What does a United States Marine Corps installation need to know exactly what it takes to meet its critical energy requirements during an emergency? Although the path to energy security varies for every installation, the process of identifying the gaps is the same: develop an Installation Energy Security Plan.
What began as a simple effort to meet congressional and Department of Defense policy requirements evolved into a herculean effort to conduct a comprehensive assessment of each installation’s critical energy requirements, utility system capabilities and energy security program management needs. This more comprehensive approach ensures that Marine Corps Installations Command has a clear and consistent site picture of where investments are needed and which installations are ahead of the curve in energy security.
While IESPs satisfy the original intent of identifying long range plans for resilience and cybersecurity, the detailed analysis and performance assessment of every utility system on the installation is what takes it to the next level. The IESP planning process ensures more reliable electricity, water, sewer and gas service for those living and working on our installations by identifying mitigations needed to continue operations during prolonged disruptions, including those caused by extreme weather events and long-term planning challenges associated with climate change and cybersecurity threats.
With 23 installations, more than 27,000 buildings, numerous unique mission considerations and many training, operations and tenant command priorities, completing these plans has been no small task. MCICOM GF-PW recently announced the completion of the first five IESPs this spring, including Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Base Quantico.
The transformation of the Marine Corps’ energy program to focus on reliability and resiliency comes at an opportune time for Marine Corps installations, with many of their energy, water and wastewater systems built between the 1950s and 1970s. Building from the award-winning energy conservation and efficiency program, MCICOM is now expanding its definition of the energy program to include system reliability, on-site power generation and modern control systems to ensure prevention, survivability and recovery efforts are prioritized.
“Defining our requirements for future investments in Marine Corps utilities and energy security systems is essential for a more prepared Marine Corps and a better quality of life for those living aboard our installations,” said MCICOM Assistant Chief of Staff for Modernization and Development Col. Matt Hakola.
Take the IESP from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Their plan breaks down how utility services are generated and distributed from the Base and Air Station to outlying Marine Corps training facilities (e.g., Camp Geiger, Camp Johnson and Stone Bay) to keep the lights on and water running across the installation’s 246 square miles. The plan also outlines steps needed to support the installation’s critical power needs independently for fourteen days, for times when Mother Nature ravages the area, as it did during Hurricane Florence in 2018.
Through a series of in depth analyses, the Camp Lejeune IESP highlights the strengths and deficiencies in their current utility systems to build towards more efficient and responsive means of delivering the energy and water resources required to sustain Base and Station activities and critical military training requirements. Furthermore, the IESP provides data points on current clean and renewable energy use and overall energy and water intensity reduction. The plan also looks at demand management to develop strategies and opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint without impacting operations, which can also free up precious fiscal resources to support other important installation programs.
In order to optimize resources and deliver consistent, high quality plans across all installations, MCICOM GF-PW partnered with Concurrent Technologies Corporation to centrally manage the development of the IESPs and work directly with installations and regions to harvest hundreds of existing documents, databases, studies, etc. that inform the plans and leverage prior planning efforts.
“Reaching the completion of five plans covering over 50% of MCICOM installation energy use would not have been possible without our contract support team,” said MCICOM GF-PW Energy Projects Lead Randy Monohan. “Their diligence and expertise really brought this process to life and helped get these essential products across the finish line in a short time frame.”
The MCICOM IESP team designed a collaborative workshop to engage key leaders from across the installations. While energy and utilities groups are the first stop for IESP development, throughout the process, the team coordinated with stakeholders from mission assurance, operations, logistics, asset management, logistics and communication. The IESP strengthens these partnerships by identifying critical future requirements and expanding contingency plans for unplanned outages. Conversations also included identifying alternate sources of fuel and equipment for power generation to keep essential services, such as key communications nodes, medical and emergency responder facilities, available.
“IESPs are changing the way we think about energy and water, including a much higher level of collaboration and coordination across the bases,” said MCICOM Facilities Director Navy Capt. Michael Kenney. “We're seeing how important our utility systems are and how every program on base is inter-related in some way.”
Once complete, IESPs will give Marine Corps installations greater knowledge of energy and other vital utility system requirements, potential capability gaps, and identify opportunities to improve efficiency while ensuring we can always #PowerTheMission!