- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 21, 2016

The U.S. Army on Thursday pledged to honor “Earth Day” by “reasserting its pledge to address the implications of climate change and assess associated risks to national security.”

In a special message to soldiers, the Army, which faces deep cuts in the ranks of active duty soldiers, said it is focused on “the role the land plays in ensuring the Army remains ready and resilient.”

It urges soldiers to celebrate Earth Day on Friday. The Army also made Earth Day its “focus quote of the day.”

“As our Army celebrates Earth Day 2016, please join us in protecting the environment, enabling the Soldiers’ readiness and securing the environmental future for our citizens and our nation. We encourage everyone to join in these efforts by learning more about the Army’s environmental initiatives. Every day around the world, you can make a difference. Army Strong!”

The message also said, “The Army continues to seek and employ technological innovations and energy solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change,” the statement said. “The Army is committed to leading the way in reducing energy consumption, repurposing and recycling, and enhancing the resiliency of the installations through energy efficiency and renewable energy use.”

“The Army will ‘Acknowledge the Past’ by restoring Army lands and preserving cultural and historical resources. The Army will ‘Engage the Present’ by meeting environmental standards while also enabling Army operations as well as protecting Soldiers, Families and civilians. The Army will ‘Chart the Future’ by bringing the best practices and technologies to bear.”

The statement was issued by Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment.

Earlier this year, the office of Defense Secretary Ashton Carter sent out a directive ordering commanders to incorporate climate change into every thing they do, from testing and buying weapons, to planning wars, to conducting exercises.

“The DoD must be able to adapt current and future operations to address the impacts of climate change in order to maintain an effective and efficient U.S. military,” says the memo, “Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience.”

The Obama administration ranks climate change as one of the biggest threats to national security.

The Army top brass testified at recent congressional budget hearings that it cannot fight a major war on the schedule called for in the national military strategy because of years of funding cuts.

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