reputation. COL Handura will serve as that guardian — a leader who will develop solutions for the nation’s toughest challenges while taking care of people.”
A native of Clearwater, Florida, Handura graduated in 1996 from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee as a Distinguished Military Graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Geology, and a commission in the Engineer Regiment. He holds a Master of Science in Geology and Geophysics from the University of Missouri-Rolla, a Master’s degree in Military Art and Science – Theater Operations from the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies, and a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. He is also certified Project Management Professional.
Prior to South Pacific Division, Handura served as the Chief of Staff for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters in Washington, DC. Handura began his military service with the United States Navy Seabee Reserves, serving as a Utilitiesman from 1987 to 1989, at Bayboro Harbor, St. Petersburg, Florida. From 1989 to 1993, he served in the U.S. Army as an enlisted Combat Engineer, with the 82nd Engineer Battalion (Federal Republic of Germany) and the 20th Engineer Battalion (Ft. Campbell, Kentucky and later Ft. Hood, Texas).
Handura’s command assignments include Commander Sacramento District, USACE; Commander 19th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Knox, Kentucky; and Deputy District Commander New Orleans District, USACE.
The 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 that includes 1,100 miles of coastline, 3.9 million acres of estuarine wetlands, 2,290 miles of federal levees and 46 dams and reservoirs.
As Commander of South Pacific Division, Handura oversees water resources, military construction, environmental stewardship and restoration and emergency management with a workforce of 2,500 civilians and military personnel in four districts across the 10 states.