Lieutenant General Kenneth E. Eickmann was once responsible for a budget of $11 billion, a staff of 22,000, and some 2,800 programs for the U.S. Air Force.
He also was responsible for leading the federal rescue and recovery efforts following the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City.
But when he came to North Carolina recently to brief chamber leaders from Durham, Raleigh, Wake Forest, Morrisville and elsewhere, it was because he was thinking about another critical component to national security: the one that depends on growing demand for clean energy.
“If the grid goes down, the [military] base goes down,” Eickmann said. Updating America’s electrical grid and allowing new energy technologies to emerge are essential to improved national security, he said.
More than 60 chamber and utility, business, and political leaders, including from Duke, Honeywell, North Carolina Electric Membership Corp., and Sens. Burr and Tillis’s office, attended the briefing on the new U.S. Military Advisory Board report, National Security and Assured Electrical Power.
The Military Board’s recommendation: “Seize the opportunity to build the new grid, smarter, better, and cleaner.”
Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy and Conservatives for Clean Energy cosponsored the event in partnership with the Greater Raleigh Chamber, Wake County Economic Development, Research Triangle Regional Partnership, Cleantech Cluster, the North Carolina Defense Business Association, and the North Carolina Military Business Center.
Pictured above: Ewan Pritchard, North Carolina State University, Aaron Nelson, Chapel Hill– Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, Sarah Gaskell, Morrisville Chamber of Commerce, Gen. Ken Eickmann, (retired USAF), Ed White, RTRP Cleantech Cluster, Jenn Bosser, Research Triangle Regional Partnership, John Sidebotham, Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce / Wake County Economic Development, Jennifer Behr, Chambers for Innovation & Clean Energy.