Quander assumes command of the Transatlantic Division

Published June 5, 2018
The official party and audience stand for the National Anthem during the Transatlantic Division change of command ceremony on May 22 in Winchester, Va.

The official party and audience stand for the National Anthem during the Transatlantic Division change of command ceremony on May 22 in Winchester, Va.

Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite passes the Transatlantic Division flag to Col. Mark C. Quander, incoming commander, thus charging him with command.

Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite passes the Transatlantic Division flag to Col. Mark C. Quander, incoming commander, thus charging him with command.

Music during the change of command ceremony was provided by the 29th Division Band, Virginia Army National Guard, located in Troutville.

Music during the change of command ceremony was provided by the 29th Division Band, Virginia Army National Guard, located in Troutville.

WINCHESTER, Va. – On May 22, Brig. Gen. David C. Hill transferred command of the Transatlantic Division to Col. Mark C. Quander. Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, presided over the ceremony. More than 175 people witnessed the transfer of command at the Division Headquarters, and Division offices located in Iraq and Afghanistan watched via video teleconference.

Semonite expressed his appreciation to the audience for taking the time to attend the ceremony, to include distinguished visitors from the local community and several agencies that regularly work with the Division.

“This is an entire support mechanism, with those stepping up from the Regiment and from the surrounding areas” to enable the Transatlantic Division, Semonite said.

The change of command ceremony, a time-honored tradition, is rich with symbolism and heritage. The passing of the unit’s colors represents the lineage and honors of the organization, as well as the loyalty and unity of its Soldiers and Civilians. The colors are the Commander’s symbol of authority representing his responsibilities to the organization.

“The passing of the colors also represents accountability,” Semonite said. “The Commander is responsible for everything that happens or fails to happen.” He also noted that a good commander gives credit to his or her people for what goes well and owns what doesn’t go well.

The passing of the colors also represents the continuity of the mission, Semonite said. “This command provides instrumental support to U.S. Central Command to help provide stability in one of the world’s largest areas and counter threats to the United States.”

U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility includes 20 nations spanning more than 4 million square miles and is among the least secure and stable regions of the world. The Transatlantic Division carries out engineering missions in several Middle East countries, including Iraq, and in Central Asia, including Afghanistan.

Semonite recounted several of the major changes that have occurred in the U.S. Central Command area of operations in the last year, and he said that military units will continue to need USACE support.

The Commanding General said that no one accomplishes anything alone, and he recognized the many people who supported Hill – his family, the Transatlantic Division team of professionals, and stakeholders, including partners, contractors, and end users of projects and services.

“It has been a tremendous privilege to work side-by-side with U.S. Central Command, its component commands, the combined headquarters in Iraq and Afghanistan, and U.S. agencies over the last 10 months as we aim to provide world-class delivery of priority programs and projects,” Hill said. “We did this while building readiness and evolving the Transatlantic Division for tomorrow as the enduring Army Corps of Engineers headquarters supporting U.S. Central Command.

“Our work is a tall order in the complex environment of the Middle East and Central Asia,” Hill continued. “We are successful in our mission here for two reasons: our wonderfully talented and committed workforce and amazing leaders…You amaze me with your ability to develop cooperative solutions that strengthen partners and allies and enable our Joint Force to posture effectively.”

Hill has commanded the Transatlantic Division since July 2017. He has served in a variety of command and staff positions throughout his career. Before taking command of the Transatlantic Division, he was Commander, USACE Southwestern Division, in Dallas, Texas. He was deployed for Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Operation Joint Endeavor, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Hill’s next assignment is as Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Central, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.

“From my perspective, in my new role with U.S. Army Central, I’m excited that I’ll have the opportunity to continue to work with you as a partner.”

Before being charged with command of the Transatlantic Division, Quander most recently served as Director, Office of the Chief of Engineers, Department of the Army, in the Pentagon. He has held command and staff positions in the United States, the Republic of Korea, the Middle East, and Central Asia.

Quander received his commission from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1995, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. He holds master’s degrees from the University of Missouri for Science and Technology in Engineering Management; from Georgetown University in Public Policy; and from the U.S. Army War College in Strategic Studies earning recognition as a distinguished graduate.

“I am both extremely excited and very humbled to be given the opportunity to command the Transatlantic Division,” Quander said. “This tremendous organization has a tough job – to provide world-class delivery to a diverse set of stakeholders in a dynamic and complex environment.”

Quander thanked many people – family, bosses, friends, teammates and classmates – in the audience for their support.

“Many times, we see the service member as the face of DoD or the Army mission, but alongside our uniformed service members is an extraordinary, dedicated, and committed professional civilian workforce supporting the mission,” Quander said. “Alongside them is a committed group of spouses. They committed to a lifestyle of supporting our nation to support their Civilians and Soldiers. We simply could not do what we do without your love and support.”

 


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division serves as USACE’s tip of the spear in one of the most dynamic construction environments in the world, STRENGTHENING PARTNERSHIPS, BUILDING CAPACITY, and ENHANCING SECURITY for our nation, allies, and partners. 

We deliver agile, responsive, and innovative, design, construction, engineering and contingency solutions in support of U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command and other global partners to advance national security interests.

Transatlantic Division News

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    In a significant meeting held on March 17, at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, U.S. Army Col. Mohammed Z. Rahman, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Expeditionary District commander, and Viet Nguyen, Expeditionary District deputy district engineer, engaged in strategic discussions with The U.S. Ambassador and the Economic Counselor from the American Embassy in Kuwait. The engagement centered around enhancing the role of USACE in the context of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, PGII, and its implications for U.S. and allied economic and national security interests.
  • March

    USACE Transatlantic Division employee embarks on Army Coaching Program journey

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  • February

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    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division stands as a pivotal force in the U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility. Since the 1950s, the Division has actively shaped the landscape of engineering, design, and construction across the Middle East. Transforming from its initial focus on basic military construction, the Division now leads sophisticated, large-scale infrastructure projects, demonstrating a deep commitment to building capacity and enhancing security in the region. By setting and consistently upholding extraordinary operational standards, it has established itself as the ‘partner of choice.’
  • January

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  • September

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    A staff member assigned to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division was activated and sent to Guam from June until July to assist FEMA, federal partners and territorial officials’ response to the typhoon which caused significant impacts to essential services throughout portions of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam, including water, energy and transportation.
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  • August

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    Two staff members assigned U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division traveled to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, May 21- 25, 2023 to participate in Eagle Resolve 2023, a Combined Joint All-Domain exercise which improves interoperability on land, in the air, at sea, in space, and in cyberspace with the U.S. military and partner nations, enhances the ability to respond to contingencies, and underscores USCENTCOM's commitment to the Middle East.