Kathleen Hicks, deputy secretary of the Department of Defense and a 2021 Wash100 Award winner, visited Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida to assess the damage caused by Hurricane Sally and took part in a video conference with other military leaders from other installations to highlight the need to develop resilience against the effects of climate change, DOD News reported Monday.
"At the Department of Defense, we know that the readiness of the force is very much tied to how well we manage through and think about resilience in the face of climate," Hicks said during the conference. "So this is an effort by the team and I to make sure that we understand, again, how that plays out in your plans, in the missions you have to execute, in your budgets, so we can get a better sense of how to help at the high end."
The air station, which trains approximately 59,000 students annually, incurred damages worth about $450 million as a result of the hurricane that hit the installation in September.
"I think what we have to do across the entire enterprise for DOD is set as a priority the resilience of our facilities, the resilience of our operations," she said. "Just like we focus on cyber defense — because we know there are threats from cyber — it's the same kind of thing for climate. We need to be focused on that resilience so that we can be ready in the face of challenges.”
Hicks said some of the measures the department can initiate to ensure resilience are upgrades in military construction and investments in various types of technology.