McHugh learns about Know energy program
Secretary of the Army John McHugh met with members of Fort Knox's energy program Aug. 11, 2011, to learn more about the installation's energy control room. The systems in this one room monitor in real time the energy usage in virtually all Fort Knox facilities. Fort Knox received the Secretary of the Army Award Energy and Water Management Award in the Innovative and New Technology category for these advancements in monitoring energy usage.

FORT KNOX, Ky., Aug. 18, 2011 -- During an Aug. 11 visit to Fort Knox, Secretary of the Army John McHugh described the post's energy advancement policies as being "light years" ahead of many installations.

Fort Knox has won the Secretary of the Army's Energy Award for the past eight years, and McHugh was on hand to observe the post's energy efforts and recognize the installation for being a good steward of its resources.

"We are making sure we are being environmentally sensitive," he said. "For every convoy we put on the road in Iraq or Afghanistan to deliver energy is more risk we have to take."

Because the installation won the award for eight consecutive years, McHugh reiterated that the competition wasn't rigged. Fort Knox won based on merit, he emphasized. He pointed out that the post monitors energy consumption hour by hour and that contributes to the post's excellent energy conservation.

"(We) are working on a net-zero plan, (saving) as much energy as (we) consume," he explained. "(We) are excited about the great progress and plan to reach the net-zero objective."

He noted that the military is seriously looking at curbing energy consumption to save taxpayer money. When energy conservation is practiced, the military and its outside resources are safer.

When the military ensures higher levels of security there is less of a threat and interruption to those outside resources, McHugh said.

Although Fort Knox has led the way in energy conservation, McHugh pointed out that what's done on the installation isn't easily imitated on other posts, but it does provide lessons learned for the rest of the Army.

"(Fort Knox) manages overall resources (which) bring a sense of personal responsibility," he said. "Leadership understands we can't be as good as we should be. Fort Knox is doing that."

Accessions Command and Fort Knox Commander Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley said the secretary of the Army is a great friend to Fort Knox.

"(The secretary) is a huge advocate for the United States Army Recruiting Command and Cadet Command," said Freakley. "(We) are grateful for his leadership."

McHugh also explained that the Army has 126 renewable energy projects and it plans to transfer 25 percent of its power to renewable energy sources by 2025. In order to reach that goal the Army hopes it can attract $7.1 billion in private-sector money into Army resources.

"The private sector can benefit and thrive working across the Army to be better stewards," he said.

He added that the Army's mentality with the private sector must change. Although the private sector would benefit, he said, "The Army has not always been the best business partner for the private sector."

He also highlighted the work that is being done on the installation and in Hardin County due to the Base Realignment and Closure actions. But he noted that there have been challenging moments during the Army's BRAC move.

"(We) relied upon our people, military and civilian," he said. "(There are an) additional 8,000 people and $45 million in civilian payroll (at Fort Knox). The challenge in any base closure is (the) positive.

"This base closure has been a positive for Fort Knox and Hardin County," said McHugh.

Page last updated Mon August 22nd, 2011 at 05:52