Army leaders go 'green,' stress energy conservation
By Courtney WittmannOctober 7, 2009
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 7, 2009) -- The Army is taking a number of steps to reduce energy consumption and increase energy efficiency at commands worldwide.Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Strategic Infrastructure L. Jerry Hansen discussed energy security Tuesday during a contemporary military forum at the Association of the United States Army's annual meeting in Washington, D.C.His forum "Energy and the Environment for an Expeditionary Army" outlined the Army's commitment to conservation."Over the last couple of years we have really renewed and intensified our commitment to energy conservation and the environment," Hansen said.Last year, former Secretary of the Army Pete Geren established the Senior Energy Council which oversees the planning and execution of the Army's energy-efficiency projects.During fiscal year 2009, the Army invested more than $50 million in "green" buildings, began purchasing green products to increase the total life cycle of Army equipment and started a variety of renewable energy programs to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions."Green," or sustainable buildings, are designed to reduce environmental impact by using healthier and more resource-efficient means of construction, renovation, operation, maintenance and demolition. The Army is incorporating environmentally conscious products, such as occupancy sensors and light-emitting diode lights, into buildings to decrease impact on the ecosystem.Overseeing Army building projects and the Army's energy-conservation design efforts is Lt. Gen. Robert L. Van Antwerp Jr., commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers."Our goal is to stretch energy security to see how far we can go," Van Antwerp said at the forum. "This is something we really have to do for America and we are proud to be a part of it."Also participating in the forum were: Maj. Gen. Howard B. Bromberg, Fort Bliss, Texas, commanding general; Brig. Gen. Al T. Aycock, deputy commanding general of Installation Management Command; Dr. Grace Bochenek, director of the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center; and Brian Lally, director, Installation Energy, Office of the Secretary of Defense.The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installation and Environment strives to make energy a consideration for all Army activities to reduce demand, increase efficiency, seek alternative sources, and create a culture of energy accountability while sustaining or enhancing operational capabilities, Hansen said."The Army is leading the drive for energy security and environment sustainability," said Hansen. "And each member of the Army community -- Soldiers, family members, civilians and contractors -- all have to lead by example and promote energy security to make sure we are improving our conservation efforts."