The annual Camp Pendleton Day symposium, which is hosted jointly by the SAME San Diego and Orange County Posts, garnered unprecedented support by A/E/C industry professionals and uniformed personnel. Held at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., South Mesa Ballroom on June 23, the event brought together nearly 700 attendees from the public and private sectors, 70 exhibitors and more than 50 sponsoring organizations. Two charities that support local military families, Operation Homefront and Armed Services YMCA, were the beneficiaries of $30,000 in proceeds raised from the event.
The agenda included a slate of distinguished speakers who delivered a timely and relevant program on the theme of “Energy, Energy, Energy!” The program focused on the growing investments in energy initiatives and how Marine Corps Installation West (MCIWEST) and Navy Region Southwest have asserted their leadership in this arena via precedent-setting initiatives in energy management and sustainability. Against this backdrop, keynote speaker Maj. Gen. Anthony L. Jackson, USMC, Commanding General, MCIWEST, was joined by policy-level speakers from Navy Region Southwest, Naval Installations Command, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) and San Diego Gas & Electric.
The program kicked off with a welcome from Capt. James Wink, USN, Executive Officer of NAVFAC Southwest and SAME San Diego Post President, and Jim Carter, Orange County Post President. Gen. Jackson then delivered a powerful and inspiring talk on his views of the struggles in the Middle East and how our country needs to respond. He recalled memories of waiting in line to get gas during the energy embargo in the 1970s, and also of sitting in 16 lanes of gridlocked traffic on southern California’s I-5 freeway. Gen. Jackson challenged the A/E/C industry to develop future technologies and implement existing ones that improve our use of energy and eventually eliminate our reliance on foreign oil.
The remainder of the program delivered a comprehensive overview of energy reduction mandates, challenges, budgets and upcoming contracting opportunities at Navy and Marine Corps bases throughout the Southwest. Cdr. Gus Lim, USN, Camp Pendleton Public Works Officer, discussed the opportunities and challenges facing the base with the sometimes conflicting needs of training activities and geographical constraints with energy programs. Kathy Stewart, NAVFAC Southwest Resources & Assessments Product Line Coordinator, followed with a presentation detailing the challenges to energy programs with a focus on environmental considerations.
Tom Bialek of San Diego Gas and Electric discussed plans for installation of energy security and microgrid technology in San Diego County and at Camp Pendleton, and Andy Paterson of the Environmental Business Journal gave a very interesting talk on the current state of affairs in Washington, D.C., including projections and predications for the 2012 presidential and congressional elections. Dr. Bob Wolff, SAME Executive Director, provided his comments on the SAME organization and our direction moving forward. He also presented a stirring video on the Quality of Life Plus program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo that utilizes the engineering lab and students to create new assistive devices for our wounded and disabled military personnel.
The event was punctuated by the charity donations, which, as a result of the extraordinary support for Camp Pendleton Day, allowed the Orange County and San Diego Post Presidents, together with Dr. Wolff, to present Operation Homefront and the Camp Pendleton Armed Services YMCA with donations of $15,000 each.
Outreach to the A/E and contractor community included support from the cooperating organizations of the SAME Inland Empire and Los Angeles Posts; the American Council of Engineering Companies Orange County and San Diego chapters; Associated General Contractors–California; the Business Development Association of Orange County; the Professional Environmental Marketing Association; the Society for Marketing Professional Services Orange County and San Diego chapters; the Women’s Environmental Council San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles chapters; the Women’s Transportation Seminar; and the Construction Management Association of America.
Presentations are available on the SAME Orange County and San Diego Posts’ websites. Additionally, several of the key players from the event, including Gen. Jackson and several of the speakers, were interviewed on internet radio for the event. These interviews are available for listening or downloading at www.wsradio.com.Jim Carter, Orange County Post President