WIESBADEN, Germany - In a recent energy conference held at the Wiesbaden Entertainment Center on Hainerberg, two U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Directorate of Public Works professionals received awards for their leadership efforts, earning the garrison recognition as a leader in energy and water waste reductions.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program recognized USAG Wiesbaden for its energy performance contract, which began in 2017 and was completed in 2021.
DPW Engineering Division Chief Judith Rodriquez and Project Management Branch Chief Tomasz Filatow spearheaded a project to bring new energy-producing equipment to the garrison, delivering lower energy consumption, reduced carbon emissions and increased energy security and resiliency.
Rodriquez and Filatow each received plaques presented by FEMP Program Manager Ira Birnbam in a small ceremony held at the WEC.
“Filatow and Rodriquez, representing Garrison Wiesbaden, were key to implementing the Energy Savings Performance project,” said Birnbaum who was on hand to present the awards from the DOE FEMP honors individuals, each year, for their significant contributions in energy and water efficiency from across the federal government in a ceremony held in Cincinnati, Ohio. Neither Rodriquez nor Filatow could attend last year’s event because of conflicting scheduling issues.
Filatow, Rodriquez and their team saw opportunity in identified energy and water conservation capability gaps. They developed solutions that would close the gaps and showcase USAG Wiesbaden as a leader in energy and water preservation.
“Behind a project like that stands a great team effort (beyond DPW), the whole community was involved, [including] multiple tenant units who participated in review meetings and who assisted with coordination during the construction period,” said Filatow.
Through the life cycle of the ESPC-1 project, USAG Wiesbaden emplaced energy-renewable solar power panels on 11 buildings, including at the Wiesbaden Army Lodge, replaced 5,000 lights with more energy-efficient LED bulbs and replaced the energy plant at McCully Barracks with an improved plant that burns natural gas, moving away from fuel oil.
These upgrades produced $11 million in energy savings across the installation footprint, showcasing an immediate return on investment, as the project installation costs came in at a final price tag of $9.4 million.
Both Rodriquez and Filatow bring a wealth of experience to the DPW team.
Rodriquez, who is a German native and an architect, has been working for the U.S Army since 2002. Filatow is an engineer—born and raised in Poland—has been a Department of the Army civilian since 2014.
“This award confirms that we are moving in the right direction, that our performance meets the strategic goals of leadership,” said Filatow.
According to the DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website: Federal Energy and Water Management Awards | Department of Energy, the Federal Energy and Water Management Awards strive to honor outstanding achievements in:
• Energy and water efficiency and conservation
• Energy and water resilience and cybersecurity
• Distributed energy generation
• Fleet and transportation management.
“It is great to see that the U.S. government is a contributor in the fight against global warming by working to lowering the CO2 footprint, while preserving our natural resources,” added Rodriquez.
Army resilient and renewable energy commitment
Saving energy and water can reduce the logistical support needed by combat maneuver elements to sustain its operations – that is a combat multiplier.
“Society is dependent on energy resources [and] the U.S. Army is no different,” said Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Energy and Sustainability Christine Ploschke who attended the energy conference and spoke about resiliency and renewable energy efforts across the Army enterprise.
The Army’s Climate Strategy outlines the commitment to develop consumable energy that is resilient, readily available and safe from disruption by weather or malicious intent. Defending installation water thermal and electrical grids across the U.S. and abroad is a top priority for Army leaders.
“Operations require energy more and more (…) our Soldiers, families and the garrison workforce all require energy resources to work comfortably and enjoy a high quality of life,” said Ploschke.
Modernizing Army garrisons will continue to be a priority for the Army, as the Army has outlined a variety of long-term goals through their Climate Strategy Implementation Plan, released (U.S. Army releases its Climate Strategy Implementation Plan | Article | The United States Army) in late 2022.
“I am here to see the best practices and how senior leadership within the Pentagon can best align our policy and resources to enable the outcomes to be achieved at the installations,” added Ploschke.
For Rodriquez, Filatow and the entire DPW team, seeing the Army’s energy commitment in action is important.
“[Seeing] our own creativity, thoughts and ideas materialize, and our energy conservation measures being implemented -- motivates us to continue (our efforts) every day,” said Rodriquez.
“It is an honor to work with this great team.”