In the 1970s, the Army was often referred to by the media as the "Big Green Machine" tearing up the environment and eating resources.

Today that image could not be further from the truth.

According to the Installation Management Command sustainability initiative, the Army is working to be a good steward of the environment and address conservation of resources. Sustainability is now the key to a vital Army today, and in the future.

Fort Leonard Wood uses limited resources such as land, water and energy in large quantities on a daily basis. Sustainability means managing all these resources in a way that will best support the mission by improving the quality of life in military communities, protecting resources and reduceing operational costs.

To address how Fort Leonard Wood can best meet these challenges and remain a viable and successful installation well into the future, Fort Leonard Wood leadership works with stakeholders to formulate the Installation Strategic Sustainability Plan, according to Mark Premont, Plans Analysis and Integration Office director.

"The ISSP is a quarterly meeting we have on the last week of the first month of every quarter. Essentially it is a 25-year plan we put together in order to enhance the sustainability of the installation," Premont said.

At the backbone of the ISSP are six topics that address the full scope of sustainability on post. From the need to maintain secure energy sources, to maintaining a healthy and resilient workforce, the ISSP breaks down into groups to tackle these issues individually throughout the week, Premont added.

The surrounding communities also play a major role in the sustainability of Fort Leonard Wood, he said.

"Over 60 percent of the people assigned to the installation live off the post. You want to have good communities there," Premont said.

It takes partnerships with surrounding communities to provide a safe environment for our Soldiers and civilians to live and play, Premont added. "We are not an island."

Allen Simpson, Directorate of Public Works, installation energy manager, works with the team tasked with planning for sustainable infrastructure powered by secure, sustainable energy sources.

In this area, Simpson said, Fort Leonard Wood and the organizations here are constantly improving.

"We have recently been through a large build-up of infrastructure which was constructed and certified under LEED criteria," Simpson said. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a widely used third-party verification for green buildings.

Recently, the installation signed a new regulation, FLW Reg 420-3, Energy Conservation, that establishes energy-specific guidelines for how occupants use facilities assigned to them, Simpson said.

Small changes in building use such as setting limits to thermostats, ensuring appliances are unplugged at the end of the day and changing out incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent bulbs, can add up to real energy savings.

Through training and by following the regulation's guidelines, Simpson said he hopes to achieve a 10- to 15- percent energy reduction through this initiative.

Organizers encourage community members to attend and to participate in the ISSP process.

Meetings are held quarterly in building 6501 and are open to the public. The next ISSP is scheduled for April 24 through 28.

Those interested in attending or learning more about the project, can contact Joyce Conner, Plans Analysis and Integration Office, at 573.563.5229 or, email at joyce.l.connor.civ@ mail.mil.