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The Department of Defense hosted the Pentagon Energy Security Event in the courtyard of the Pentagon Oct. 12-15, 2010. The event was a part of Energy Awareness Month. Renewable and energy efficient technologies were displayed at the event; more than 80 of these are currently deployed DoD-wide.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jacob D. Osborne

Boosting battlefield success through energy efficiency

15 Oct 2010 | Pfc. Christofer P. Baines

The Department of Defense hosted the Pentagon Energy Security Event Oct. 12-15 as part of Energy Awareness Month. The focus of this year’s event was “Empowering Defense through Energy Security.”

The goal of the event was to promote DoD energy security initiatives by showcasing various systems and technology that advocate energy conservation and are used DoD-wide.

Gary Morrissett, energy manager, Utility Energy Branch, Twentynine Palms, Calif., said the Marine Corps is currently pursuing alternative energy in many forms such as solar panels, wind turbines and geothermal generators.

Twentynine Palms currently has the military’s largest photovoltaic (solar) power system, which will save millions in energy dollars in the long run, he added.

The benefits of renewable and sustainable energy are not only felt by the taxpayers; however, in a combat zone, ground forces do not have to risk lives and resources to transport fuel.

“When you need to bring fuel in, it puts lives and resources at risk,” Morrissett said.

Renewable energy sources are already deployed overseas, but have not been perfected as a primary source for power.

Brian W. Bosley, chief operating officer of Solar Stik, a company that produces energy solutions, said it’s currently best to take low efficiency generators and turn them into high efficiency systems in the field environment

“Right now, we can take one of our power paks and solar stiks, batteries and put them on a power circuit with a generator to make a cost effective, energy saving solution,” Bosley said. “Energy management can work right now. With this system, you can burn 50 percent less fuel, which translates to half the fuel convoys needed to sustain energy in the field.”

Other energy initiatives, such as curbing greenhouse gas emissions from tactical vehicles and becoming energy independent in an expeditionary environment, are being researched and implemented by Marine Corps Systems Command’s Expeditionary Energy Systems.

Sgt. Judson Haun, a platoon sergeant with Company B, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, said he’s glad that the Marine Corps is implementing energy secure technology, such as a biodiesel LAV25-A2, which was on display at the Pentagon during the event. Any fuel spilled from the LAV25-A2 is biodegradable and it produces less carbon emissions than previous assault vehicles.

“I think it shows that the Marine Corps actually cares about the environment,” he said.

Headquarters Marine Corps