Friday, October 29, 2010

Army Energy Leadership on Display: AUSA Part 1 of 4

From the AUSA Meeting and Convention, Washington D.C. This is the follow up to our previous post on the Army’s Energy Security Panel that featured, the HON Katherine Hammack Assistant Secretary of the Army Installations, Energy and Environment, LTG Rick Lynch (pictured), Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management/Commanding General, Installation Management Command (IMCOM), LTG Robert L. Van Antwerp, Jr. Chief of Engineers/Commanding General United States Army Corps of Engineers); and LTG Michael A. Vane Director, Army Capabilities Integration Center, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (ARCIC). Prior to the panel discussion, Under Secretary of the Army, Dr. Joseph Westphal and Vice Chief of Staff Pete Chiarelli provided their thoughts and guidance to a crowd of over 200 military, civilian and industry participants.

Ms. Hammack outlined the Army’s goals for energy and sustainability. Her new and wide ranging portfolio includes installation and operational energy as well as responsibilities for other natural resources. She described goals for Net Zero for energy, water and waste. This bold, holistic approach has the potential to unite the islands of excellence we now have into a systems approach that reduces demand, smartly distributes and uses and reuses our resources responsibly. It is a moon shot goal.

Ms. Hammack was followed by LTG Rick Lynch from IMCOM. IMCOM is responsible for the physical plant of the Army and oversees millions of square feet of building space, a $28 Billion budget and a workforce of 120,000 employees. Lynch has a folksy manner, but is deadly serious about energy security. He takes a pragmatic, soldier’s approach to his daunting task. Lynch has devised a comprehensive strategy for IMCOM composed of various lines of operations. One of these is energy. He sees the advantage to reducing his $1.7 billion “Light Bill” (utilities cost) by 30%. He has instituted a measure to ensure that every post, camp and station has a dedicated energy manager, not as a collateral duty but as their mission in life. They will have access to the command group to ensure their voice is heard. Lynch seeks to apply his “Three Questions” to energy: 1. Are we doing the right thing? 2. Are we doing things right? 3. What are we missing?. We recommend these for everyone with a hand in energy security.

LTG Lynch had the most memorable comment of the panel discussion. “Vision without resources is a hallucination.” He also recognizes the criticality of creating incentives, not just at the installation level, but for individuals occupying family housing. Working with the privatized housing organization, programs have been established to baseline average utilities cost and then bill or reward housing occupants for exceeding or conserving energy use over a given time period. Lynch reported that over 80% of participants are receiving rebates. LTG Lynch has given authority to commanders to meet their responsibilities. The next step is accountability and the carrot or the stick.

Next installment: LTG Van Antwerp, Inventor’s Son and Energy Cheerleader.

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