New Assistant Secretary Outlines Priorities For Army Installations, Energy And Environment

"I want the secretariat's efforts in enhancing energy resilience at Army installations to continue, accelerate, and grow. Energy and water resilience for installations and environment has been important to me in my previous positions. It is important to me and the Army today."

PENTAGON - Alex A. Beehler was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Jan. 2, 2019, and sworn in as the 16th Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy & Environment (ASA IE&E) on Jan. 10, 2019.

As the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, Hon. Beehler establishes policy, provides strategic direction, and supervises all matters pertaining to infrastructure, Army installations and contingency bases, energy, and environmental programs to enable global Army Operations.

As a leader, Hon. Beehler thinks broadly and acts strategically with a style combining basic intellectual curiosity with a desire to make things better.

In setting the secretariat's priorities for 2019 - 2020, Hon. Beehler discussed "Installations" and noted that Army installations are critical to the Army's success. He said, "They are where we build readiness, sustain the force, develop Army culture, and support our Soldiers and their Families." He said, "We must address the challenges of today, while thinking about the future, and transition our 'industrial age' installations to be resilient in the 'information age' of the 21st century."

In addressing priorities, Hon. Beehler pointed to the National Defense Strategy which states unequivocally that "the Homeland is no longer a sanctuary." He notes, "With a CON US-based force, the new doctrine of Multi-Domain Operations, and the current and evolving Operational Environment, our installations are subject to, and constantly under, some form of attack."

In addressing three of the Army's top priorities, Readiness, Modernization, and Reform, he said his priorities for installation, energy and the environment were to ensure our installations are protected, resilient to attack and capable of mobilizing and deploying formations, and maintain lines of communication and support throughout any engagement.

Hon. Beehler said Army installations must be resilient to be ready. "To create resilience, we must define installation gaps and risk to Army operations. We must also resource to appropriate levels to give our Army the best chance of success for training at home station and while deployed, with reach back and sustained support. We will strive to make Mobilization Force Generation Installations to be resilient and ready installations."

"Army Installations must modernize to support the modernized Army of 2028," he said, adding, "We cannot modernize the force without modernizing Army installations. Our infrastructure must include: abundant network bandwidth and speed; sensors and protection against cyber, physical, and aerial threats; strong defenses against threats to our energy and water systems, and the ability to streamline installation operations through data analytics."

In addressing "Energy," Army installations rely on energy and water sources to accomplish critical missions. Vulnerabilities in the interdependent electric power grids, natural gas pipelines, and potable water resources supporting Army installations jeopardize Army readiness.

He has also praised the Army for making great strides and emphasized the importance of the secretariat's energy program efforts in supporting the Army's priorities. He said the secretariat's ability to leverage direct private investment and third-party financing tools to drive energy projects with little or no upfront cost to the government is especially important.

In addressing "Environment," as part of his priorities he said it's mission first, Soldiers and Families always. "Our enduring obligation is to our Soldiers and their Families. The safety of our Soldiers and their Families is paramount."

Hon. Beehler said Soldier and Family health and welfare is of the utmost importance to our Army's readiness. "The Army is committed to providing a safe and secure environment on our installations, and to providing the highest quality of care to all of our Soldiers and their Families.

"We must continue to inform and educate our Soldiers and Families about the potential health impacts of environmental hazards, resources available to mitigate those hazards, and methods to report potential risks," Hon. Beehler said.

Looking ahead, he said, "When feasible, our installation services must be automated in order to push funding and manpower toward significant mission enabling capabilities. To deploy these capabilities we need innovation, and we need to identify those requirements quickly as our infrastructure timelines are often as long as the acquisition timelines Army plans to meet."

Hon. Beehler emphasized that the Installation Management community must adapt for efficiency. "We must improve installation effectiveness, efficiency, and quality. We have a creative and resourceful workforce. We must review processes and systems for more efficient ways of doing business, and quickly hire / train our workforce to adapt and embrace new technologies and processes," he said.

Hon. Beehler stressed, "Modern installations will provide a modern Army with the infrastructure, services, and security required to build readiness and project power as an integral part of the multi-domain battlespace.

"A truly modern Army needs modern installations!"

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