FEDERAL ENERGY MANAGEMENT PROGRAM HONORS ARMY RESERVE PROGRAMS, PROFESSIONALS

The United States Department of Energy honored the Army Reserve with two Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) Awards this year.

The 9th Mission Support Command and Paul Wirt, Chief of Army Reserve Sustainability Programs, were among 27 FEMP Award winners.

Jared Corsi, Bryan Morris, Amy Solana, Benjamin Spiker and Christina Vicari received a Program Award for conservation efforts at Kaoru Moto Army Reserve Center in Maui, Hawaii in the 9th Mission Support Command.

Between fiscal years 2015 and 2016, the 9th Mission Support Command reduced energy consumption at Kaoru Moto Army Reserve Center by 36 percent. Improved lighting and climate control systems conserved energy, and a 99 kilowatt solar array provided renewable power. The center also reduced water consumption by 70 percent, compared to the 2007 baseline. Irrigation controls achieved a 60 percent reduction in water use in only one year.

The 9th Mission Support Command’s projects at Kaoru Moto Army Reserve Center have many benefits for the Army Reserve. Maui is located on a vulnerable, environmentally sensitive island that relies on fuel imports. Energy conservation reduces Hawaii’s dependence on foreign oil, increases its energy security and even reduces the state’s emissions by 176 tons of carbon dioxide every year. The initiatives build a comfortable and efficient facility for Soldiers and their civilian support force. And, they provide an estimated cost avoidance of nearly $105,000 every year.

For First Lieutenant Spiker, the FEMP award firmly establishes the 9th Mission Support Command as a model of sustainability for the entire Army Reserve. Spiker, the facility manager at Kaoru Moto Army Reserve Center, called the honor “prestigious” and “a huge achievement.” “The award is a motivator to build on what we have accomplished here and to share our knowledge, so others can follow in our footsteps,” he said. “For a single facility that is so far from Washington [D.C.], recognition at [the federal level] is unbelievable and really shows that the actions that we take toward energy conservation matter in the big picture.”

Vicari, Energy Manager for the 9th Mission Support Command, shared Spiker’s sentiments. “All of the hard work and coordination involved in moving these projects forward has succeeded,” she said. “The award proves the possibilities of creating energy efficient facilities and saving money in the long run for American taxpayers. It reminds me that, as far as the target may seem in the beginning, we can achieve this for other sites, project by project. For the team as a whole, and especially for those that are new to energy, it may plant a seed as to the viability of energy projects.”

Wirt was one of five honorees to garner a Career Exceptional Performance Award.

Wirt’s career in sustainability with the Army has spanned many years, from Chief of Environmental Management with the Directorate of Public Works at Fort Bragg, North Carolina to his current position with the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate.

Wirt has guided strategic and effective energy, water, solid waste and environmental quality programs that promote a culture of resource-conscious Soldiers, Civilians and Families throughout the Army Reserve. He has been instrumental in developing a Building Energy Monitor Program; managing the Army Reserve’s Net Zero sites; implementing a comprehensive facility evaluation process; and initiating an Enterprise Building Control System to increase energy efficiency at sites across the enterprise.

The Army Reserve has achieved significant successes under Wirt’s tutelage. From fiscal year 2015 to 2016, the enterprise reduced its energy use intensity by 17.9 percent – the most of any land holding command in the Department of the Army – for a cost avoidance of $6.7 million, or the cost of nine training missions. The Army Reserve has also reduced its potable water consumption by 44 percent since 2007.

Wirt shared his accolade with his colleagues and affirmed the lasting impacts of their efforts. “This award is a tremendous honor and a testimony to the dedication of our sustainability team and all of the energy and water champions across the Army Reserve,” he said. “I am fortunate to work with an outstanding group of professionals and leaders who provide the essential support to affect real change while drastically reducing our consumption and realizing significant cost avoidance. By embracing a collective vision to change our organizational culture and make our facilities across the world more energy and water secure, the Army Reserve has embraced mission resiliency.”

The Department of Energy will present the FEMP awards in a ceremony on November 2, 2017 in Washington, D.C.


Greg Vallery, the Director of Public Works at Fort Hunter Liggett, is a winner of the 2017 FEDS Spotlight Award.

Fort Hunter Liggett is a United States Army Reserve-funded installation near Jolon, California.

The FEDS Spotlight Award is a new initiative of the United States Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP). FEMP launched and presented the awards at the Energy Exchange conference in Tampa, Florida in August 2017.

Winners hailed from 16 federal agencies including the Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Records and Archives Administration, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Justice, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Vallery was one of 31 winners in the inaugural round of awards and one of two professionals from the Department of the Army to receive the accolade.

Federal agencies and FEMP personnel selected the recipients, who were described as “energy champions who embody the principles of efficient and innovative energy, water and fleet management by connecting, collaborating and conserving.”

FEMP honored Vallery for his work to establish Fort Hunter Liggett as one of the Army’s first Net Zero sites. During his tenure as Director of Public Works, Vallery has collaborated with the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to install eight megawatts of solar systems on post. He has partnered with other national laboratories, the United States Army Corps of Engineers – Huntsville’s Center of Excellence, the Electric Power Research Institute and local utility providers to implement numerous projects that will reduce Fort Hunter Liggett’s dependence on the municipal grid and bolster the installation’s energy security for years to come.

With Vallery’s dedication and innovation, Fort Hunter Liggett leads the Army Reserve in energy and water conservation and efficiency. The installation reduced its energy use intensity by 30 percent
between fiscal year 2003 and 2015 and potable water use intensity by 57 percent between fiscal year 2007 and 2015. Renewable technologies produce nearly 30 percent of the power on post.

As a Command, the Army Reserve reduced its energy use intensity by 17.9 percent between fiscal year 2015 and 2016 for a cost avoidance of $6.7 million, or the level of funding to produce nine training missions.

“It is truly an honor to have been nominated and selected by my fellow colleagues,” said Vallery. “The collaborative team for the Army Reserve is pushing forward for our installations and facilities
to be resilient and sustainable in supporting readiness of the warfighter.”

Energy conservation and efficiency initiatives ensure that the Army Reserve’s Soldiers have the energy that they need – where they need it and when they need it, today and tomorrow, at Fort Hunter Liggett and around the world.

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ARMY RESERVE REDUCES ENERGY USE INTENSITY IN FISCAL YEAR 2016

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Energy touches nearly every aspect of the United States Army Reserve’s mission, from the electricity that powers our Army Reserve Centers to the fuel that powers our vehicles. To maintain readiness and adapt to a constantly evolving global presence, the Army Reserve is striving to conserve energy and other vital assets.

In fiscal year 2016, the Army Reserve proved its commitment to that goal.

According to the United States Army Reserve Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Energy Management Report, the Army Reserve achieved a 17.9 percent reduction in energy use intensity last year, compared to the fiscal year 2015 baseline. The reduction far exceeded a Federal goal of a 2.5 percent annual reduction in energy use intensity.

“The Army Reserve is a leader in the Department of Defense’s charge to save natural, fiscal and operational resources and to accomplish goals toward energy security,” said Paul Wirt, Chief of the Army Reserve Sustainability Programs Branch.

Nine of the ten Army Reserve-funded Installations, Regional Support Commands and Mission Support Command reported a reduction in energy use intensity, and seven of those ten sites reported reductions of at least 12 percent.

Furthermore, the enterprise’s reduction in energy use intensity translated into a significant cost avoidance of $6.7 million in fiscal year 2016 – a cost equivalent to staging nine Army Reserve training exercises.

“If we can conserve energy in our facilities, we can ensure that our resources are directed to our most critical missions,” Wirt explained. “If we are reducing the energy consumption and cost for services such as lighting and heating, we can focus our efforts and attention on energy security and resilience for our facilities.”

Diverse initiatives throughout the enterprise contributed to the Army Reserve’s efforts to save energy, increase energy efficiency and reduce America’s dependence on foreign fossil fuels. For instance, the 99th Regional Support Command leveraged a portion of its Energy Savings Performance Contract to replace fluorescent lights with light emitting diodes at Technical Sergeant Vernon McGarity Army Reserve Center in Pennsylvania, where the improvements reduced energy consumption by 51 percent and conserved an estimated 184,000 kilowatt hours of energy. The Army Reserve implemented solar projects at the 9th Mission Support Command, the 88th Regional Support Command and Fort McCoy, contributing to the generation of 46.3 million British Thermal Units of renewable energy in fiscal year 2016. Fort Hunter Liggett used heat pump technologies and other holistic energy recovery opportunities to increase the energy efficiency of four Transient Training Enlisted barracks and push the Installation toward Net Zero, when it will produce as much energy as it consumes. In addition, the Army Reserve continued its endeavors to create an energy conscious culture among the Soldiers, Civilians and Families who are uniquely positioned to serve as stewards in the ranks of the Army as well as the ranks of their communities.

Wirt believes that the successes will continue to charge the Army Reserve’s Energy Program. “Last year’s achievements are remarkable,” he said. “They are inspiring our Installations, Regional Support Commands and Mission Support Command to be even more ambitious and to expect even more robust results over the coming year. The Army Reserve is taking action to protect our energy resources because an energy secure Army Reserve is a resilient Army Reserve that is increasingly capable of accomplishing our mission today and into the future.”

Article by Jonelle Kimbrough, Strategic Communicator
Army Reserve Sustainability Programs

ARMY RESERVE WELL-REPRESENTED AT ENERGY EXCHANGE

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Anibal Negron, Chief of the Environmental Division at Fort Buchanan, presents a brief on the Installation’s energy conservation measures at the Energy Exchange

What happens when some of the U.S. Army Reserve’s brightest minds converge? A lot of bright ideas are born. And, those bright ideas often go on to become innovative energy initiatives that conserve resources for the Department of Defense and support the military mission.

Directors of Public Works, Energy Managers, Resource Efficiency Managers and members of the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate (ARIMD) Energy Team descended on Providence, Rhode Island in August for the annual Federal government’s Energy Exchange.

Hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Energy Exchange is an educational forum that provides opportunities for energy professionals to learn more about energy management and sustainability in the Federal sector and to establish contacts with others in the field.

To commence the activities, ARIMD hosted the Army Reserve Energy Manager Training Workshop on Monday, August 8. At the event, Army Reserve representatives presented reports on Comprehensive Energy and Water Evaluations, assessments on metering and utility monitoring and briefs on a variety of energy projects. Ms. Judith Hudson, Chief of the Energy and Facility Policy Division at the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, and Ms. Kristine Kingery, Program Director at the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Energy and Sustainability, addressed the participants and discussed the importance of energy security and sustainability initiatives to the Army Reserve’s mission.

Throughout the following days, attendees enjoyed a trade show and sessions on topics such as integrated energy, sustainability planning, renewable energy, fleet management and project financing.

The Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Awards ceremony was held on Thursday, August 11. The 63rd Regional Support Command accepted honors for Energy Efficiency and Energy Management, Small Group.

On Friday, Army Energy Managers gathered for the Department of Army Energy Manager Training Workshop to close the week.

Several Army Reserve delegates were among the presenters.

Mr. Anibal Negron, Chief of the Environmental Division at the Directorate of Public Works at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, shared his expertise on the use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts and the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program to fund numerous energy conservation measures on the Installation. He also offered a progress report on Fort Buchanan’s efforts to achieve Net Zero energy, or to produce as much energy as the Installation consumes.

Mr. Greg Vallery, Director of Public Works at Fort Hunter Liggett, California, discussed his Installation’s renewable energy projects and Net Zero initiatives.

Mr. Paul Wirt and Ms. Robin Robinson of ARIMD presented on the Utility Rates Analysis Study, which will determine the utility rate structures for all Army Reserve sites and identify opportunities to reduce expenditures.

“The Energy Exchange is an outstanding annual forum for Energy Managers across the country to participate on panels, share lessons learned and learn about the latest technologies,” said Wirt, Chief of Sustainability Programs at ARIMD. Wirt went on to emphasize the positive impacts that both the Department of the Army and the Army Reserve have had as a result of their sessions before and after the Energy Exchange. “We can really build a strong team when Army and Army Reserve energy and water professionals are able to meet face-to-face and discuss mutual challenges and opportunities to reduce our consumption and utility costs and to increase our energy resilience.”

WINNERS SELECTED IN “GO WILD” DIGITAL PHOTO CONTEST

A curious pelican, a lively jumping spider and a stern burrowing owl are the winning wildlife in the “Go Wild” Digital Photography Contest, hosted this summer by U.S. Army Reserve Sustainability Programs.

Donald Nead received top honors for his photograph “Looking at You.” Nead is a former Army Reserve Master Sergeant and is currently the Range Safety Officer at Fort Hunter Liggett, California. Nead said that he has been interested in photography since childhood. When he captured “Looking at You,” he was in the right place at the right time. “[I was] walking around Moro Bay, California when this young pelican was staring down from a light post,” he said. Nead has also photographed a Shiras moose, a gray wolf, a Pacific rattlesnake and a bald eagle – to name only a few of his subjects.

“Little Wonders” by Eneilis Mulero was also a winner. Mulero has been a Civilian volunteer at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico since 2013 and assists primarily with the Puerto Rican boa management and conservation program. Since she has been pursuing her Master’s Degree in biology from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, she has gained a keen interest in photography. Mulero especially enjoys macro, or close, photography “where you can observe details of small species and thus perceive them in a unique, beautiful way.” Spiders have become one of her favorite models. “I was monitoring snakes in the field when I noticed a little spider jumping on a leaf,” Mulero recalled about the day she captured “Little Wonders.” She recognized the arachnid as a Salticidae, commonly known as a jumping spider. According to Mulero, jumping spiders are small but voracious predators that can be distinguished by the complicated arrangements of their eyes. They have elaborate vision and can perceive more colors than humans can perceive. “I hope this photo may give an interesting perspective of these creatures,” she said.

Michael Strauss’ “Keep Away” was selected as a winner as well. Strauss is a contracted Environmental Protection and Compliance Specialist at Parks Reserve Forces Training Area (PRFTA) in California. Strauss became fascinated with the art of photography when he was a young boy watching his father work with cameras, and that fascination has remained steady throughout his life. His well-trained eye helped him spot the subject for “Keep Away.” “I was across the street from the environmental office at Parks when I saw a burrowing owl perched on the sign meant to protect them,” Strauss explained. “I found it amusing, so I snapped a few pictures.” Strauss said that he has used “Keep Away” in publications and flyers about the PRFTA environmental program.

The “Go Wild” Digital Photography Contest was held to observe World Environment Day and increase community awareness about the unique flora and fauna managed at Army Reserve Installations, Regional Support Commands and Mission Support Command. The three winners were chosen from 115 entries by a panel of seven judges comprised of sustainability and environmental quality personnel from the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate.

All of the entries may be viewed at usarsustainability.com/GoWild. Have a favorite? You can vote on a People’s Choice award winner at facebook.com/USARSustainability through August 14.

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“Looking at You” by Donald Nead

FORT HUNTER LIGGETT QUALIFIED RECYCLING PROGRAM UNLEASHES THE COYOTE

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If you’re not recycling properly at Fort Hunter Liggett, watch out! The “recycling coyote” is on the loose, and he may be coming for you.

The Fort Hunter Liggett Qualified Recycling Program’s “QRP TV” revealed amazing,
never-before-seen “footage” of the recycling coyote at the garrison’s America Recycles Day, Safety Stand-Down and Organizational Day last November.

In the footage, the recycling coyote stealthily appears when unsuspecting individuals either toss their recyclables into refuse receptacles or deposit their trash into recycling bins. Sightings of the coyote, encouraging Soldiers and Civilians to recycle right and recycle more, have been reported throughout the Installation.

Rick Bosch is Fort Hunter Liggett’s appointed Qualified Recycling Program (QRP) manager and Chief of the Community Recreation and Business Operations Division at the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. He said that the coyote was born from a need to educate the community about proper recycling practices in a unique and different way. “Recycling should be fun and dynamic, not rigid and regimented with force,” Bosch commented. Since Fort Hunter Liggett’s garrison mascot is a coyote, the creature was the perfect choice to serve as an ambassador for the program. “At this remote and isolated Installation, there are actually more coyotes than people, so we have a built-in watchdog force,” Bosch joked.

Bosch said that the coyote has been well-received so far and that the QRP has been successful in leveraging champions in the community. The achievements of the program – which are rather incredible for such a new endeavor – can be attributed to the efforts of Soldiers, Families, Civilians and contractors.

Fort Hunter Liggett established its QRP in 2013. By 2014, the QRP had recovered 207,000 pounds or 103 tons of recyclables. In 2015, the QRP recovered almost four times that amount ‒ 776,000 pounds or 388 tons. The QRP has not only diverted tons of recyclables from the landfill, though. It has also raised around $500,000 in funds for numerous quality-of-life projects at the Installation. In the past two years, the QRP has funded the Army Reserve birthday barbecue, occupational health and safety educational materials and signage, two organizational days, the annual holiday tree lighting and free internet access at the Cybrary.

Collaboration with the State of California has also enhanced success. The program has achieved Certified Community Service Program status. Their curbside recycling services in Army Family Housing gained Certified Curbside Recycling Program status, and they are a Certified Oil Generator, for which they receive credit and state funding.

Although Fort Hunter Liggett has a 30 percent diversion rate, “we can’t sit on our haunches and rest on our laurels,” Bosch said. The Installation is still chasing the Net Zero standard of a 50 percent diversion rate for municipal solid waste, and Bosch estimated that they would need to recycle about 300,000 additional pounds of materials this year to meet that goal.

To that end, Fort Hunter Liggett plans to continue educating its population about the benefits of recycling – with the help of that wily coyote, of course.

“We have turned a corner in changing behaviors and perceptions,” Bosch said. “[The QRP] is something that helps us meet our Net Zero waste goal but allows us to have fun and benefit as a community. People are the heartbeat of this community, and the more opportunities we have to share time and smiles as an organization, the more prepared and passionate we are to support our mission daily.”

WATCH THE RECYCLING COYOTE IN ACTION

LEARN MORE ABOUT FORT HUNTER LIGGETT’S QRP