Assistant Secretary Hammack tours installatons, talks to leaders in Kansas and Missouri
August 29, 2011
PENTAGON, Washington D.C. (Aug. 30, 2011) -- The Honorable Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment made a three day official visit to Kansas and Missouri.
Last week, she went to Fort Riley, Kansas where she met with Garrison staff to discuss Fort Riley's water initiatives, Net Zero Plans and Military Construction. Last April, Fort Riley was identified as one of six Net Zero Water Pilot Installations. A Net Zero Water Installation limits the consumption of freshwater resources and returns water back to the same watershed so as not to deplete the groundwater and surface water resources of that region in quantity and quality over the course of a year.
Hammack noted that Fort Riley has reduced water consumption by 2 percent since 2009 while their building square footage increased by 22 percent during that same time period. In addition, water consumption per square foot of building space has decreased by 28 percent from their 2007 baseline through 2010.
Also noted were the two LEED Gold Buildings and 19 LEED Silver facilities. Seventeen additional new buildings or designs are under LEED review. Many more buildings are being built to LEED standards, but not yet certified. Hammack said, "Fort Riley's certifications are among the highest in the Army. "
She also met with Maj. Gen. William C. Mayville Jr., commanding general, 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley to discuss operational energy efforts being undertaken on the installation and at forward operating bases in theater. A Fort Riley based battalion, 1st - 16th Infantry, deployed with and are evaluating a suite of advanced Soldier Power capabilities, such as power management devices, fuel cells, and renewable energy alternatives that may help to reduce the volume and weight of their load.
At the end of her visit, Hammack took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony opening the new Fort Riley Warrior Zone, a unique, state-of-the-art facility.
The Warrior Zone is a 25,000-square-foot facility which features 68 computers for general use and gaming, 16 "X-box 360s" with "Kinect," 16 "Playstation 3s" with "Move." All of the consoles are hooked up to a 55-inch flat screen TV. There are 30 additional TVs, four regulation-sized pool tables, three poker tables, a snack bar with seating for 75, refreshments, a theater with 20 recliners, a 30-person conference room and a patio with grills and a fire pit.
Following the ceremony, Hammack said, "This is one of the installations that has had the most amount of growth. We built the first Warrior Zone here because of the need. Our Soldiers need to get out of the barracks. A lot of our young people nowadays are very computer oriented so they work on computers, they play on computers. This kind of facility gets our Soldiers out and gets them talking with each other, playing with each other in a casual atmosphere which focuses that camaraderie we want to continue to develop."
Tuesday afternoon, the Assistant Secretary went to the State Capitol to meet with Governor Sam Brownback, the 46th and current Governor of Kansas. They discussed possible future military-civilian collaborations in the areas of economic development and alternative energy.
Hammack noted, "We furthered our outreach to the private sector as Secretary of the Army John McHugh announced the establishment of the Energy Initiatives Office (EIO) Task Force to serve as the central managing office for large-scale Army renewable energy projects. The EIO Task Force will foster strategic, technical and financial investment in the Army's Renewable Energy Program. The EIO Task Force will lead the way in actively seeking and supporting industry partnerships to become less dependent on expensive and unstable energy sources and increase compatible renewable energy development."
She also said, "The Army is striving for Net Zero, providing a range of long-term sustainable benefits both to the Army and surrounding communities."
Net Zero was the topic of discussion Wednesday as Hammack spoke to the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), in downtown Kansas City. During her luncheon presentation she explained, the Army's Net Zero strategy is designed to reduce energy, water demand and waste generation on all Army installations, while increasing renewable and alternative energy sources which may one day, be employed in combat zones. She said, the primary goal is to appropriately manage our resources with a Net Zero strategy; the outcome of which will be increased energy and water security with reduced operating costs.
A Net Zero Installation is one which applies an integrated approach to the management of energy, water, and waste to capture and commercialize the resource value and/or enhance the ecological productivity of land, water, and air. A Net Zero Installation has three interrelated components: Net Zero Energy, Net Zero Water, and Net Zero Waste.
An installation that produces as much energy on site as it uses, over the course of a year is a Net Zero Energy Installation. A Net Zero Water installation limits the consumption of freshwater resources and returns water back to the same watershed so not to deplete the groundwater and surface water resources of that region in quantity or quality over the course of a year. A Net Zero Waste Installation reduces, reuses, and recovers waste streams, converting them to resource values with zero landfill over the course of a year.
Her last stop on this trip was Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, where she met with Dr. Rebecca Johnson, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence deputy to the commanding general. Hammack toured the new Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, Forces Command's Forward Operating Base (FOB), the Prime Power School, several training simulators and new facilities.
The new Prime Power facility project earned LEED Gold certification last March by employing a host of sustainable design and construction strategies that will ensure the building leaves a light environmental footprint well into the future. With a 90 percent recycling of construction waste, 35.8 percent improvement in energy efficiency and more than 40 percent reduction in water consumption, Hammack said, "The school is a teaching facility in more ways than one."
Hammack talked about Fort Leonard Wood and how they are looking at expanding some capabilities within their training capacity to take a closer look the Net Zero vision and lower the energy impact on Forward Operating Bases.
She also discussed ongoing research in conjunction with academia and industry which focuses on new equipment and solutions to help lower energy use, and the need to adopt renewable energy resources. She said, these efforts naturally lead to reduced costs during a time of diminishing budgets, but they also can reduce the number and types of conveys supporting the war fighter.
At the end of the visit, Hammack commended the Garrison on their ongoing Sustainable Energy efforts and the Fort Leonard Wood communities for pulling together and making Army BRAC-2005 a success.
Hammack also notes, not only is Fort Leonard Wood a leading training installation, it's also a leading employer and economic engine for the region, employing over 9,000 civilians in a variety of fields to include, information technology, medical, engineering and accounting, and boasting an annual economic impact of about $3 billion.
Over the years and throughout its tremendous growth, Fort Leonard Wood has continually experienced fantastic relationships among senior commanders and leaders, tenants, the surrounding communities and the state.