The effects of a changing climate are currently and will continue to be a national security issue, impacting Department of Army installations, operational plans, and overall missions. Army recently released a memo directing installations to plan for energy and climate resilience efforts by identifying the installation’s vulnerability to climate-related risks and threats. This memo is consistent with Department of Defense guidance per 10 USC § 2864 (Master plans for major military installations, April 2020). To address these risks and threats, the Army Climate Resilience Handbook (ACRH) takes Army planners through the process to systematically assess climate exposure impact risk and incorporate this knowledge and data into existing installation planning processes such as master plans.
Conclusions and Next Steps
Climate change will continue to be a national security issue, with Army planners continuously needing to adapt their planning practices to this evolving threat. The ACRH is meant to serve as a guide and should not be considered rigid. Each installation is facing different climate resilience goals related to its specific mission area(s), geographic location, and size.
The information provided by the ACAT and the planning process outlined in this handbook is meant to provide a screening level assessment of climate vulnerability: at the scale of installation, it results in the identification of assets at risk, the factors that contribute to their vulnerability, and the information needed to reach a 10% design solution. The information is sufficient to address long-term planning decisions. In many cases, further implementation of a solution will require additional quantitative data on risk magnitudes, more accurate spatial information on projected impact locations, and an improved timeline for monitoring performance of the built environment under changing conditions. The process outlined in this handbook is an essential first step in understanding whether such detailed assessments will be needed for a given planning decision