ASU team helps Marine base prepare to stay strong in the face of disaster

Nathan JohsnonWhen the Marine Corps decided it needed to update its base in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, to be more resilient in the face of modern challenges and disasters, it came to Arizona State University for expertise. Some military infrastructure is built with codes and standards that are 30 years old, and base buildings can be 60 years old or more. “They weren’t built to withstand the types of threats — increasing incidents of severe weather, cyberattacks — which weren’t present back then, or different types of advanced weaponry that can assault buildings or personnel,” said senior sustainability scientist Nathan Johnson, an assistant professor in the Polytechnic School of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU. Johnson is an expert on sustainable and resilient energy systems. Marine Corps Installation Command asked a team of seven ASU experts to visit the base to help them understand problems and develop solutions related to base resiliency in the areas of energy, food, water, communications and mobility: If the Corps is going to spend billions of dollars on infrastructure that needs to be around for 60 years or more, what will that look like? “Clearly, Arizona State University is the innovative partner that has the interdisciplinary talent to support the Installation Next Hawaii symposium,” said Benjamin Freakley, special advisor to ASU President Michael Crow. “ASU was the first university to establish a sustainability school in the U.S., and we remain the national leaders in that space. We have the right expertise and passion to assist our Navy-Marine Corps team in finding sustainability solutions to bolster resilience so they can advance their mission unimpeded.”