USACE Northwestern Division Transfers Command

Brig. Gen. William C. “Bill” Hannan, Jr. assumed command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Northwestern Division in a ceremony at Bonneville Lock and Dam on the Columbia River today.

Brig. Gen. Geoff Van Epps, who led the division since 2021, relinquished command to Maj. Gen. William Graham, deputy Chief of Engineers and deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Graham immediately turned command over to Hannan during the traditional military change of command ceremony.

Prior to his arrival at Northwestern Division, Hannan commanded USACE’s Transatlantic Division and led its program delivering innovative design, construction, engineering, and contingency solutions in support of U.S. Central Command, U.S. Southern Command, and other global partners.

“I am excited to return to the mighty Northwestern Division to lead our amazing Soldiers and civilians as they provide critical services to our partners and the American people,” said Hannan. “The missions we are assigned support the national economy, improve the safety and quality of life for millions of people, and ensure our servicemembers have the facilities they require to keep this nation safe.”

A native of Ohio, Hannan, was commissioned in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1997 after graduating from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He also holds master’s degrees in engineering management from the Missouri University of Science and Technology and in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

Hannan has held a variety of command and staff positions during his career. He has served at various locations throughout Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East, including two deployments to Afghanistan and two to Iraq.

According to Van Epps, Hannan will be a tremendous asset to the Northwestern Division as it continues to confront many of the nation’s most complex engineering challenges.

Having relinquished command, Van Epps moves on to Fort Cavazos, Texas, where he will serve as the deputy commanding general for the U.S. Army’s III Armored Corps.

During his time with Northwestern Division, Van Epps oversaw a variety of military construction and civil works projects ranging from the negotiations with Canada on the Columbia River Treaty, the litigation stay on the Columbia River System Operations, and a variety of water resource projects to support local communities. He also oversaw the start of work on the U.S. Air Force’s Sentinel program and construction of critical military infrastructure at numerous Army, Air Force and Space Force installations.

“Northwestern Division gets to tackle all kinds of meaningful work serving the American people, supporting our national defense, and solving our nation’s toughest technical problems,” said Van Epps. “The 5,800 men and women who make up our team aim to live up to the trust and confidence the Corps of Engineers has earned over many years. Nothing they’re ever asked to take on is easy, but it’s inspiring to see them continually rise to the challenge.”

The Northwestern, or “Lewis and Clark,” Division is the largest division in USACE, covering almost one quarter of the land area in the lower 48 states, and employs nearly 5,800 military and civilian employees. It administers five districts based in Kansas City, Missouri; Portland, Oregon; Seattle and Walla Walla, Washington; and Omaha, Nebraska. Its responsibilities include managing the nation’s water resources infrastructure for economic growth and environmental sustainability, timely response to natural disasters, support to military installations and civilian communities throughout the region and strengthening national security.