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The Climate and Security Podcast: Episode 7 with Joan VanDervort

joanvandervort_climateandsecuritypodcastWelcome back to The Climate and Security Podcast!

In this episode Joan VanDervort, Member of the Center for Climate and Security Advisory Board and former Deputy Director for Ranges, Sea and Airspace in the U.S. Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Readiness), talks about how climate change impacts military training and readiness. Joan pulls from her extensive career in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to explain how training is the cornerstone of readiness.  Climate factors, like intense rainfall impacts on infrastructure and increased heat causing trainee and soldier hospitalizations, pose serious risks to training and ultimately to the ability to successfully carry out military missions. Joan also discuss how the DoD tracks the migration of diseases as well as the health of military personal going into combat. Tune into this episode for insights into military readiness that can only come from decades of experience as a civil servant.

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Army Training and Doctrine Command Says Climate Change Will Shape Future Operating Environment

Sailor_directs_a_U.S._Army_light_medium_tactical_vehicle_off_a_landing_craft,_utility._(37285057102)

U.S. Army Service members return toU.S. Virgin Islands to assist with disaster relief operations in response to hurricanes Irma and Maria, Sept. 23, 2017

By John Conger

As the U.S. Army prepares troops for the future of warfare, it has, without question, a lot on its plate.  Complicating that picture for the Army is climate change. The Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), which as its name implies is responsible for overseeing training and operational doctrine development for the Army, affirmed at a recent conference that it sees climate change as a key factor influencing how and where the Army will fight.

As reported by the Army Times: (more…)

Army Assistant Secretary Nominee on Whether or Not Climate Change Affects the Military: “Absolutely.”

Alex Beehler

Alex Beehler, nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy, and Environment, before the Senate Armed Services Committee, August 22, 2018

On August 21, Alex Beehler, the nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy, and Environment, was asked by Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed during a confirmation hearing about whether or not he agreed with Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’ s view that climate change affects the military mission. His response was unambiguous:

“Absolutely. Echoing what General McMahon just said, and if confirmed, from my position I will do everything to encourage installations and help direct installations to properly prepare on a case by case basis for both adverse weather and effects long-term from climate.” (more…)

Lieutenant General Stephen Lanza Joins the Center for Climate and Security Advisory Board

LtGen Lanza_USA_RetThe Center for Climate and Security is pleased and honored to announce that Lieutenant General Stephen Lanza, United States Army (Retired), has joined its distinguished Advisory Board of military, national security and foreign policy leaders.

LtGen Lanza recently retired from the Army, where his last assignment was as U.S. Army Commanding General and Senior Mission Commander for Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Tacoma, Washington. As the Senior Army Commander of JBLM, he led the nation’s most important joint power projection platform in the West Coast, providing superior leadership to 14 major subordinate commands and seven directorates and orchestrating their efforts to train, equip, and care for over 155,000 service members and civilians across the U.S. Armed Forces.  (more…)

Hearing: Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force Leadership All Highlight Climate Change Risks to Military Readiness

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General Glenn Walters, USMC and General Stephen Wilson, USAF, during Senate Armed Services Committee hearing “Current Readiness of U.S. Forces,” Feb 14, 2018

Last Wednesday, during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on “Current Readiness of the U.S. Forces,” senior leadership from the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force all highlighted climate change-related risks to their respective military installations, and force readiness, in a very substantive and illuminating exchange with Senator Tim Kaine.

The Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Glenn Walters, and the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Bill Moran, both warned of serious sea level rise threats to critical Marine and Navy installations, citing a shared status as  “waterfront organizations.” Air Force Vice Chief of Staff General Stephen Wilson, and Army Vice Chief of Staff General James McConville, noted rising threats from forest fires, floods and hurricanes, including to energy resiliency across their bases. Below is both a summary and full transcript of those statements, as well as a link to the hearing video (exchange with Senator Kaine begins at 01:07:40). (more…)

Nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works on Climate Change

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Lock and Dam 22, Mississippi River, Hannibal, Missouri, US Army Corps of Engineers

On Thursday, November 9 the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) considered the nomination of R.D. James to be Assistant Secretary Of The Army for Civil Works. During the testimony, in an exchange with Senator Tim Kaine, Mr. James affirmed the practical approach to climate change taken by Secretary of Defense James Mattis in his own statements to the SASC (namely, that we have to prepared for it). Excerpt below: (more…)