What the Army was doing last Friday

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Conflict in Gaza. Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan. Skirmishes on the India-China border. Russia provoking Ukraine in the Black Sea. The geo-political landscape is poised to erupt. So what serious issue is the U.S. Army fussing over? Wait, what? They’re making their tactical vehicles “greener”.*

Greening the Army had been put on the back burner under President Trump. Not entirely ignored as some conservation efforts are very worthwhile, but it wasn’t the main emphasis as he realized we need to focus on building up our assets and improving national security. On January 20, 2021 Greenery went back to the top of the Army’s Honey-do list following this Executive Order from Biden/Harris.

What is it?

Climate change is a serious threat to U.S. National security interests and defense objectives. The effects of climate change can cause humanitarian disasters, undermine weak governments and contribute to long-term social and economic disruptions.

Warming temperatures open new theaters of operations for military and commercial use, while extreme weather events and rising sea levels threaten infrastructure and economic output, trigger large-scale population displacement, migration and exacerbate food and water insecurity.

What are the current and past efforts of the Army?

In line with the President and the Secretary of Defense’s direction, the Army is prioritizing climate change considerations in its threat picture, strategic plans, operations and installations. The Army is:

  • Including climate risk analyses in modeling and simulation activities and daily operational missions.
  • Investing in technologies to provide enhanced capabilities for operational energy and modernization priorities, and support mitigating and adapting to climate change.
  • Addressing climate threats and integrating energy efficiency and renewable energy into the installation portfolio, including supply chain considerations in procurement.
  • Making changes to installation master planning, natural resource planning, and design, construction and sustainment standards to address climate risks.

The Army stood up the Army Climate Change Working Group (ACCWG) on Mar. 10, 2021 and is developing the Army’s Climate Strategy and Army Climate Action Plan

What continued efforts does the Army have planned?

To prepare for the challenges ahead, the Army will continue to identify and implement steps to enhance readiness and capability in the face of climate related threats and will continue to be a strong steward of the resources offered in the shared operational environment. The Army has a lot to be proud of, yet there is a lot of work to continue to operate efficiently across extreme weather and climate conditions.

The Army is:

  • Conducting in-depth assessments of likely climate change effects on the Army’s worldwide missions.
  • Strategizing and planning to mitigate climate threats, with emphasis on Soldier resilience, energy reform, and capability enhancement and procurement.
  • Advancing development and use of renewable energy, energy and water efficiency and consumption, and other environmental initiatives that steward the land, air and water to enable Army operations and maximize readiness.
  • Poised to lead the way in technology development for tactical vehicles that balances increased capability with decreased climate impacts.

Why is this important to the Army?

Climate change leads to competition for scarce resources and can increase the spread of infectious diseases. To secure the American people and their interests in the homeland and abroad, the Army must continue to address the challenges a changing climate poses to the people, territories, capabilities, and other resources upon which U.S. security depends.

*(Check out this article at Popular Mechanics which suggests battlefield nuclear power plants!)