The Honorable Katherine Hammack, the assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, and Brig. General John S. Laskodi, with the Department of the Army Headquarters logistics office, assessed current and future construction projects and environmental concerns during a visit to Kuwait, May 24-25.
Leaders from U.S. Army Central briefed the DA officials on base operations and energy-saving initiatives aimed at improving living standards for Soldiers in Kuwait.
The USARCENT representatives provided an overview and tour of newly-built modular energy efficient structures and solar light systems on Camps Arifjan and Buehring. USARCENT plans to replace all diesel-powered light systems on the bases in Kuwait with solar light systems, which are used to improve base security.
"I think that's an amazing investment," said Hammack. "It's the right kind of investment, because it saves us money. No fuel is need and it reduces pollution, by doing this it creates a better quality of life for our Soldiers, you're not going to smell the fumes that come off a diesel generator. I think it's a win-win all the way around, I'm really impressed with the investments made so far."
The Army's Net Zero Installation Program aims to bring the overall consumption of resources on installations down to an effective rate of zero. Energy security and sustainability is all about resiliency and having the right resources when and where they are needed, said Hammack.
"On a base I'd like to see fuel primarily used for mobility, because we have the technology and capability to power our life support systems with renewable energy," said Hammack.
Hammack explained one program that has the potential to save $2 million a year at each installation. The Army is considering the use of energy saving performance contracts at U.S. installations overseas. Under these contracts, a company conducts an assessment of cost and energy saving opportunities, then they make an investment in technology or programs to increase efficiency. The Army pays the company with the money saved from the programs.
"I'm always concerned about where Soldiers live and work. I want to ensure they are able to focus on the mission," said Hammack. "When you look at the quality of life, Soldiers should be able to sleep at night, take a good shower, and work in a climate controlled space as much as possible and that's really what it's about."