WASHINGTON (Oct. 9, 2012) -- Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta learned about the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's contributions to national energy security during a tour of exhibits at the Pentagon, Oct. 4.

Subject matter experts from three of RDECOM's research centers -- the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center; Communications--Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center; and Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center -- showcased the Army's research on operational energy.

The Pentagon Courtyard was filled with exhibits Oct. 2-4, as part of the Pentagon Energy Security Event 2012.

Derhun Sanders, TARDEC's associate director for communications and outreach, showed Panetta one of the command's major energy initiatives, the Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator Bravo, commonly known as FED Bravo.

TARDEC integrated technologies in the FED Bravo to demonstrate state-of-the-art fuel-efficient vehicle design, Sanders said. The vehicle uses advanced automotive technologies, including parallel hybrid architecture, lightweight carbon-fiber materials and tube frame chassis.

The FED Bravo has demonstrated 90 percent better fuel efficiency than the high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle, also known as the Humvee, according to TARDEC. The FED Bravo offers 9.98 mpg, which represents urban mission and convoy escort driving, compared with the Humvee's average of about 5 mpg.

Other RDECOM technologies on display included contingency basing, flexible photovoltaic technology, light emitting diode lighting, alternative fuel qualification, single common powertrain lubricant, energy storage systems, microgrid technology, and wind and solar power.

The goals of RDECOM's emerging technologies are to reduce energy consumption, increase energy efficiency, increase use of renewable and alternative energy, ensure future access to energy supplies, and reduce adverse impacts on the environment.