Army launches smart Operational Energy use campaign, identifies 10 initiatives

By G-4 Public AffairsOctober 25, 2012

AUSA ILW Contemporary Military Forum
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AUSA ILW Contemporary Military Forum
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Operational Energy 'Call For Action'
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 23, 2012) -- The Army launched "The Power is In Your Hands" campaign today to encourage Soldiers to use energy smarter on the battlefield.

As the first step, Army Secretary John McHugh, Chief of Staff Raymond T. Odierno, and Sgt. Maj of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III, issued a tri-signed letter titled, "Call for Action," during the 2012 Annual Association of the U.S. Army, or AUSA, Annual Meeting and Exposition, challenging the Army to change its operational energy culture.

The leaders said the Army is "examining every way possible to be more effective with our energy use, to employ renewable resources, and lower costs. All of this will reduce the number of convoys on the roads. But it requires us to change our behavior. When Soldiers start thinking: 'How can I use energy smarter?, we know we are on our way."

Last month, the Army officially established the Operational Energy Office under Lt. Gen. Raymond V. Mason, deputy chief of staff of logistics, G-4. The office is charged with synchronizing $3 billion in annual expenditures and an $800 million Army investment.

Speaking at the AUSA Energy Solutions Panel, Mason released a list 10 Initiatives to Use Operational Energy Smarter. They can provide significant energy savings for Soldiers, basing, vehicles, and aircraft.

They include a Soldier Worn Integrated Power Equipment System, or SWIPES, which provides Soldiers battery power for three-day missions at 30 percent less weight; a Smart and Green Energy, or SAGE, project being evaluated at Fort Devens, Mass., which could reduce by 30 to 60 percent energy needed to run small- and medium-sized base camps; research and development efforts to improve fuel efficiencies on Bradley/Abrams tanks; and a replacement engine for Black Hawks/Apaches that could reduce production and maintenance costs by 35 percent.

"In World War II, we had to have 20 times more Soldiers on the battlefield than we do today, because technologies we never imagined 60 years ago have given us an operational edge," Mason said. "But all of these technologies come with an energy cost. In World War II, it took one to two gallons of fuel per day to sustain a Soldier on the battlefield. Today, it takes 20 plus gallons per Solider, per day."

In Afghanistan, a large percentage of the convoys carry fuel. "That puts our Soldiers at risk," Mason said, "and is a huge funding and resource requirement. So anything we can do to reduce that consumption is important to saving lives and money, and reducing the burden on the commanders."

Mason said the "Power Is In Your Hands" campaign will focus on creating an energy-informed culture throughout the Army, so energy is factored into mission decisions. He plans to use Non-commissioned officers to lead the charge.

"The outcome from all of this," Mason said, "will be an enhancement to mission effectiveness. We will save lives and money. We will reduce convoys on the roads. We will provide flexibility to respond across the full range of military operations. Those are all important outcomes."


Following is the list of 10 Initiatives to Use Operational Energy Smarter:

1. Soldier Worn Integrated Power Equipment System -- SWIPES is networked Soldier power that reduces energy weight for three-day patrols by 30 percent by providing power to multiple peripherals from a lightweight conformal battery. To date, more than 1,700 SWIPES have been procured for immediate fielding. SWIPES is currently fielded to 1-82nd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 4th Brigade Combat Team 10th Mountain Division, 2nd Brigade Combat Team 1st Armored Division, and scheduled to be fielded to an additional five brigades throughout the year. The future of SWIPES is an evolution toward the integrated Soldier power and data system, or ISPDS. The ISPDS will allow not only the movement and management of worn power, but the movement and management of data from multiple worn peripherals onto a common end user device. This concept of power/data management is consistent with and supports the Nett Warrior architecture; the Army's baseline Soldier system for C2/SA.

2. Advanced Medium Mobile Power Sources -- AMMPS is a third generation mobile electric power generating source, ranging in size from 5kW to 60kW, that will replace the Tactical Quiet Generators, or TQGs. AMMPS employs advanced technologies to (1) enhance power generation capability, (2) improve engine control to achieve improved fuel efficiency, 3) increase system reliability, (4) reduce system size and weight, (5) increase survivability for military applications, and (6) reduce total ownership costs. Priority fielding to USFOR-A, 141 includes fielding to 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team and 192 for TPE (to include Village Stability Operations support), with a 21 percent better fuel efficiency average across the fleet.

3. Apache Aviation Simulator -- Large military simulation systems can be very large consumers of energy, but the Apache Aviation Simulator at Fort Rucker, Ala., provides significant reduction (30 to 50 percent) in fuel required for training, allowing for increased training with reduced wear on aircraft. Decrease in actual flight hours also serves to decrease risk to pilots and equipment.

4. Tactical Fuels Manager Defense -- TFMD is an automated fuel accounting tool that provides mission critical functionality assisting in key logistical decision making for air, ground, and marine fueling requirements at the base, tactical command, or enterprise levels. TFMD is installed at 36 sites, providing enterprise-wide visibility of petroleum consumption, stock availability, and accounts for 38 percent of Army fuel in Afghanistan.

5. Electrical Microgrids -- Electrical micro-grids at base camp power networks in Afghanistan replace "point generation" with shared generators and loads. There are currently 28 mini-grids installed with central power generation and distribution to replace spot-generation and these systems are already saving 33 million gallons of fuel per year.

6. Energy Savings Initiatives -- ESIs are performance incentives for LOGCAP Contractors. As of August 2012, 77 proposals have been completed in Afghanistan, and since September 2011, the ESI program has saved 5 million gallons of fuel and 76 million gallons of water. Those savings equate to more than 1,000 fuel trucks and more than 38,000 water trucks kept off the road and out of harm's way.

7. Contingency Basing Standards, Test and Evaluation:

a. Base Camp Integration Laboratory: The BCIL allows for the integration and evaluation of immediate and future expeditionary Contingency Basing solutions providing data to substantiate and support the rapid fielding of solution sets that improve Energy & Resource Efficiencies for currently deployed and future force sustainment and basing systems. BCIL improves energy, water, and waste management efficiency. The Shower Water Reuse System, or SWRS, reduces shower water demand by 75 percent and is capable of processing 12,000 gallons of shower waste water per day for a 600-person camp). The Ultra Lightweight Camouflage Net System, known as ULCANS, reduces cooling requirements by cutting solar loading by more than 85 percent.

b. Smart and Green Energy: SAGE for Base Camps project is an evaluation and demonstration of an "energy management capability" for small- to medium-sized base camps (300-5,000 Soldiers) that will reduce fuel demand by 30 to 60 percent. Energy-saving components include: (1) a smart micro-grid with generators and a central battery storage system; (2) energy efficient structures; (3) a photovoltaic array; and, (4) a solar hot water system. The SAGE design includes intelligent and automated control technologies that enable a camp mayor to easily monitor and manage base camp energy consumption.

c. Kuwait Energy Efficiency Project: KEEP is an operational energy project focused on rapidly leveraging proven technologies and best practices to significantly improve energy efficiency with shelters and microgrids and reduce fuel consumption within Camp Buehring, Kuwait. Integration of insulating liners and shading systems reduce cooling and heating requirements. 60kW Tactical Quiet Generator microgrid efficiently matches power production to system loads reducing OE requirements and fuel requirements by 30 percent.

8. Improved Turbine Engine Program -- The ITEP is a replacement 3000 shaft horsepower turboshaft engine to improve lift, increase range, and minimize fuel consumption for Black Hawk, Apache, and JMR fleet. ITEP extends full mission operating envelope to 6,000 feet / 95 degrees F conditions, provides a 35 percent reduction in production and maintenance costs, 65 percent increased horsepower to weight, 20 percent longer engine life, and a 25 percent reduction in specific fuel consumption.

9. Vehicle Modernization -- The Engineering Change Proposals, or ECPs, for Abrams and Bradley will increase fuel efficiency by three percent while restoring lost platform capabilities and facilitating the integration of new technologies. Within the ECP scope, Abrams will integrate an under-armor 10 kilowatt auxiliary power unit to dramatically decrease stationary fuel consumption to less than 1.5 gallons per hour. This technology increases stationary operations capabilities as well as the sustainability to extend reach and continuity of operations. Bradley will upgrade its powertrain to increase fuel efficiency while also reducing vehicle weight through a lighter (about 1,000 lb. reduction), more durable track system, increasing endurance and maneuverability. Additionally, Abrams and Bradley will integrate a common battery monitoring system to improve battery life and reduce the logistics burden.

10. Future Platform Performance -- The Army will leverage material, design, and other technology improvements to increase freedom of movement, agility, endurance, flexibility and sustainability of future platforms to meet the demands of Energy-Informed Operations. This includes increasing engine power density and reducing drive train weight to increase mobility; exploring advanced battery chemistries, integral electricity generation, high power electronics and power management systems in a trend toward vehicle electrification; expanding engine fuel flexibility, and incorporating energy networking capabilities to increase flexibility, both in mission capabilities and sustainment options.

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STAND-TO!: Operational Energy - Energy Informed Operations