Soldier Power

Wednesday October 24, 2012

What is it?

Soldier Power is the energy needed by a dismounted Soldier to operate Soldier-worn equipment in field operations. It is focused on lightening the dismounted Soldiers' energy loads and helping them become more agile and self-reliant through advanced portable power systems, lighter batteries, universal charging devices and water purifiers. Energy is a foundational enabler for all military capabilities, as such Soldier Power is a key enabler for operations, essential for patrols and required for Soldier sustainment. We recognize energy as both a force multiplier and a vulnerability that can be exploited.

What has the Army done?

The Army is enhancing mission effectiveness through Army Power and energy advancements. The Army has aggressively deployed Soldier Power solutions to include advanced power management devices, fuel cells, energy efficient generators, and alternative energy sources. Nontraditional power alternatives are being tested, fielded and evaluated. Two Airborne Brigade Combat Teams have deployed to Afghanistan with a suite of these technologies. In addition, the Army is shifting from non-rechargeable to rechargeable batteries. Since 2005, the Army has increased spending on C-E rechargeable batteries from 26 to 52 percent ($60 million) in FY 12.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The Army is continuing its effort to aggressively deploy Soldier Power solutions. These solutions include Soldier Worn Integrated Power System (SWIPES), the conformal battery, Soldier Power Manager, the Rucksack Enhanced Portable Power System, and the Modular Universal Battery Charger (MUBC). Additionally, the Army is developing a multi fuel compatible capability in the 1KW JP8 generator which allows the warfighter to leverage existing logistic infrastructures while providing a lightweight, man portable solution.

Why is this important to the Army?

Soldier Power provides power solutions to Soldiers operating in the most austere environments that have no power infrastructure. Soldier Power will ultimately reduce dismounted Soldiers energy loads, increase mission duration and reduce logistics. Providing energy alternative capabilities and interoperability creates flexibility, resilience and the ability to adapt quickly to change in any operational environment.

As technologies mature and new power consuming systems get added onto the current Soldier load, we need to address how to reduce that load and eliminate the logistical footprint associated with resupply. Reducing fuel and water demands through advancing Soldier Power initiatives will reduce the number of resupply convoys, allow Soldiers protecting convoys to accomplish other tasks, and reduce risks to the Soldiers protecting those convoys.

Resources:

Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy and Environment)

Army Energy News

Energy Initiatives Task Force

Net Zero Public site

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Oct. 22- 24: Association of the Unites States Army Annual Meeting and Exposition (AUSA), Washington D.C.

Senior Leaders are Saying

"The Army represents one of America's most credible deterrents against future hostility. We prevent miscalculations from erupting into war. And we defeat an adversary when it does. No other nation can match the U.S. Army's ability to rapidly deploy a large number of troops over extended distances, sustain them, and deliver precise, discriminate results."

- Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, discussing a changing strategic environment and the future of the Army in that environment, at the Eisenhower Lunch held at the 2012 Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C., Oct. 23

Army will prepare for future with regionally aligned forces

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"When medical emergencies occur, we respond to provide security for the emergency medical technicians and fire-fighters. We've actually had incidents where the EMTs have gotten assaulted by witnesses."

- Spc. Judy Sanchez, military police officer assigned to the Army Reserve's 539th Military Police Detachment and currently stationed at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan

Reserve MPs take on Bagram beat one day at a time

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