Combustible Material:

Deployed systems consume about three-quarters of DOD’s total energy needs, yet there are few policies, procedures, or reporting requirements at these levels and no one in charge of monitoring them, finds a new study by the Defense Science Board on the Pentagon’s energy strategy. “The lack of leadership” at these levels is a root cause of DOD’s energy problem, the board says. Accordingly, it recommends a department-wide strategic plan that establishes measurable goals and establishes clear responsibility and accountability. The report states that DOD faces two principal energy challenges: “an unnecessarily high and growing fuel demand” that compromises operational capability and can jeopardize mission success; and the vulnerability of military installations and the critical missions that they support “to loss from commercial power outage and inadequate backup power supplies.” In addition to the strategic plan, the DSB says the Pentagon’s leadership should accelerate efforts to implement energy efficiency as a key performance parameter in its acquisition programs and factor the “fully burdened cost of fuel” throughout its acquisition trades. It recommends making the military installation less reliant on the commercial power grid and advocates investment in efficient and alternative energy technologies—the Air Force already leads the way in this within DOD. Furthers, the board advocates exploiting near-term opportunities to deduce energy use, such as increased use of simulators and limiting afterburner use.