Robins, Middle Georgia leaders participate in first-ever Climate DRIVER exercise

  • Published
  • By Jon Quinlan
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Leaders from Robins Air Force Base teamed up with Middle Georgia community leaders at the Air Force Civil Engineer Center here Sept. 12, 2023, to support the DOD’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program’s pilot climate resilience exercise, aptly named, Climate DRIVER.

The pilot climate exercise was a collaborative, data-driven scenario, bringing base and external community partners together to understand climate exposure and find nature-based solutions that help the environment and achieve installation and community goals.

DRIVER is an acronym for Designing Resilient Installations: Vulnerabilities, Exposure, and Risks. This was the first installation-level Climate DRIVER exercise for the DOD. 

“The exercise focused on the impacts that climate hazards have both on- and off-base and identify nature-based solutions that can mitigate the impacts of those climate hazards outside the installation, “said Steven Moes, Planning Section chief, 78th Civil Engineer Group.  “All the recommended proposals developed during the exercise were environmentally sound and look to set Robins and Middle Georgia up for success in the future.”

In small group activities, participants evaluated climate impacts, mission concerns, and the installation’s capacity to mitigate and adapt to those risks. The exercise guided participants to develop off-base, nature-based solutions to increase installation resilience and preserve critical mission capabilities.

These solutions are designed to be implemented via the REPI Program and will improve Robin’s AFB competitiveness in seeking funding. Robins AFB officials will continue to work through the REPI program to realize these solutions and reduce climate vulnerabilities.

The DOD’s REPI program safeguards military missions by improving installation resilience to extreme weather events and climactic changes, preserving critical habitats and natural resources, and promoting compatible land uses proximate to ranges and installations.

From Fiscal Year 2003 through Fiscal Year 2022, the REPI Program has helped attract over $1.1 billion in non-DOD partner contributions – nearly doubling DOD's investment - to protect over 1.1 million acres of land and help sustain military missions at 120 installations in 35 states and territories.

“The one-day DRIVER exercise was a resounding success, with extreme base support from the 78th ABW to key members of the 78th CEG and Air Force Civil Engineer Center and Business Development Branch," said Shawn Rose AFCEC/CIUB, Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration chief. “DRIVER outcomes coupled with the REPI program will provide an executable pathway to attack climate change off-base to ensure on base mission success.”