Synthesis Topics

Resilience Partnerships with the Air National Guard

New U.S. Department of Defense programs offer funding for resilience upgrades in communities that neighbor military installations. This project would review resilience partnership strategies for the more than 70 civilian airports that are co-located with Air National Guard units.

Background (Describe the current situation or problem in the industry, and how your idea would address it.)

Extreme weather events, natural disasters, wildfires, and the COVID-19 pandemic have brought the vulnerability of critical infrastructure systems in United States into sharp focus. These events have demonstrated that airport professionals need new approaches to planning for and investing in energy resilience. The U.S. military has established resilience requirements for domestic installations and Congress has created new programs such as the Defense Critical Infrastructure Program to make investments in community infrastructure that supports military missions. Air National Guard (ANG) units are co-located at more than 70 civilian airports across the U.S. There is a natural partnership opportunity between airports and ANG units to craft resilience strategies in partnership and pursue federal funding. There are also clear opportunities for airports to learn from ANG resilience best practices more broadly - whether or not they host ANG units.

Objective (What is the desired product or result that will help the airport industry?)

The objectives of this effort are to:

- Highlight resilience best practices from the ANG and the other military services that airports can adapt for their own facilities and operations

- Provide a primer on the structure and governance of the ANG, and provide an overview of ANG resilience policies, requirements, and approaches

- Highlight opportunities for military and civilian partnerships that can leverage unique ANG acquisition pathways (e.g. Military Construction Cooperative Agreements), support planned or ongoing ANG capital investments, and position airports and ANG units to pursue community resilience funding from the Defense Critical Infrastructure Program or other programs available from the Department of Defense.

Approach (Describe in general terms the steps you think are needed to achieve the objective.)

The steps to achieve these objectives include reviewing literature related to ANG policies and programs (e.g. Air Force Policy Directive 90-17), conducting interviews with Air National Guard staff responsible for acquisitions, resilience, and facility investments, conducting interviews with Department of Defense program offices responsible for resilience planning and funding, and documenting case studies of successful resilience partnerships between military and civilian entities.

Related Research - List related ACRP and other industry research; describe gaps (see link to Research Roadmaps above), and describe how your idea would address these gaps. This is a critical element of a synthesis topic submission.

There are reports from ACRP on energy resilience, such as ACRP Synthesis 91, Microgrids and their Application for Airports and Public Transit. There is also a forthcoming ACRP Airport Microgrid Implementation Toolkit. There is also research on military-civilian resilience partnerships such as the Association of Defense Communities publication, Beyond the Fence Line: Strengthening Military Capabilities through Energy Resilience Partnerships. There are not currently any reports that focus on the opportunity for military partnership specifically between airports and the National Guard. There are also no currently available reports on new programs such as the Defense Critical Infrastructure Program since these programs were only created recently through legislation.

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Idea No. 443