Army, Energized

By Tony Bertuca / October 12, 2010 at 3:18 PM

In a bid to emphasize the importance of energy efficiency and security, the Army has kicked-started the Defense Department's energy awareness month by renaming a key leadership post and increasing the scope of the office.

Katherine Hammack, the assistant secretary of the Army for installations and environment, can now add “energy” to her title. Army Secretary John McHugh made the change effective Oct. 1 -- the first day of energy awareness month across DOD.

“With energy becoming a bigger and bigger priority, we have the flexibility to change our name at the pleasure of the secretary of the Army,” she said during an interview with Inside the Army last week. “I was asked to implement an increased focus on energy and energy efficiency and energy security. We can't do anything without secured energy resources. Making energy a priority and the efficient use of energy a priority is certainly critical to the mission of the Army.”

Hammack, who has been on the job for four months, is short on specifics when it comes to talking about requirements reform, but she did point to several places where she thought the Army was making great strides.

For instance, she said, Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey recently received a federal energy and water management award for reducing water consumption for two large boiler plants and installing energy-efficient equipment and heat-recovery systems.

Hammack said the Picatinny project saved 110 billion BTUs of energy, 19 million gallons of water and about $900,000 in fiscal year 2009.

“The recent name change recognizes energy is an important role,” she said. “The Army can't run without it. We can't deliver weapons, we can't communicate, we can't house our soldiers.”

DOD leaders from across the services will be participating in panel discussions about defense energy policy at the Pentagon throughout the day tomorrow.