By Katie NelsonJune 25, 2012
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, June 25, 2012) -- In the wake of possible environmental disasters due to changes in climate, Army Reserve citizen Soldiers stand ready to respond where needed -- though an officials said the Reserve is making efforts now to help prevent those scenarios from happening.
Army Reserve Command Chief Executive Officer Addison "Tad" Davis spoke June 25, before the Association of Climate Change Officers' annual Defense, National Security and Climate Change conference in the nation's capital.
As a keynote speaker at the conference, Davis discussed the effects of environmental shift both domestically and abroad, and how those changes could negatively impact living conditions. If, for example, climate change wreaked havoc on poverty-stricken areas in the U.S., and caused crises in terms of resource availability and increased opportunity for disease, the 205,000 Soldiers in the Army Reserve would have the capability to assist.
"We're a federal entity and provide a tremendous amount of what we call 'combat support' and combat service support," he said. "We are citizen Soldiers, and so we are a community-based organization."
Davis also explained the Army's efforts to make environmentally friendly changes. Davis addressed the issue of declining energy resources and changing climate, and how the Army is combating these issues while dealing with the uncertainty of the future.
"There's a lot going on out there in this whole climate change in the world that we're here to talk about today, and there are a lot of unknowns out there," Davis said. "And we don't have all the answers, but we've got to stay with it and keep moving forward."
Some of the changes the Army Reserve is continuing to make include installing meters on large military buildings that measure energy usage, using "green building" techniques in construction projects, and harnessing solar and wind power to cut down on excessive energy costs.
Davis emphasized that the Army Reserve was committed to the energy conservation cause and that he hoped it would be a positive example for the other military branches. He clarified that the movement toward energy conservation is not just a civilian priority, but also a military one.
"It was important to us to have a tie to the green-suit military so it wasn't just a bunch of civilian, environmental folks who are involved with this thing," he said. "[This distinction shows] direct linkage from environmental consequences to the [military's] mission."
Throughout the presentation, Davis accentuated the point that the Army was in the process of adapting to new methods of collecting and applying energy. He expressed the hope that he would be able to attend future climate change conferences and report back on the strides the Army had made in improving energy conservation.
"It's real for us," he said, on behalf of the Army Reserve. "It's something we signed up for and we believe in and we're going to move forward in, and we'll see where it takes us."