WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment Lucian Niemeyer, along with other Navy and civilian leaders in installation management met to discuss infrastructure support, base operations, resiliency and quality of life at the Installation Innovation Forum Feb 10-12 in San Antonio, Texas.
The Installation Innovation Forum is hosted by the Association of Defense Communities (ADC). ADC represents every major defense community and state in the country and is dedicated to advancing issues that build strong communities and strengthen the ability for service members to defend the nation.
At this week’s event, Niemeyer, who oversees all of the Navy and Marine Corps bases and installations, joined more than 800 leaders from over 100 military installations, 200 communities, and states, and top industry experts, for three days focused on sharing best practices from across the country.
Throughout the forum, industry, community and Department of Defense leaders discussed tangible ways to work together on a variety of issues- everything from using more reliable reporting on local housing markets to influence BAH rates, to incorporation of the latest technologies like 5G to improve the quality of life for service members and DoD civilians stationed around the globe.
“We need stability back in our BAH rates.” Niemeyer said when speaking in a panel on adequate housing and military families. “I see good partnerships when our local community real estate companies are able to partner with our on base teams to ensure we have a good understanding of the local off base market.”
On a panel discussing the latest on 5G network technology, Niemeyer discussed how critical it was that the Navy’s installations be able to support advancing capabilities.
“A whole new generation of weapons systems, unmanned systems, autonomous vehicles, robotics and artificial intelligence…all these methods of data transfer rely on, and are effected by, how fast we can transmit data.” said Niemeyer. “This [5G] is the future of military value, and it is important for every community to know what the installation commanders are trying to do, which includes incorporating this technology onto bases and surrounding communities.”
The forum also provided an opportunity for Secretary Niemeyer to discuss the Department’s emphasis on military bases as weapon system platforms and the need to enhance the resilience of critical support systems like power, water, and communications. “Since the release of the National Defense Strategy (NDS) in February 2018, our priorities have been revised to ensure that our installations, the platforms from which we generate and project naval power, are resilient to an ever-growing range of threats.” Niemeyer stated, “The innovations we are pursuing in future installation planning as well as assessments of military value will incorporate our risk assessments of resilience.”
Secretary Niemeyer also touted the Navy’s premier partnership initiative with the San Diego Association of Governments to exchange 72 acres in downtown San Diego to obtain the construction of new facilities to support the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR). “The Navy is proud of this community partnership which will allow the city to construct a multi-billion dollar regional transportation center to meet future growth and sustainability goals, Niemeyer stated, “and we get a brand new, state-of-the-art laboratory and research facility to support over 5,000 personnel delivering the next generation of information dominance capabilities.”
The Department of the Navy Energy, Installations and Environment (EI&E) office is responsible for the oversight and policy for Navy and Marine Corps facilities sustainment, restoration and modernization; military construction; acquisition, utilization and disposal of real property and facilities; environmental protection, planning, restoration and natural resources conservation; and safety and occupational health.