The Department of Defense (DoD) today announced the release of $18.0 million to fund six military programs to reduce the energy demand of future expeditionary outposts. The funds will support efforts to develop and rapidly transition energy technologies for the combat force, resulting in improved military capabilities, fewer energy-related casualties, and lower costs for the taxpayer.
"It's essential that we continue to develop innovative energy solutions to advance our military missions and use our precious resources wisely," said Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta. "The Department is taking the lead on this because saving energy on the battlefield means saving lives and money."
Fuel can be a tactical and operational vulnerability on the battlefield. In the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, adversaries have frequently targeted U.S. fuel supply convoys, putting troop lives and missions at risk and diverting combat forces and dollars to force protection.
“A military force that uses energy more strategically is stronger, today and in the future,” said Sharon E. Burke, assistant secretary of defense for operational energy plans and programs. “As the Department reshapes the force to build a more agile, flexible military capable of responding to the full range of future challenges, the work of the six teams funded under this effort will give our troops better energy options on the battlefield.”
Defense Department-led teams representing the military services and the Department of Energy will receive the funds. To link small businesses and entrepreneurs to the teams, DoD will host an information session in March, along with the Small Business Administration. More information about this event can be found at http://www.acq.osd.mil/osbp/operationalenergy.
“An important objective of this fund is reaching sources of energy innovation new to the Department, which primarily are small businesses,” said Andre Gudger, director of the Department's office of small business programs. “By leveraging small businesses and entrepreneurs to accelerate energy innovation for our warfighters, we strengthen our security, modernize our industrial base, and promote economic development at the same time.”
Winning teams were chosen based on submissions to a June 2011 call for program proposals. Additional information about the teams can be found at http://energy.defense.gov. The assistant secretary of defense for operational energy plans and programs, a position established in 2009 to strengthen the energy security of military operations, will administer the funds. Congress provided resources for these programs in the 2012 Omnibus Appropriation Act.