October is Energy Action Month

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By Curtis Hill| Marine Corps Installations West
October marks the beginning of Energy Action Month (EAM) across the Department of Defense and the Marine Corps is fully embracing the opportunity to remind Marines, Civilian Marines and their families just how much we rely on energy and to encourage everyone to conserve energy and have a plan for what to do when the power goes out.

Marine Administrative Message (MarAdmin) 521/19 announced the EAM theme this year as “Innovation is the Road to Resilience.”

Historically, the Marine Corps has focused on energy savings and energy efficiency during EAM. While efficiency remains very important, the Marine Corps is widening the approach this year to highlight all three pillars of energy security: energy resilience (preparing for and having the ability to adapt to and recover from utility disruptions); energy reliability (having the ability to deliver energy when and where needed and the ability to prevent and resist utility disruptions); and energy efficiency (the implementation of innovative energy performance management practices and efficient technologies to reduce demand and cost of utilities as well as continuing to promote energy conservation). Specific attention will be dedicated to energy resilience as demonstrated by the EAM theme.

“Innovation goes beyond just technological advances and large-scale investments,” states the MarAdmin. “Everyone has a part to play in creating installation resilience.”

In the current environment where natural disasters loom and with the realization of the homeland no longer being a sanctuary, the Marine Corps must ensure it is the most ready when the nation is the least ready. That means when there is an unexpected occurrence impacting the external power grid, Marine Corps installations continue to meet their national defense and Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) missions and must have backup energy generation and storage to be able to meet those missions.

According to Joint Publication 3-28, DSCA, “In some cases of a catastrophic incident, the demands for life-saving and life-sustaining capabilities may exceed both the state’s and (US Government’s) ability to mobilize sufficient resources to meet the demand.”

This is when military installations and commands may be called upon to assist within the homeland. Once catastrophe strikes is not the time to begin planning, installations must be ready with backup power available for their mission critical and mission essential facilities and equipment.

Regardless of what may cause an interruption from the power grid, everyone is encouraged to take advantage of EAM to consider their own response to an unplanned power outage, whether at work or at home. Are you energy resilient? Do you have back-up power? Are you doing all you can to be a part of the solution when the unexpected happens? If you don’t know the answers to those questions, now is the time to find out.