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Top 10 Most Climate-Vulnerable Military Bases According to U.S. Armed Forces

Offutt Air Force Base_battling_flood_waters_190317-F-IT794-1053

Offutt Air Force Base flooded on March 17, 2019, caused by increase in water levels of surrounding waterways due to record-setting snowfall in winter & large drop in air pressure (U.S. Air Force photo by TSgt. Rachelle Blake)

By John Conger

In 2017, the U.S. Congress directed the Department of Defense (DoD) to develop a list of the installations in each military service that were most vulnerable to climate change.  They gave DoD a year to do this work, as it wasn’t simple.  The DoD would need to look across its enterprise, and determine how it would measure vulnerability and assess which risks were specifically from climate change.  At the Center for Climate and Security, we published a briefer on the factors they might consider. (more…)

The Air Force’s Most Vulnerable Bases

200th RED HORSE and 179th Airlift Wing Airmen aid in Hurricane Michael Recovery Efforts

Ohio Air National Guardmen traveled to Tyndall Air Force Base following Hurricane Michael, to provide damage assessment and recovery efforts, October 17-22, 2018 (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Ashley Klase)

By John Conger

In 2017, the U.S. Congress directed the Department of Defense (DoD) to develop a list of the installations in each military service that were most vulnerable to climate change.  They gave DoD a year to do this work, as it wasn’t simple.  The DoD would need to look across its enterprise, and determine how it would measure vulnerability and assess which risks were specifically from climate change.  At the Center for Climate and Security, we published a briefer on the factors they might consider.

In early 2019, the DoD report was submitted to Congress, but it omitted the requested prioritization and had other puzzling gaps as well.  It omitted the Marine Corps.  It left out all non-US bases.  It didn’t respond to Congressional questions about mitigation and cost.  Instead, it included a list of 79 bases that the Department determined were its most critical, and then did a rudimentary assessment of the threat from climate change without prioritization.  Congress directed them to go back and redo the work. (more…)

U.S. Navy and San Diego Port Partner on Sea Level Rise: First of its Kind Agreement on West Coast

training exercise at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado

Landing craft utility boats at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado during a training exercise.

This press release is a cross-post from the Port of San Diego 

Port and Navy Partner on Sea Level Rise Preparation; First of its Kind Agreement on the West Coast

As champions in the safekeeping and environmental care of San Diego Bay and our dynamic waterfront, the Port of San Diego has formally agreed to coordinate with the U.S. Navy to prepare for potential impacts of sea level rise.

At its meeting on May 8, 2018, the Board of Port Commissioners authorized a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Commander Navy Region Southwest, the first agreement of its kind between the U.S. Navy and a West Coast port. In support of both agencies’ operations and missions, the Port and the Navy will share information, evaluate the best available scientific information and modeling related to sea level rise and collaborate to identify complementary adaptation policies and measures. (more…)

New Pentagon Survey: Climate Change-Related Risks to 50% of Military Infrastructure

Firefighters_Air_Force_Academy_10th_Civil_Engineer_Squadron_Waldo_Canyon_fire

Firefighters w/ U.S. Air Force Academy’s 10th Civil Engineer Squadron in Colorado Springs prepare to deploy to defensive locations around the Academy, June 26, 2012.

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics released a comprehensive new survey of climate change-related risks to military infrastructure worldwide. The study, prosaically titled “Climate-Related Risk to DoD Infrastructure Initial Vulnerability Assessment Survey (SLVAS) Report,” is a response to a Congressional request from 2016,* based on the DoD’s 2015 commitment to conducting a:

…global screening level assessment to determine installation vulnerabilities to climate-related security risks with the goal of identifying serious vulnerabilities and developing necessary adaptation strategies.

(more…)

Assistant Secretary of Defense Niemeyer: Climate Plays Pivotal Role in Military Mission

USS AlbanyOn July 18, 2017 the Senate Armed Services Committee held a confirmation hearing for Lucian L. Niemeyer, the next Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment (IE&E), who ultimately received unanimous support from the Committee. Mr. Niemeyer’s comments on climate change, both in written responses to advance policy questions, and during the hearing, supported the strong commitment Secretary of Defense James Mattis has made to addressing climate change-related risks to the U.S. military’s mission. Here is a link to the full hearing video (question and response on climate change begin at 1:04:00). Below is an excerpt from Mr. Niemeyer’s written answers to advance policy questions on climate change, and an excerpt from the hearing itself. (more…)

Video: Hill Briefing on Climate Change and the U.S. Military’s Mission

IMG_9747On June 5, The Center for Climate and Security (CCS), the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation (HMJ) hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill exploring climate change risks to U.S. national security – particularly, the effect on Department of Defense (DoD) force readiness, missions and infrastructure. The discussion ranged from prospective impacts on overseas missions, to the current effects of sea level rise and increased flooding on the daily lives of service members and their families on military bases and surrounding communities throughout the United States. Speakers included EESI Executive Director Carol Werner, CCS Director of Government Affairs Colonel Tom Watson, USAF (Ret), and the following distinguished members of the CCS Advisory Board: (more…)