MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Later this month, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point will begin training a team whose primary focus will be to lead all personnel here in the growing effort – and requirement – to reduce energy consumption and costs.
Energy is vital for the operation of the air station. With energy costs expected to rise, it is important to insure that resources are available to directly support the warfighter. Stressing energy conservation, President Obama recently issued Executive Order 13963 which directs federal agencies to reduce energy consumption by 2.5% annually through 2025.
Marine Corps Installations East published its Regional Energy and Water Strategy in December with input from the Cherry Point’s Public Works Division. In the strategy, Brigadier General Robert F. Castellvi, MCIEAST commanding general, notes that, “Energy and water are critical enablers of the Maritime Strategy and expeditionary force in readiness. Inversely, they are critical vulnerabilities to our expeditionary capability. We simply cannot meet our obligations to our country without reliable, sustainable and efficient energy and water to operate and train our forces for assigned missions.”
The mission of the MCIEAST Regional Energy and Water Strategy is to ensure a cost effective, reliable source of energy throughout the region. It also aims to achieve the requirements mandated by Congress and the President to promote the efficient use of energy and water, increase the use of renewable energy sources, and reduce our nation’s dependency on foreign oil.
With an annual energy cost of over $20 million, Cherry Point is the second largest installation in terms of energy consumption in the region. The installation’s energy footprint spans barracks, warehouses, offices, maintenance facilities, community facilities and other training facilities.
Cherry Point is rolling out its own strategy in support of the MCIEAST document, which establishes a coordinated plan for the base community (operators, residents, civilians and contractors) to effectively manage energy and water at their installation. The strategy also outlines what installation commanders, units, organizations, and individuals can do to help achieve the overall Marine Corps energy and water goals.
“Our installation facilities and utilities are large consumers of industrial energy. Even modest gains in efficiency have the potential to free significant resources in support our aviation operations.” said Cmdr. Lance M. Flood, Cherry Point’s Public Works Officer.
A key factor in reducing Cherry Point’s energy use is the energy end-user – individual Marines and civilians. Cherry Point aims to instill an Energy Ethos – the shared vision that efficient use of energy resources is a critical component of mission readiness – in every Marine and civilian living and working on the installation. This focus on behavior will supplement the investments the Corps has made thus far in innovative technology, increased infrastructure and renewable energy projects. The more awareness we have of our actions and of the value of energy consumption to the Corps, the more we will understand how changes in our behavior will help conserve energy.
The establishment and roll out of Unit Energy Managers in compliance with MARADMIN 114/15 is a critical enabler of these efforts. Effective UEMs will identify opportunities and coordinate staff action within the operating units to achieve smart energy efficiency in a way that creates meaningful and sustainable change. “Unit Energy Mangers are the key to our success. We are working with senior leaders across our supported commands to make a real investment in training and support for these essential staff positions,” continued Cmdr. Flood. The initial training session for the UEM’s will be held on May 11 and 12.
Energy is a constant requirement in our lives. Creating awareness and adoption of lasting energy-efficient behaviors will not be easy, but we must understand and alter our habits to keep our force flexible and strong throughout changing global environments.