WASHINGTON (Army News Service, July 21, 2011) -- Hew Wolfe, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for the environment, safety and organizational health, gave industry representatives this week an idea of where the Army will invest to become more sustainable.

"Sustainability has been embraced by senior Army leadership and that is key," he said Tuesday to open his presentation at the Army-Air Force Energy Forum in Arlington, Va. "We have direction and we have authority."

Wolfe, the Army representative on a sustainability panel, emphasized the service looks to apply current resources in the best way, and future projects will follow goals in the May 2010 Army Sustainability Campaign Plan. He called it the keystone document.

"Sustainability in my -- and these are Hew Wolfe’s opinions -- is an over-arching umbrella program and each of the umbrella tines that come down to hold the pillar up includes energy, includes environment, includes logistics, it includes everything we do in the Army," he explained.

Wolfe mentioned several recent projects to illustrate what he meant.

"I have a nice tan right now because I spent the last week in Hawaii doing a technology demonstration project over there," he said, talking about the Remotely Operated Underwater Munitions Retrieval System, or ROUMRS.

ROUMRS shows the Army’s emphasis on sustainability through cleanup. An underwater remotely operated vehicle is being used to retrieve munitions the Navy dumped off-shore during World War II.

The $2.1-billion Rocky Mountain Arsenal move was offered as another example.
Wolfe suggested now is the time for sustainability projects -- like ROUMRS and like the Rocky Mountain Arsenal -- because troops coming home will shift energy needs.

The deputy assistant secretary wrapped up his part of the panel discussion with a story about how Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, 32nd chief of staff of the Army, liked to be briefed on new projects, policies and programs.

"Whatever you were talking about had to impact readiness, it had to impact resources, and you had to show him return investment. If you didn’t address those three R’s, you didn’t get to come back."

Wolfe’s presentation was part of a two-day energy conference with the theme "Power the Force. Fuel the Fight."