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Lt. Col. Alan Samuels, a recent recipient of the White House Champion of Change award, recently penned an interesting piece on his experience studying the U.S. Department of Defense’s operational energy programs. The article covers some of the key elements of programs like the U.S. Army’s Energy to the Edge, which seeks to free soldiers from costly and dangerous fuel and water resupply missions by providing “field hybrid and renewable energy technologies to the point of need – the forward operating bases and combat outposts where our mission in Afghanistan is so critically tied to counterinsurgency operations.” He concludes that benefits for troops “are measured in increased operational capability, greater combat efficiency, and lower risk.” Click here for the full piece.
From March 6-22, in preparation for a deployment to Afghanistan, U.S. soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team in Europe are being trained to “operate and maintain multiple hybrid-power management systems.” The training is being provided by the Army’s “Rapid Equipping Force” or REF, as part of the Energy to the Edge program, and is designed to support “small tactical units operating at remote locations with suites of energy harvesting, power management and distribution systems.” These kinds of programs, the logic goes, will reduce the need for soldiers to protect dangerous fuel resupply missions, which are often the targets of attack, and will allow soldiers to better focus on the combat mission at hand. According to Col. Peter A. Newell, director of the REF:
This initiative is not just about saving-fuel…It’s about saving lives.
Thanks to Sharon E. Burke for the heads up.