Pentagon Spends $18 Million to Improve Battlefield Energy

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2012 — The Pen­ta­gon will use $18 mil­lion to fund six mil­i­tary pro­grams designed to reduce the ener­gy demand of future expe­di­tionary out­posts, Defense Depart­ment offi­cials said in a state­ment today.

The funds will sup­port efforts to devel­op and rapid­ly tran­si­tion ener­gy tech­nolo­gies for the com­bat force to improve mil­i­tary capa­bil­i­ties, reduce ener­gy-relat­ed casu­al­ties and low­er tax­pay­er costs, offi­cials said.

Con­gress pro­vid­ed resources for the pro­grams in the 2012 Omnibus Appro­pri­a­tion Act.

“It’s essen­tial that we con­tin­ue to devel­op inno­v­a­tive ener­gy solu­tions to advance our mil­i­tary mis­sions and use our pre­cious resources wise­ly,” Defense Sec­re­tary Leon E. Panet­ta said. “The depart­ment is tak­ing the lead on this because sav­ing ener­gy on the bat­tle­field means sav­ing lives and mon­ey.”

On the bat­tle­field, fuel can be a tac­ti­cal and oper­a­tional vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty. In Afghanistan, adver­saries often tar­get U.S. fuel sup­ply con­voys, putting troop lives and mis­sions at risk and divert­ing com­bat forces and dol­lars to force pro­tec­tion.

“A mil­i­tary force that uses ener­gy more strate­gi­cal­ly is stronger, today and in the future,” said Sharon E. Burke, assis­tant sec­re­tary of defense for oper­a­tional ener­gy plans and pro­grams. “As the depart­ment reshapes the force to build a more agile, flex­i­ble mil­i­tary capa­ble of respond­ing to the full range of future chal­lenges, the work of the six teams fund­ed under this effort will give our troops bet­ter ener­gy options on the bat­tle­field.”

The funds will go to DOD-led teams rep­re­sent­ing the mil­i­tary ser­vices and the Ener­gy Depart­ment.

DOD and the Small Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion will host an infor­ma­tion ses­sion in March to link small busi­ness­es and entre­pre­neurs to the teams.

“An impor­tant objec­tive of this fund is reach­ing sources of ener­gy inno­va­tion new to the depart­ment, which are pri­mar­i­ly small busi­ness­es,” said Andre Gudger, direc­tor of the department’s office of small busi­ness pro­grams.

“By lever­ag­ing small busi­ness­es and entre­pre­neurs to accel­er­ate ener­gy inno­va­tion for our warfight­ers,” he added, “we strength­en our secu­ri­ty, mod­ern­ize our indus­tri­al base and pro­mote eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment at the same time.”

Win­ning teams were cho­sen from sub­mis­sions received after call for pro­gram pro­pos­als in June.

The assis­tant sec­re­tary of defense for oper­a­tional ener­gy plans and pro­grams, a posi­tion estab­lished in 2009 to strength­en mil­i­tary oper­a­tions’ ener­gy secu­ri­ty, will admin­is­ter the funds.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)