Practical Application of Assessing Environmental-Related Risk
This appendix provides a practical application of assessing environmental -related risk. This exercise uses the five-step process of risk management described in Chapter 4. This exercise also employs the risk management worksheet to document and track risk. Although the following scenario depicts a field training exercise (FTX), units use these procedures to assess environmental-related risk during all operations. This scenario concentrates specifically on environmental-related risk; however, these risks are incorporated into the company's overall risk management plan.
The 586th Assault Float Bridge (AFB) Company will conduct a five-day FTX in Anatuvak training area of Camp Yukon. The unit will depart Fort Chilly and convoy 120 miles on limited access highways. The commander has designated rest areas and tactical refueling points along the route. The trip is expected to take 8 hours. Upon arrival at Camp Yukon, the unit will move into the Anatuvak training area and set up a bivouac site, preceeded by their quartering party. During the FTX, the company will conduct tactical bridging operations on the Yukon River. The FTX will involve normal operations (12 to 16 hours a day), with some night and limited visibility operations. The operations will include the use of pyrotechnics and blank ammunition, but no live fire will be conducted. The area has hills, wetlands, several winding streams, and one large river. The wetlands are identified and marked. The forecasted weather will not adversely affect operations. The soldiers are somewhat familiar with the terrain, which contains some identified and marked off archaeological sites. The training area contains the habitat for two endangered species, which are marked and posted. The unit will conduct unit maintenance, refueling, messing, shower, and field sanitation operations within the bivouac site.
STEP 1. IDENTIFY (ENVIRONMENTAL) HAZARDS
To ensure risk management throughout the operation, the unit's XO (Lieutenant Young) conducted an operational analysis to break down the exercise into events, allowing him to manage the risks for the various tasks. He also identified particular tasks for the operation using the company's mission training plan (MTP). Figure G-1 illustrates the unit's prepared operational analysis.
Leaders developed the hazard list using their experience, lessons learned, unit SOPs, applicable references, and guidance from the chain of command. The unit consulted Fort Chilly's and Camp Yukon's installation and operational staffs to obtain more information on the environmental considerations for the area of operations. They identified applicable environmental standards, laws, and ROE that effected the mission.
Company leaders annotated each task and associated environmental hazards on the risk management worksheet in Figure G-2, sections E and F. For the purposes of this practical example, only the high profile tasks (2, 3, and 4) are detailed in the worksheet.
Figure G-1. Operational analysis
STEP 2. ASSESS (Environmental) HAZARDS
Unit leaders assessed each hazard to determine the risk for potential harm to the environment. Their assessment was based upon how often the environmental hazard occurred during the operation (probability) and what effect the hazard had on the environment (severity). They used the probability and severity definitions from Figures 2-10 and 2-11. Leaders determined the initial risk of each hazard by applying the risk assessment matrix in Figure 2-12. The unit commander informed his staff to be sensitive to tactical bridging operations and their effects on the Yukon River and surrounding areas. Each hazard assessment was annotated in section G, (Figure G-2). See Figures G-2 through G-7 for samples of a completed worksheet.
STEP 3. DEVELOP CONTROLS AND MAKE A DECISION
Unit leaders developed controls to eliminate or reduce the probability or severity of each hazard. They identified a mix of educational-, physical-, and avoidance-type controls and annotated them in section H (Figure G-2). Once all risk control measures were in place, some risk remained. This residual risk was annotated in section I (Figure G-2). Unit leaders informed the chain of command and appropriate commander of the residual risk and its implications for the operation. The commander was concerned about the environmental hazards associated with the bridging operations and directed his staff to consider additional controls. The staff developed additional controls and presented the revised risk assessment to the commander, thereby further reducing the residual risk. The commander agreed that the new controls were sufficient and decided the residual risk was acceptable.
STEP 4. IMPLEMENT CONTROLS
Leaders identified how each control would be implemented and assigned responsibility to unit personnel. The "how to" for each control was annotated in section J (Figure G-2). For example, fueling bridge boats during bridging operations was a major concern for the company. Leaders identified several control measures to include ensuring that operators were properly trained to dispense fuel, appropriate spill equipment was available, and all fueling of boats was completed while the boats were still on the trucks before launch. This step required leaders to anticipate environmental requirements and incorporate them as part long-range, short-range, and near-term planning. The residual risk determination was annotated in section K (Figure G-2).
STEP 5. SUPERVISE AND EVALUATE
Leaders and staff continuously monitored controls throughout the operation to ensure their effectiveness and modified controls as required. Leaders made on-the-spot corrections and evaluated individual and collective performances. They held those in charge accountable and ensured that all tasks were performed to applicable standards. Leaders discussed the evaluation of environmental-related hazards, controls, soldier performance, and leader supervision during AARs to ensure the development of environmental lessons learned, for use in future operations.
The 586th AFB Company leadership properly managed environmental-related risk during their operation by accurately identifying potential environmental hazards, developing controls, making risk decisions, implementing controls, and ensuring proper supervision and evaluation. Due to effective risk management, the company successfully completed the mission and minimized their company's impact on the environment.
Remember to look at the linkage of the environmental hazard assessment and its associated impact on safety, force protection, and force health protection as part of your overall risk management plan.
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