Department of the Air Force Positioned to Continue Correll’s Legacy of Resilience and Mission Assurance

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  • Air Force Energy

Amid increasing environmental pressures and the ongoing threat of physical and cyber-attacks, ensuring the end-to-end resilience, reliability, and safety of Department of the Air Force installations, infrastructure, power, and water supplies has never been more critical.

The DAF fights from its bases and must continually evolve its approach to prioritize areas of new and rising vulnerability to ensure mission assurance anytime, anywhere. 

Mark Correll, who recently retired as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Environment, Safety and Infrastructure, was critical to this effort. In his role, Correll provided strategic vision for Department of the Air Force infrastructure, environmental, installation energy, safety and occupational health programs.

As Acting Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Energy Jennifer Miller explained, “Mr. Correll’s keen sense for balancing mission assurance with business, community, and environmental considerations helped solidify DAF’s leadership in climate, infrastructure, energy, and water resilience across the Department of Defense.” She added, “SAF/IEE is working diligently to identify and address energy and water resilience gaps, strengthen DAF infrastructure, and ensure the health and safety of Airmen, Guardians, and the public both on and off DAF installations.”

The following are just a couple of examples of how DAF bolstered preparedness and resiliency under Correll’s leadership:

Infrastructure Investment Strategy: In 2019, DAF announced a new data-focused infrastructure investment strategy, I2S, which requires bases to maintain a master plan and prioritize projects based on mission necessity, rather than a “worst is first” approach. I2S calls for increasing the infrastructure budget to a base level of 2% replacement value of its buildings and demolishing the worst 5% of infrastructure over time. This strategy is improving the long-term readiness and resilience of Air Force installations and addressing infrastructure maintenance backlogs by enabling targeted investments in high priority projects.

Per- and Poly-fluoroalkyl Substances: Under Mr. Correll’s leadership, DAF became a DoD-leader in addressing PFOS and PFOA across its installations. DAF took swift action to address drinking water impacts by completing enterprise-wide sampling of drinking water at all installations – stateside and overseas – to ensure PFOS/PFOA levels were below the EPA health advisory level in drinking water supplies. DAF continues to provide alternative water when PFOS or PFOA from activities attributable to DAF operations is found in drinking water at levels above EPA’s HA. As of Nov. 30, 2021, DAF spent $928 million on mitigation and clean-up efforts.             

Installation Energy Plans: In an effort to bolster energy and water resilience, the DAF is creating installation-specific plans that integrate applicable installation- and higher-level strategic guidance, plans, and policies into a holistic roadmap to help installations work constructively towards its energy assurance goals. Since fiscal  year 2019, DAF has completed over 100 IEPs, which have created Enterprise-wide decision-making structures to define energy mission requirements, establishing long-term planning for energy resilience, and ensuring reliable and available utilities for key missions at the installation level.

Energy Resilience Investments: As a result of improved understanding of energy resilience posture stemming from the IEPs, DAF has developed energy projects that address specific mission needs and long-term installation energy resilience. DAF executed $250 million in Energy Resilience and Conservation Investment Program funds from FY 2017-2021, with an additional $99 million authorized by Congress for FY 2022.

Water Resilience: DAF developed tools and systems to better understand water sources, vulnerabilities, and its important role in maintaining mission assurance. In 2021, the DAF launched the Installation Water Dashboard, an interactive data repository that captures all installation-specific water infrastructure data in a single comprehensive platform, across the Enterprise. The tool is helping to characterize water risk, prioritize investments, and streamline planning across all active-duty installations.

Energy Resilience Readiness Exercises: ERREs are base-wide outage exercises that disconnect an installation from the commercial power grid, or other primary power source. The exercises enable “real-world” identification of gaps and threats and provide the DAF with an opportunity to address concerns in a controlled environment so that installations are prepared for and resilient in an emergency or attack. Since FY 2020, the DAF has successfully completed six ERREs and have identified a number of opportunities to improve installation energy assurance as a result. The DAF plans to execute five ERREs per year through at least fiscal year 2027 to ensure we prepared for the spectrum of threats we face.

The DAF thanks Correll for his more than 40 years of distinguished service to the DAF and is dedicated to building upon his legacy to achieve the mission to fly, fight, and win in air, space, and cyberspace.