Resilient, efficient installations are mission critical

| September 8, 2015 | 0 Comments
Photo by Sonya Marbach-Taylor, Pohakuloa Training Area From right, Command Sgt. Maj. Jonathan Lutgen, PTA, briefs Assistant Secretary of the Army, Installations, Energy and Environment, Katherine Hammack, about Pohakuloa as Christine Altendorf, IMCOM Pacific Region director, and Sally Pfennig, USAG-HI DPW, look on.

Photo by Sonya Marbach-Taylor, Pohakuloa Training Area
From right, Command Sgt. Maj. Jonathan Lutgen, PTA, briefs Assistant Secretary of the Army, Installations, Energy and Environment, Katherine Hammack, about Pohakuloa as Christine Altendorf, IMCOM Pacific Region director, and Sally Pfennig, USAG-HI DPW, look on.

Story and photos by Karen A. Iwamoto
Staff Writer

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — On the battlefield, imprudent stewardship of resources puts lives at risk. At home station, it drives up costs and reduces the amount of funds available for training and equipping Soldiers. Therefore, responsible resource management is crucial to the Army’s mission.

This was one of the messages Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment Katherine Hammack shared during her Aug. 24-28 visit to Hawaii.

While here, she spoke at the Asia Pacific Resilience Innovation Summit and Expo at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu; attended briefings with leaders from U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Army Pacific Command, Installation Management Command-Pacific Region, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, U.S. Army Hawaii and Pohakuloa Training Area; and met with state and federal government officials and local energy leaders.

Photo by Karen A. Iwamoto, Oahu Publications Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy and Environment) Katherine Hammack, center, delivers a briefing to USAG-HI officials at the USAG-HI Conference Room on Wheeler Army Air Field, Aug. 28. To right is Col. Richard Fromm, USAG-HI commander. To her left is Leonard Housley, USAG-HI deputy commander.


 Hammack delivers a briefing to USAG-HI officials at the on Wheeler Army Air Field, Aug. 28; at right, Col. Richard Fromm, USAG-HI commander; at left, Leonard Housley, USAG-HI deputy commander.

“Hawaii has one of the highest energy costs in the Army, so when we look at budgets shrinking, we always have to look at where we’re spending our money,” Hammack said. “Is there a more efficient way to do it? Fuel is one of the biggest contributors to the cost of energy, so if fuel can come from renewable resources, whether it’s solar or wind or biodiesel, that makes us more resilient and reduces cost.”

To this end, she praised the progress made by the Army’s Net Zero program, which aims to have the Army consume only as much energy or water as it produces on its installations.

According to Hammack, it is everyone’s responsibility to conserve water and energy, as well as to be more conscientious about recycling. The good news is that this is happening across the Army.

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Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy and Environment) Katherine Hammack enters the trolly that will take he more than 500 vertical feet underground to the site of the water well pump at the East Range water facility, Aug. 28.

Hammack enters the trolly that will take her more than 500 vertical feet underground to the site of the water well pump at the East Range water facility, Aug. 28.

 

 

“We’ve increased our amount of recycling, increased our energy efficiency, increased our amount of renewables; we’ve increased our focus on water and reduced our amount of water (use),” she said.

She also toured PTA on Hawaii Island. While there, she visited the site of a well that may have the potential to provide water for PTA and its surrounding communities.

Because PTA is located in the arid saddle between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, it currently relies on water being trucked in from other parts of the island.

Army officials have noted the potential benefit of not having to truck water up to PTA, which is expensive and time-consuming, and have said the well site would be of overarching importance to the Saddle region of Hawaii Island.

Hammack agreed that there are positive implications not just for the Army, but also for Hawaii Island’s community at large.

“It’s an amazing research project into where there is water,” Hammack said of the well site. “As they did geological surveys, they found water in places they did not expect. They found it at altitudes they did not expect. And they found it in volumes they did not expect. And so the science and research, I think, is going to be foundational for the entire Big Island.”

Water continued to be a focal point as Hammack followed up her visit to the PTA well site with a visit to U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii and a tour of the East Range water facility, which was built in 1938 and is the main source of water for Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield, Helemano Military Reservation and surrounding military installations.

The East Range well site is located more than 500 feet underground. The question, Hammack said, is whether it would be prudent to leave the well site underground or whether building auxiliary pumping above ground, which would be easier to service and maintain, would increase resiliency.

And resiliency, she said, is key to the message she wants to impart to the Army community in Hawaii.

At the Asia Pacific Resilience and Innovation Summits and Expo, she highlighted five ways of achieving the Army’s Energy Security & Sustainability (ES2) Strategy: inform decisions, optimize use, assure access, build resiliency and drive innovation.

Of the five, she placed an emphasis on resiliency.

“We have a resiliency and readiness campaign for our Soldiers, but we need to understand what resiliency means for our installations,” she said. “Resiliency means you have a diversity of resources. The (ES2) strategy is all about diversity so that the mission can succeed.”

Photo by Larry Reilly, Installation Command Pacific Public Affairs Katherine Hammack, ASA Installations, Energy and Environment, left, listens to Christine Altendorf, director of INCOM Pacific during a briefing provided by the IMCOM Pacific Region staff.

Photo by Larry Reilly, Installation Command Pacific Public Affairs
Hammack  listens to Christine Altendorf, director, IMCOM Pacific, during a briefing provided by the IMCOM Pacific Region staff.

(Editor’s note: Information for this story was provided by Larry Reilly, IMCOM Pacific Region Public Affairs.)

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Category: Leadership, News, U.S. Army Garrison-Pohakuloa (USAG-Pohakuloa)

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