LOS ANGELES (Feb. 5, 2013) -- The Los Angeles-based Motor Press Guild hosted Grace Bochenek, Army Materiel Command's Chief Technology Officer, and the Fuel Efficient Demonstrator at the Proud Bird Restaurant here, Tuesday.

In a room of almost 50 reporters and car enthusiasts, Bochenek gave the audience a brief overview of Army science, technology, power and energy, in particular the advancements of the FED.

"We have more than 10,500 scientists and engineers around the country," Bochenek said. "We have everything from aviation, weapons platforms, C4ISR, all of these [research and development] centers."

For the audience, she focused on vehicles.

"I don't think many people know the Army owns one of the largest [vehicle] fleets in the world," she said. "We have nearly 300,000 vehicles. We have tactical platforms and we also have a lot of vehicles on our installations."

Bochenek also enlightened the group on the unique challenges the Army faces in balancing weight for Soldier survivability and mission requirements while optimizing fuel efficiency.

"Our number one goal is survivability and Soldier protection," Bochenek stated.

Weight assists in Soldier survivability and is necessary with the unique mission requirements our Army has, but it is an enemy to fuel efficiency. The current tactical fleet gets roughly four miles per gallon.

Another unique challenge the Army has is vehicle life span. The average consumer trades a personal automobile every four to five years.

"On our tactical vehicles, we don't lease them. We don't get rid them. These are 30 year vehicles," she explained. "So when you have a vehicle platform for 30 years. You have to use a different strategy on how you are going to modernize it."

"The Department of Defense and the Department of Army is focused on energy and energy efficiency," Bochenek said.

Bochenek shared AMC's and the Army's goals on fuel efficiency, renewable fuels and resources, expressing that we are striving to become better stewards.

The FED's mission objective from the Department of Defense was to increase the Army's tactical vehicle fuel efficiency by 30 percent.

The engineering team at Tank and Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Command, exceeded that goal by increasing the efficiency to 70 percent.

Prior to the lunch, guests had the opportunity to see and touch the FED itself. Engineers were available to answer questions.

TARDEC is a subordinate command of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command and AMC.

MPG is the largest automotive media association in North America with more than 800 members. It's a non- profit trade guild dedicated to promoting professionalism and automotive journalism through education and information exchange.

Members of the guild are journalists and analysts from print, broadcast and online outlets.