By Terri Kojima
USACE Pacific Ocean Division Public Affairs
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii –Brig. Gen. Jeffrey L. Milhorn relinquished his position as commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Pacific Ocean Division to Col. Peter B. Andrysiak, during a change of command ceremony, July 12, at historic Palm Circle.
With the passing of the ceremonial flag, symbolizing the official change of command, Andrysiak became the 32nd commander of the Army Corps’ division serving the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. He now leads an organization that employs 1,600 military, Department of Army, host nation civilian engineers, technicians and other professionals in the annual execution of a $3.2 billion program.
The mission includes engineering design, construction and real estate management for the Army in Hawaii, Army and Air Force in Alaska, and for all Department of Defense agencies in Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Andrysiak's service to the Engineer Regiment spans a period of over 25 years. He most recently served as the 3rd Infantry Division Chief of Staff at Fort Stewart, Georgia, and USFOR-A JTF-3 Operation Freedom's Sentinel.
Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, chief of engineers and commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, hosted the ceremony and said that both Andrysiak and Milhorn were officers with diverse experiences across a very broad range of areas of our Army, and perfectly suited for command of the Pacific Ocean Division.
“They’re both tactical and technical engineers and combat heroes,” said Semonite.
“There is another dimension they have that is most important to USARPAC and PACOM, and that is they have the ability to be able to understand strategic contacts.” They are strategic thinkers and strategic leaders and they understand what they’re bringing to the fight.”
Semonite praised the outgoing commander’s relentless commitment to excellence and dedication to duty
“Jeff has done a phenomenal job,” said Semonite.
In the face of enormous natural, political and fiscal challenges, Milhorn directed the two largest host-nation military construction projects in the history of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers valued at more than $17.7 billion.
A major military construction project under Milhorn’s command is the $380 million U.S. Army Pacific Mission Command Facility here at Fort Shafer, which will consolidate USARPAC Headquarters into one facility that will support Mission Command of Army or joint forces across the Asia-Pacific area of operations.
Through an extensive engagement strategy, Milhorn supported 270 technical exchange activities in 23 countries in collaboration with U.S. Pacific Command, USAID, and the Department of State, provided guidance and support on over 260 humanitarian assistance projects, and numerous disaster response and management exercises and exchanges.
Semonite emphasized the importance of strategic engagements and said that is where the Pacific Ocean Division has been most instrumental.
“Concrete and steel will come and go, but enduring strategic relationships will continue to be able to make us more secure as a nation,” said Semonite.
During Milhorn’s command, the Division experienced two of the most intense hurricane/typhoon seasons on record. In support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Response Framework, Milhorn deployed Emergency Support Function #3 response teams, cadre and technical subject matter experts from across the USACE enterprise, as well as the 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power) Soldiers to the major islands of Hawaii, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa. He proactively pre-positioned USACE assets to ensure a rapid and effective response to support the potentially impacted island populations.
During his assignment as Pacific Ocean Division Commander, Milhorn served as the Deputy Commanding General JTF-505 for the Nepal earthquake response, leading the relief transition effort and planning reconstruction requirements.
For his exceptional service from July 2014 to July 2016, Milhorn received the Distinguished Service Medal.
Milhorn now serves as assistant chief of staff of operations, U.S. Army Pacific.