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Installations Transforming to Support Joint Warfighting Needs

By Terri Lukach
American Forces Press Service

TAMPA, Fla., April 12, 2005 – The Department of Defense is transforming its installation assets to meet the emerging needs of today's joint warfighters, a defense official said today.

"Installations are a critical component of the nation's force capabilities," Philip W. Grone, deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment, told a group of DoD, industry and installation officials at the 2005 Joint Services Environmental Management Conference here.

"We are fundamentally transforming our approach, not just by incorporating best business practices, but also by extending these practices into new, previously unexplored and seemingly unrelated areas," Grone said. "We are implementing a capabilities-based process for identifying needs, creating choices, developing solutions and providing installation capabilities to support joint warfighting needs."

Grone said DoD set out in 1997 to assemble a corporate-wide inventory of assets. "As the department began to improve its knowledge of what it had and where it had it, we also began to build a framework to treat our hard assets appropriately," Grone said. DoD's efforts to more properly sustain and recapitalize its facilities inventory is now demonstrating results, he added.

He said the department remains committed to a 67-year recapitalization rate by 2008, down from 192 years four years ago and 110-year recapitalization forecasted in the fiscal 2006 budget request. "We have built the program around private-sector best practices and commercial benchmarks wherever they can be applied," Grone observed, "and we continue to refine our models and guidance to keep them current."

He also said the defense of the nation and environmental protection are strongly linked. "The department continues to be a leader in every aspect of environmental management," Grone said.

The latest Defense Installations Strategic Plan, he pointed out, integrates environmental management systems, safety and occupational health into a comprehensive approach to asset management and builds upon past accomplishments to sustain, restore and modernize installation assets. "This plan is much more robust than its predecessor," Grone said. "It provides specific initiatives, timelines and performance measures by which we can assess our success in achieving our goals and objectives.

"The expanded scope reflects the integral relationship between natural and manmade assets ... and advances the integration of installations and environmental, safety and occupational health activities to enhance overall support of the military mission," he said.

"America's security depends upon defense installation assets that are available when and where needed, with the right capabilities to support current and future mission requirements. As the guardians of defense installations and the environment, we embrace transformation as the best way to guarantee these capabilities are delivered - effectively and efficiently," Grone said.

The ability to keep them effective and efficient, he added, depends on knowledge, foresight and partnership. And Grone challenged DoD's partners in government, the nongovernmental organization community and industry to "make it happen."

"We rely on you and we are grateful to you," Grone said.

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Philip W. Grone

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