Recent natural disasters and damage from extreme weather events are increasingly challenging DOD leaders to address long-term issues of installation resiliency, according to a DefenseOne Radio report.
California wildfires led to the evacuation of family housing at Camp Pendleton, Naval Air Station Point Mugu and the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center,” Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) said at a March hearing. “In addition, our coastal installations and their surrounding communities are already experiencing significant flooding due to sea-level rise.”
The Air Force announced last week that it will cost $1.2 billion to recover to full operations at storm- damaged Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., and Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
The rise in climate-related installation threats calls for a certain level of acknowledgement and cooperation, former DOD comptroller John Conger said on the DefenseOne podcast.
“It’s not that the issue of climate change is something that’s so egregious; it’s just not necessarily everybody’s priority,” said Conger, now director of the Center for Climate and Security. “But the priority that everybody has is to help the military do their mission. And I think… that kind of resilience-and-readiness-and-responsiveness sort of attitude and priority is really important and is something that you do find consensus on.”
U.S. Air Force photo of John Conger (right) by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese