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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

"The West Coast's Premier Expeditionary Training Base"

Energy innovation is the road to resilience

By Cpl. Dylan Chagnon | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | March 4, 2019


Representatives with Marine Corps Installations West (MCI-W), Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton (MCB), attended the Microgrid/Distributed Energy Resources (DERS) Summit at San Diego State University, February 27, 2019.

This year’s summit was a two-day event, bringing together a variety of individuals from city and state governments and Department of Defense (DoD) personnel to privately-owned companies and corporations. It consisted of open discussions and presentations aimed at innovating better ways to manage energy generation and distribution on larger-scale properties and installations.

For Camp Pendleton, installation security is a top priority, and a significant factor in keeping our base energized and operating at maximum capacity. We're continually looking for new innovative ways to ensure that we meet our objectives for resiliency, placing us in a receiving status during our attendance.

"We're participating in the summit simply to learn," said Lt. Col. Tony Mitchell, regional facilities officer, MCI-W, MCB Camp Pendleton. "We're here to build connections with our partners in the private sector, DoD and non-profits to help discover innovative ways that other organizations are using to make installations more resilient."

A simple phrase summarizes our primary objective; "innovation is the road to resilience," meaning that being resilient when it comes to energy plays a critical role in terms of security to Camp Pendleton and every installation in the western region.

According to Mitchell, the big picture of what we as a base are trying to achieve is in the event of a natural disaster or another scenario that could severely damage our installations' energy sources, we need to be able to self-sustain as a base for a minimum of 14 days to give us ample time to react and respond in an expedient and efficient manner.

"[Innovation is the road to resilience] is simply described as [Camp Pendleton] being able to take a punch, stay standing, and then to counter-punch," said Mitchell. "We're not where we want to be, and we're not going to get there unless we are innovative in our philosophies, technologies and our overall operations at our installations."

The emphasis that we are placing on energy resiliency goes back to security. Marines past and present have established a reputation for rapid and effective response to our nations' needs, foreign and domestic, for being most ready when our nation is least. Measures like participating in the summit are ensuring that we are maintaining what has been passed down to us, and providing that when the time comes for Marines to take action, we can do so without a hitch.`

"We cannot be that power-projection platform as an installation if we cannot sustain ourselves at home," said Mitchell. "We need to have that peace of mind that we can go out and do our jobs, and know that our platforms here are safe, secured, and operating at maximum capacity."