Naval Station Newport on Aquidneck Island

CASE STUDY

A hazard-resilient future for Naval Station Newport within its coastal community: Military installation resilience review for short-term preparedness and long-term planning

Background

This project began in August 2020 and will continue through early 2022.

The Naval Station (NAVSTA) Newport's tenant command missions and operations depend on the resilience of its critical infrastructure and that of three host communities: Middletown, Portsmouth, Newport. Those communities provide water, energy, transportation, housing, emergency/medical services and other critical infrastructure and services for the military base population. While the municipalities have individually addressed hazard concerns within their plans and procedures, they have not explicitly addressed issues within NAVSTA Newport. NAVSTA currently does not have a resilience plan of its own.

Project goals

Produce a Military Installation Resilience review and implementation action plan to ‘protect and preserve military readiness and defense capabilities’ while supporting continued community economic development

Model feasible current and future storm scenarios (e.g Nor’easters, hurricanes) and scenarios combined with projected seas level rise

Assess the impacts to infrastructure assets and consequences that could potentially adversely affect the installation related to key infrastructure and services.

Develop a decision-support tool that can be used for real-time preparedness and response, as well as longer term planning.

Analysis

Through a partnership between NAVSTA Newport, the City of Newport and the University of Rhode Island, together with the participation of the other two host communities, this project will engage facility managers and planners of the NAVSTA and its tenants (including U.S. Naval War College and the U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Center), diverse technical experts, neighboring municipalities, as well as key island and state leaders.

This Military Installation Resilience Review and implementation action plan, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation, will pave the way for joint planning and prioritizing capital improvement projects. URI will utilize state-of-the-art hydrodynamic storm models, linked with qualitative "consequence thresholds" data collected from facility managers across critical sectors. These data will illuminate threats, impacts and consequences of storm events and sea level rise to infrastructure in - and adjacent to - the installation. 

Key stakeholders will be engaged in focus groups using a scenario-based approach, developed in partnership with the U.S. Naval War College.

What's Next

This 18-month project and its innovative approach will be developed so that it can be scaled and applied broadly to other U.S. military installations globally. This also supports the City of Newport's vision to be recognized as a hub of resilience innovation.

Learn more at

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