By Bob Reinert/USAG-Natick Public AffairsApril 18, 2014
FORT DEVENS, Mass. (April 21, 2014) -- In her final visit to the Army Base Camp Integration Laboratory April 17, the assistant secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs urged personnel here to continue their important work for warfighters.
Sharon Burke, who will be leaving her DoD post next month, toured the BCIL, which is split into two 150-person camps -- one that mirrors what would be seen in theater, and another that tests innovative technologies. She received updates on developments in energy conservation and production, water reuse, and waste disposal.
"A lot of the stuff that's been fielded wouldn't have been fielded without this camp," Burke said. "I can't think of a better way for me to end my service in government this time (than) by coming and getting one last look at what you're doing."
Burke was welcomed by Lt. Col. Ross Poppenberger, Product Manager Force Sustainment Systems, who pointed out that a shower water reuse system, micro-grid, energy-efficient kits, insulated liners, rigid doors and solar shades had all evolved from ideas into reality in 18 months.
"A lot of great work has been done, a lot more to come," Poppenberger said. "So we're excited to get going."
Not that Burke needed any convincing.
"Everybody who's involved in this project … you make it easy to be a fan of the project and promote it," Burke said. "This has been some really good work. It's an innovative program that's put capability right in the hands of deployed forces. It's been an honor and a pleasure to see the project develop over time and to see the results.
"So if people see me as a supporter of the program, that makes me incredibly proud, because what you've done is just terrific."
Burke pointed out that she had been out in the field and seen warfighters benefiting from developments at the BCIL.
"Nothing in this whole job has made me prouder," Burke said. "It's been my pleasure and honor to trumpet (this program). Every chance I get, I talk about what you're doing here, and I will continue to do that.
"You've done wonderful work. Now you've got to do more. I'm looking forward to what you do next."