Army Reserve Hosts Annual Workshop for Energy and Water Professionals

At the Huntington Convention Center on the banks of beautiful Lake Erie, professionals from across the country gathered for the United States Army Reserve Energy and Water Manager Training Workshop.

The Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate (ARIMD) presented the workshop in conjunction with the United States Department of Energy’s 2018 Energy Exchange in Cleveland, Ohio in late August.

Paul Wirt, Chief of the Facility Policy Division of ARIMD, opened the workshop with remarks about the Army Reserve’s contributions to Army-wide energy and water resilience. He honored the Army Reserve’s newly minted Certified Energy Managers, as well as two award winners. Greg Vallery, Director of Public Works at Fort Hunter Liggett, received the Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Award for Individual Exceptional Performance. Rickey Johns, Energy Manager at the 63rd Readiness Division, received a special commendation from Robert Maxwell, Army Reserve Chief Financial Officer and Director of Resource Management and Materiel, for his dedicated service to the energy program.

Judith Hudson, Chief of the Facility Policy Division at the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, then addressed the attendees. She inspired them to view their energy and water initiatives through a “lens of resilience.” “Ask yourself: what are your critical missions, and how can you support them through the activities that you are doing in energy and water?” she said. She alluded to the Army’s need to be ready in the face of natural disasters. “When the hurricane hits, how you are going to enable your Soldiers to complete their missions?” she asked, stressing the importance of assured access to energy. Hudson also urged the teams to “challenge assumptions,” so they are constantly aware of potential impediments to energy and water security and solutions to those concerns.

In the following briefings, several energy and water professionals from ARIMD and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory discussed topics such as the Energy Resilience and Conservation Investment Program; Energy Savings Performance Contracts; the Enterprise Building Control System; and the Resource Efficiency Manager Program. Anibal Negron, Energy Manager at Fort Buchanan, offered a presentation on the state of his Installation’s energy and water projects in the wake of Hurricane Maria, which devastated the Caribbean island in the fall of 2017.
Representatives from Installations and Readiness Divisions also participated in breakout groups, where they discussed their visions for a resilient Army Reserve.

Wirt closed the workshop with some words of encouragement, reminding the teams that the Army has lauded the Army Reserve’s energy and water programs as some of the most robust in the Department of Defense, the federal government and even the nation. “Go out and continue to leverage partnerships with your colleagues in the field … with utility service providers … with the national labs … with the Corps of Engineers,” he said. “Seek opportunities to conserve … to improve … to secure our energy resources. You have the power. Let’s work toward resilience now, so we can continue to be the most outstanding energy and water program – and the most outstanding fighting force – in the Department of Defense.”

ARMY RESERVE HOLDS FIRST MISSION RESILIENCE AND SUSTAINABILITY TRAINING

Story by Jonelle Kimbrough, Strategic Communicator
Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate

Among Saguaro cacti that stretched to painted deserts and palm trees that reached for watercolor sunsets, sustainability professionals from the United States Army Reserve gathered in Tempe, Arizona for the enterprise’s Mission Resilience and Sustainability Training in November 2017.

For three days, professionals from across the Army Reserve gathered to collaborate, share ideas and learn new ways to develop and implement energy, water, solid waste and environmental quality projects at Installations, Readiness Divisions and the Mission Support Command.

Paul Wirt, Chief of Army Reserve Sustainability Programs, said that the idea for the training developed from a need and a desire to tie sustainability even closer to readiness. At their core, the Army Reserve’s sustainability efforts protect the natural resources that are vital to every mission. They enhance the efficiency of facilities, and they improve the well-being of the Army Reserve’s communities. Army Reserve Mission Resilience and Sustainability Training was designed to bolster those concepts and pave the road for new, innovative approaches to conservation.

“Now, more than ever, it is critical that the Army Reserve has the mission resilience to continue operations at our facilities around the world, despite any manmade or natural crisis,” Wirt said. “Energy and water security concerns, environmental considerations, community engagements and partnerships are all critical readiness aspects. Sustainability is all about looking at our opportunities for the future in an integrated and holistic approach. This training is a significant milestone for the Army Reserve in bringing our subject matter experts together to chart a path forward.”

The inaugural event occurred at Arizona State University and Arizona Heritage Center.

The Army Reserve selected Arizona State University as the primary host for the first Mission Resilience and Sustainability Training because the school is a well-established leader in sustainability education. The university created the nation’s first School of Sustainability in 2006 as a part of its Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. Now, their program is world renowned.

Dr. Christopher Boone, Dean of the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University, lauded the university’s efforts to provide first-class educational opportunities to active duty Soldiers, Army Reserve Soldiers and veterans, and he praised the Department of Defense’s role in preserving natural resources for the future. “Without the military, we cannot achieve sustainability,” Boone said. “The military is a key player in the implementation of sustainability on the ground.”

Colonel Marshall Banks, Director of the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate, opened the training at a plenary session that featured Boone; Wirt; John “Jack” Surash, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Energy and Sustainability; and Addison “Tad” Davis, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and the Environment.

Surash praised the Army Reserve for its significant contributions to the Army’s energy conservation and cost avoidance successes, and he called for more “smart ideas” to come from the participants. “Energy resilience is important for the Army,” he remarked.

Davis called the Army Reserve a “true sustainability force” that is enhancing Army readiness, building valuable partnerships and using taxpayer dollars responsibly through resource conservation. Quoting American journalist Thomas Friedman, he encouraged the professionals in attendance to “do a deep dive,” “transform the DNA” of their programs and “reimagine their processes for a more sustainable outcome.”

A common theme among the presenters was transition.

Boone said that both Arizona State University and the Army Reserve are merely “scratching the surface” of sustainability. “There is still more to be done,” he urged.

Wirt discussed a “tipping point,” when Army Reserve Sustainability Programs would move from compliance to innovation. Until now, Army Reserve Sustainability Programs have focused primarily on meeting mandates and creating a foundation of clear strategies and baseline data, from which progress in energy conservation, water conservation and waste diversion can be tracked. Now, the programs can be creative. “Our collective path forward is clear,” Wirt said. “Now is the time to move forward, make a holistic impact, connect with our communities and lead the Department of Defense in the years to come.”

Davis called the training “a learning experience,” and Wirt challenged his colleagues to embrace new initiatives. “Open your eyes, your ears and – most of all – your minds to the realm of possibility,” Wirt said. “Glean a new understanding of sustainability, and use the knowledge to bolster your contributions to an adaptable, resilient Army Reserve – one that is prepared for a future defined by change.”

Training sessions throughout the three days included energy and water security, solid waste management, sustainable procurement, environmental compliance, real estate, and cultural resources management. Participants appreciated a variety of learning opportunities, from tours of Arizona State University’s campus sustainability initiatives to hands-on technology tutorials.

As they learned practical skills that would benefit their careers, participants also learned how to affect a real culture change in the military. Dr. George Basile, Senior Sustainability Scientist and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University, implored the training participants to approach sustainability from a more personal view. “Sustainability is about better decisions,” Basile said. “Think about sustainability in terms of what matters to you. How will sustainability help you succeed? Be the example, and use that lens of sustainability to bring people together.”

Attendees also enjoyed a rare chance to find motivation from one of the nation’s leading advocates of sustainability. Kate Brandt, Lead of Sustainability Initiatives at Google and former Chief Sustainability Officer under President Barack Obama, offered remarks as part of Arizona State University’s Wrigley Lecture Series. “Everyone’s day job should be sustainability,” she commented during her speech. She said that the Department of Defense’s sustainability achievements are powerful “because they show what is possible.”

At the closing ceremony, Army Reserve Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Charles Luckey, appeared in a video, echoing the importance of sustainability to the enterprise. Robert Maxwell, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Resource Management and Materiel at the Office of the Chief of the Army Reserve, also offered some words of wisdom and encouragement. “There is no question that the Army Reserve leads the pack in sustainability,” Maxwell said. “We are all-in. The Army Reserve plays a critical role in the defense of this nation, and sustainability is critical to our ability to be mission ready today and into the future. Sustainability is the right thing to do for our allegiance to our country, our stewardship of our resources and our commitment to our communities.”

James Hessil, Chief of the Environmental Division at Fort McCoy’s Directorate of Public Works, was inspired by his experience. “I thought the training was an excellent opportunity to interact with Army Reserve personnel from Readiness Divisions and Installations and to learn from other’s best management practices and successes,” he said. “I also thought it was an excellent idea to have Arizona State University host the training because it allowed us to learn sustainability from one of the best institutions in the world.”

“The Army Reserve has much to be proud of in the last five years on our path to becoming a sustainable world-wide organization,” Wirt said. “But, this training has highlighted to the participants that there are so many more opportunities that we need to embrace. I believe that the participants left [the training] with a more collective vision of where we need to focus our efforts and how each one of us has a critical role in those efforts. Leveraging and building on partnerships both within our communities and with outstanding institutions like Arizona State University is incredibly important for our overall success.”

SEE A PHOTO ALBUM FROM ARMY RESERVE MISSION RESILIENCE AND SUSTAINABILITY TRAINING ON FLICKR!

ARMY RESERVE WELL-REPRESENTED AT ENERGY EXCHANGE

Story by Jonelle Kimbrough, Strategic Communicator
Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate

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.

14 - Looking At You - Nead
“Looking at You” by Donald Nead