The Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Environment & Energy), Mr. Jack Surash, visited Detroit Arsenal (DTA) on September 24th to discuss DTA’s efforts in support of the Army Installations Strategy and Army Modernization Strategy.
DTA is home to several organizations spearheading the development of Army modernization capabilities. These organizations include the U.S. Army Tank-automotive & Armaments Command; the U.S. Army Futures Command’s Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross Functional Team; the Ground Vehicle Systems Center, which is a subordinate of AFC’s U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM); and the Program Executive Offices for Ground Combat Systems and Combat Support & Combat Service Support.
During his visit, Mr. Surash had the opportunity to tour some of DTA’s world class laboratory facilities where he received updates on topics such as development of fuel cell technology, advanced energy storage, tactical vehicle electrification, and tactical vehicle charging.
When asked about his observations, Mr. Surash stated, “The work being done here at Detroit Arsenal to advance energy-related technologies is critical to the Army’s ability to maintain battlefield overmatch in contested future operating environments. Our forces must be able to maneuver further and operate longer without resupply, all while powering modern battlefield operating systems and weapons such as directed energy weapons. The outstanding team at Detroit Arsenal is delivering on these significant requirements.”
DTA Energy Manager Shannon Bergt provided Mr. Surash a detailed briefing about Detroit Arsenal’s key resilience initiatives and the requirements driving them. The Arsenal is currently building a new electrical substation and upgrading the electrical distribution system which includes microgrid capability. The microgrid will give Detroit Arsenal the ability to manage electrical needs during a grid outage to continue high-priority missions. These projects align with the Army’s Installation Energy and Water Strategy, which focuses on resilient, efficient and affordable energy, and are required to support future construction and revitalization projects that will establish an energy-resilient installation.
Ms. Bergt also informed Mr. Surash of DTA’s Installation Energy and Water Plans and the Detroit Arsenal Regional Defense Assessment of Resilience that took an in-depth look, both inside and outside the fence line, at holistic energy planning and resilience for the region. She spoke to how the installation’s small footprint, electric and thermal loads led to an analysis that illustrates how Combined Heat and Power (CHP) can be used to reduce Green House gases while providing a cost effective back-up option in the case of grid failure.
Mr. Surash was very impressed overall with DTA’s contributions to improving Army combat capabilities while addressing the unique challenges as a small installation hosting several tenants with unique operational requirements and intra-facility relationships.
“Having Mr. Surash visit both the garrison and our tenant activities on Detroit Arsenal allowed our community the opportunity to shine in how we are partnering to achieve mission priorities while meeting the garrison’s needs to create positive advancements on all sides,” said Garrison Manager Carrie Mead. “We were able to highlight that we may be a small footprint, but we are mighty with strategic and innovative thinkers who want to create great outcomes for our Warfighters, thanks to the team that supports them in Detroit.”