Army Energy experts analyze future power needs, climate readiness
AUSTIN, Texas – The Army is working to identify and employ durable, reliable, efficient and innovative power and energy solutions to meet the needs of current and future warfighters while reducing climate risks.
As part of these efforts, Army Futures Command is evaluating the power and energy needs, opportunities and constraints likely to be faced by future Soldiers, including those engaging in Multi-Domain Operations.
The command recognizes that improving energy sourcing and utilization will enhance the mobility of Soldiers and platforms, strengthening the Army’s ability to provide power in a more flexible and less detectable manner.
Incorporating emergent technologies, such as vehicle electrification, self-charging batteries and alternative fuel sources, will also bolster the durability of installations and alleviate logistical challenges presented by extended missions.
Improvements in the energy density and charging capacity of essential devices for Soldiers, for example, will enable longer periods between charging, reduce the size of a Soldier’s kit and support the agility of fighting formations.
Finding and implementing lightweight, compact, versatile, renewable, interoperable and long-lasting energy solutions will be especially important as the Army and its Joint and multinational partners incorporate new digital technologies and tools, and with them additional requirements for power.
Paul Farnan, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, visited Army Futures Command headquarters from March 9 to 10 to discuss progress made on future power and energy initiatives, including a commitment to the Army’s Climate Strategy, which calls for greater climate adaptation, mitigation and resilience.
“What we're looking for are ways to more effectively enhance the capabilities of the force and how they fight,” Farnan said.
“This strategy will enhance our ability to accomplish that mission.”
Elise Joseph, the command’s science and technology portfolio director for power, energy and propulsion, shared internal updates on climate operational planning, tactical vehicle charging and mobile energy generation.
“Power is an important and ever-present need,” Joseph underscored. “The extent of our flexibility in future operations, including our ability to relocate quickly to contingency bases or forward operating bases, will depend on having reliable energy sources.”
“We’re excited to continue coordinating our efforts to advance technology, capacity and sustainability in the power, energy and climate sphere,” she added.
The Army Climate Strategy, released in February 2022, articulates how the Army will take steps toward becoming a more “resilient and sustainable land force” – specifically one “able to operate in all domains with effective mitigation and adaptation measures against the key effects of climate change, consistent with Army modernization efforts.”
In the strategy’s foreword, Secretary of the Army Hon. Christine E. Wormuth outlines the criticality of incorporating climate considerations into Army transformation activities.
“As the Army optimizes the use of fuel, water, electricity and other resources, we increase our resilience while saving taxpayer dollars and reducing our impact on the planet,” Wormuth wrote.
“The Army will mitigate and adapt to climate change, and in doing so gain a strategic advantage, especially as we continue to outpace our near-peer competitors.”