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Military Expert Panel Report: Sea Level Rise and the U.S. Military’s Mission

military-expert-panel-cover-page-2016Military Expert Panel Report on Sea Level Rise and the U.S. Military’s Mission

The Center for Climate and Security’s Military Expert Panel Report: Sea Level Rise and the U.S. Military’s Mission concludes that sea level rise risks to coastal military installations will present serious risks to military readiness, operations and strategy. The Panel includes retired flag officers from all the Armed Services: General Ronald Keys, USAF (ret), Lieutenant General John Castellaw, USMC (ret), Vice Admiral Robert Parker, USCG (ret), Rear Admiral Jonathan White, USN (ret) and Brigadier General Gerald Galloway, USA (ret). From two Panel members:

“For the United States to remain strong and ready, we must ensure that our military and federal first responder capabilities can withstand and adapt to sea level rise. There isn’t a region in the world where rising seas don’t affect our military readiness and operations, and complicate our ability to do our job.  For our Coast Guard this is particularly true as they are embedded in the communities they serve and doubly impacted at home and at work.”Vice Admiral Rob Parker, U.S. Coast Guard (ret)

“The military’s job is to keep Americans safe from immediate and long term threats. In that role, we don’t have the luxury of choosing to wait until all of the data is in… on anything… we have to keep our risk to a manageable level. For us, sea level rise is going to impact some critical military basing, training, and ability to deploy and in some cases even operate.  If the next Commander in Chief wants to prioritize national security, sea level rise has to be in the list of threats.”General Ronald Keys, U.S. Air Force (ret)

The Military Expert Panel Report concludes that policies and plans for addressing climate change risks must go beyond infrastructure resilience, and into the realm of operations and strategy. The authors recommend that policy-makers support comprehensive and preventive measures to address increasing risks from sea level rise. Recommendations include:

  • Building capacity to address infrastructural, operational and strategic risks
  • Gaming out catastrophic climate scenarios in planning
  • Tracking trends in climate impacts
  • Collaborating with adjacent civilian communities.

Click here for the full report.

Click here for a summary of the report.

See below for a video of the report’s release event w/ Gen Ronald Keys, USAF (ret); Lieutenant General John Castellaw, USMC (ret); Vice Admiral (ret) Robert Parker, USCG (ret); Rear Admiral Jonathan White, USN (ret); Brigadier General Gerald Galloway, USA (ret); Joan VanDervort; Francesco Femia and Caitlin Werrell.