ASP board member Lieutenant General Norm Seip, USAF (Ret) authored an op-ed featured on The Hill last week explaining how climate change impacts military readiness. General Seip urged the government to take proactive steps to prepare in the name of national security.
General Seip began by outlining the severe damage Hurricane Michael inflicted on Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. Some buildings on the base are irreparably damaged and the flight line is destroyed, costing millions of dollars in repairs. He cited the vulnerability of nearby Eglin Air Force Base which will virtually become a tidal zone by 2070. While climate change is often associated with coastal threats, General Seip also shed light on how climate change impacts inland areas. He cited Vandenberg Air Force Base’s closure due to extreme wildfires which set back operations and costed valuable time.
Further, he highlighted that,
“The damage to bases such as Tyndall may be catastrophic for the base itself, but it’s only the beginning. Storms will continue to become more extreme and impact the ability of our armed forces to fight and win our nation’s wars. Assessing and addressing the threat of climate change is critical for the future viability of our force.”
General Seip recommended the government take further steps to address climate change as national security threat. He wrote that President Trump and members of Congress must act while there is still time, citing the IPCC’s recent climate change report. Further, General Seip noted the importance of including climate change in the Department of Defense’s planning documents such as the National Defense Strategy.
For additional information, read the full article “Our military bases are not ready for climate change” on The Hill.
For the full report by ASP on how climate fits into the National Defense Strategy, click here.