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DOD Releases Climate Adaptation Plan Companion Document to Highlight Recent Initiatives, Achievements

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The Department of Defense has released a Companion Document to its Climate Adaptation Plan (CAP), which was published Sept. 1, 2021 and outlines DoD’s projects and activities focused on addressing climate change.

The recently published companion document highlights examples of DoD’s climate-focused projects and provides an updated overview of the department’s ongoing initiatives across five defined Lines of Effort and focus areas aimed at ensuring DoD resilience and continued success in the face of climate-related obstacles and threats.

As part of the first LOE, climate-informed decision-making, the CAP companion document includes the DoD’s Climate Assessment Tool and Regionalized Sea Level Database resources, which give military branch leaders, engineers and planners important insights and tools for adapting to climate change.

The second LOE featured in the document outlined the department’s plan to train and equip a climate-ready force, specifically in relation to mitigating the growing threat and frequency of wildland fires. 

$2 million was recently awarded to a pilot study at Fort Huachuca in Arizona through the Readiness and Environmental Protection Program Challenge to reduce wildfire risk, promote compatible land use and protect the water supply across 2,000 acres of Fort Huachuca’s surrounding working ranges and forests.

Additional highlights regarding DoD’s second Line of Effort include educational initiatives such as the Air Force Wildland Fire Branch’s higher-level courses taught to nearly 800 Air Force and partner organization personnel.

The DoD’s third line of effort details how the department is working to create resilient built and natural infrastructure in response to the increase of coastal and inland flooding caused by climate change. DoD facilities such as the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia are implementing measures like flood visualization tools and floodwalls to increase resilience to storm-induced flooding.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Reefense program also aims to bolster coastal protection through the development of novel hybrid biological and engineered structures that mimic reefs and mitigate wave and storm damage to critical facilities.

Under the fourth LOE, supply chain resilience and innovation, the DoD has been working to install backup power generators and mechanical equipment at higher elevations throughout Defense Logistics Agency facilities to ensure operational continuity in the event of a climate-related service disruption.

DoD is also optimizing its acquisition system and logistical support requirements to make its supply lines less vulnerable to climate change effects.

Finally, the fifth LOE addressed in the CAP companion document explains how the agency will enhance adaptation and resilience through collaboration between government agencies, industry partners and the community. 

Programs like the Compatible Use Plan, as well as the Military Installation Resilience and the Defense Community Infrastructure pilot programs, work to pair DoD agencies with community partners to advance sustainment and resilience efforts.