By Paul Hora/Sandhills Utilities ServicesOctober 15, 2010
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - October is National Energy Awareness Month and the Army theme this year is "Empowering Defense through Energy Security." There are activities on Fort Bragg as well as across the nation to highlight the energy we use and spread awareness about the importance of conservation, new technology and security.
This year for Energy Awareness Month, the Pentagon Energy Security hosted an event from Wednesday to Friday. The event included more than 75 exhibits featuring installation and operational technology from industry, the services and Department of Defense, as well as forums on Wednesday with senior leadership and leading experts.
The Army is working with federal, state and local government, private industry and the public on technologies including large-scale solar, wind and geothermal technology to proactively shape our energy future and move the nation toward energy independence. We have also updated our acquisition process to require that energy productivity be included in Army acquisition programs.
In theater, the Army has spearheaded initiatives in Iraq and Afghanistan to reduce vehicular fuel consumption, monitor energy use, insulate shelters, increase battery life and reduce battery size and volume. These, and other operational energy improvements, boost performance and reduce vulnerabilities.
Energy is both a force multiplier and vulnerability. Improving Army's energy posture will enhance our combat capability in theater and support for combat capability at our fixed installations. By reducing the energy intensity of our equipment and facilities at home and in theater and through more efficient operations and better integration into our acquisition processes, we can lower operational risk, improve war fighter effectiveness, and reduce costs. When deployed, systems such as smart grids enable better energy awareness and management, in turn improving system responsiveness, reducing the chance of local shortages or excess capacity.
Two Army initiatives include a 500 megawatt solar energy project that would result in Fort Irwin, Ca., becoming energy secure by 2017 and a 30 megawatt geothermal power plant at Hawthorne Army Depot that would meet all of Hawthorne's electrical needs by 2014. The Army is also replacing older, non-tactical vehicles with 4,000 electric and 700 hybrid vehicles, saving of 100,000 metric tons on carbon dioxide emissions and 7.5 million gallons of fuel over six years.
Here on Fort Bragg, a variety of projects improve our energy efficiency and security. Many of these projects are geared toward making buildings more energy efficient.
In addition, the Army will soon publish: an operational energy initial capabilities document; a tactical fuel and energy implementation plan; and a roadmap that spells out the doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel and facilities activities required to affect the Army's operational energy strategy.
For more information, please contact Paul Hora at firstname.lastname@example.org