WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 18, 2010) -- The Army solidified its focus on energy security, Oct. 1, by elevating it assistant secretary of the Army-status.
At the start of the fiscal year, the office formally known as ASA (Installations & Environment) became ASA (Installations, Energy & Environment). The name change, by order of Secretary of the Army John McHugh, illustrates the growing importance placed on energy security and sustainability by the Army.
"This change is good news and helps emphasize a culture of energy security and sustainability in line with President Obama's identification of energy as a key priority," said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for IE&E. "In addition to the re-naming, we have updated our mission statement to reflect our responsibility to provide strategic direction for Army installations and facilities in all matters relating to infrastructure, energy and the environment, to support global Army missions in a cost effective, safe, and sustainable manner."
Energy security means the Army maintains the ability to provide deployed forces, global installations and individual Soldiers with reliable and uninterrupted access to power and fuel.
Today, both natural and man-made threats place installations and operational forces at risk to energy disruptions both overseas and in the United State -- where the nation's aging and fragile commercial power grid is vulnerable to natural disasters, cyber-attacks, accidents or physical attack.
"The U.S. Army is actively working to conserve energy and to seek alternative energy sources to support our war fighting efforts and to provide a more cost saving environment on our installations worldwide," said Under Secretary of the Army Joseph Westphal.
Installations such as Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., are already working to improve energy security. There, efforts have focused on increasing energy performance and reducing water consumption for two large boiler plants, including installing energy-efficient equipment and heat recovery systems; switching fuel from oil and propane to natural gas; rebuilding the non-potable water system; and improving heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, including energy monitoring and control systems.
The project at Picatinny Arsenal saved more than 110 billion BTUs of energy, 19 million gallons of water, and more than $889,000 in costs in fiscal year 2009. Additionally, greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by more than 6,100 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Picatinny was recently awarded a Federal Energy and Water Management Award.