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NEWS | Dec. 23, 2016

Army Reserve command receives third straight energy award

By Staff Sgt. Shawn Morris 99th Regional Support Command

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- The Army Reserve's 99th Regional Support Command received its third national energy and water management award in as many years as it continues to support readiness by providing the best possible facilities in which Soldiers can work and train.

Christine Ploschke, former Energy Branch manager for the 99th RSC’s Directorate of Public Works, received a 2016 Federal Energy and Water Management Award from the Department of Energy during a ceremony Dec. 7 in Washington, D.C.

This latest recognition follows a DoE Federal Energy and Water Management Award Ploschke and her team earned for accomplishments in fiscal year 2015, as well as the Army “Small Group” Energy and Water Management Award they received for FY14.

“For me, these awards are evidence that the work that the Army Reserve is doing to reduce unnecessary facility energy consumption and increase our use of renewable energies can be just as beneficial to the environment and the American taxpayer as the work performed on traditional military installations,” Ploschke said.

Ploschke received this latest award for using innovative contracting approaches to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that will allow the 99th RSC to exceed federal energy goals and save millions of taxpayer dollars. The 99th RSC manages more than 250 Army Reserve training facilities totaling over 10-million square feet of building space in communities throughout the command’s 13-state region stretching from Maine to Virginia.

“The $35 million in facility capital improvements accomplished via these projects are an all-around win for the taxpayers,” said Ploschke, who currently works as a senior environmental advisor for the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate at the Office of the Chief, Army Reserve. “Not only did they improve our Soldiers' training conditions, but they enabled the RSC to need less tax dollars for utility bill payments, they lowered the strain that the Reserve's activities place on the nation's aging utility grid, and much of the work was performed by or subcontracted to small businesses, providing welcome injects to local economies across the
northeastern United States.”

Over the past three years, Ploschke and her team secured over $5 million in contracts through the Federal Prison Industries and UNICOR for LED (Light-Emitting Diode) and solar-powered lights, a $2.6 million ECIP (Energy Conservation Investment Program) project for renewable solar energy, and an ESPC (Energy Savings Performance Contract) designed to achieve $57 million in savings over a 21-year period and result in three Net Zero electricity sites.

What this means for the Soldiers who work and train in the Army Reserve training facilities managed by the 99th RSC is improved environmental conditions that lead directly to enhanced unit training and readiness.

“As a Department of the Army civilian employee, environmental professional and American taxpayer, I am very proud to be recognized for our diligent efforts to simultaneously improve mission readiness capabilities while affecting positive environmental change,” Ploschke said.