The Department of Defense released today the Operational Energy Strategy Implementation Plan. The plan establishes seven specific targets and associated near-term activities keyed to the goals of the Operational Energy Strategy, which was released in June 2011. Together, the Strategy and Implementation Plan found at http://energy.defense.gov will serve as a roadmap to transform the way the Department of Defense uses energy in military operations.
Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta said, “Smart use of energy can be a strategic advantage for the U.S. military against our adversaries. As we continue to invest in the best military force to defend America today and tomorrow, I want the department to harness the best energy innovations at all levels, from the individual warfighter to the largest installation, to enhance our operational effectiveness and deliver more bang for the buck.”
To oversee the execution of these efforts, Panetta has directed the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs Sharon E. Burke to co-lead a Defense Operational Energy Board with a designee of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The chairman has designated the Director for Logistics, Lt. Gen. Brooks Bash.
“By building energy considerations into the department’s processes, including the way we buy equipment and value energy when employing the force, we can improve our warfighting ability while lowering risks and costs for military missions,” said Burke.
The department has already made significant combat energy improvements. In Afghanistan, U.S. forces have fielded improved generators, microgrids, energy-efficient shelters, air conditioners, and tactical solar to reduce fuel use on the battlefield and cut the number of fuel convoys vulnerable to attack. At sea, the Navy has deployed shipboard hybrid-electric drives, stern flaps and hull and propeller coatings to improve efficiency. By optimizing flight patterns, routing, and cargo loading, the Air Force will avoid $500 million in fuel costs in the next five years.