Richard Kidd: Climate Change-Induced Floods, Heat Affect Army Training

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green earth, environmentRichard Kidd, deputy assistant army secretary for energy and sustainability, told Defense Department leaders in a panel discussion held April 26 that Army training exercises are affected by inclement weather conditions he says result from global climate change.

Kidd said floods in Fort Irwin, California and Fort Eustis, Virginia have caused erosion of ranges and tank trails that subsequently strained the service branch’s training cycle, according to a release published by the Army on Sunday.

He also said soldiers are prone to heat stress and decreased performance levels due to the rise in temperature.

“The effects of climate change and environmental degradation are going to increase our requirements while also imposing more constraints on our training and readiness and use of scarce dollars,” Kidd told the panel.

Climate change also overwhelms the states’ governance capacity which leads to opportunities for security threats to proliferate, Kidd added.

He further said the extreme weather disrupts global supply chain and creates a need to include climate change considerations into Army processes.

Kidd suggested the use of the Army’s regionally aligned forces concept as well as collaborations with combatant commands and government agencies such as the U.S. Agency for International Development.

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