military is starting to look at new ways to handle the need for energy on the
battlefield and in its operations. Power requirements for weapons and equipment
like radios and night vision gear is often one of the limiting factors on how
long a patrol can stay in the field and the distance a campaign can move from
The Pentagon has now unveiled a new strategy that looks to make formal plans
for the military to manage
the use of energy on the battlefield. The new strategy will also
consider energy needs when acquiring new weapons. This is the first time that
the DoD has looked to change how energy is used in military operations.
Sharon Burke, assistant secretary of defense for operational energy plans and
programs said during a taping of a program called this Week in Defense News, "It's become clear in the current operations
that there are risks and costs we're taking on that we don't need to be taking
The new strategy made its way to Capitol Hill this week reports Defense
News. The strategy calls for not only reductions in the need for energy in
the field but for the expansion and securing of our energy supply and the
building of energy into future forces. The strategy also asks that the DoD
components document the projected energy consumption in current and planned
operations with the individual services and combatant commands gathering the
The strategy reads, "To build and sustain this 21st century military
force, particularly in an era of fiscal duress, the Department of Defense must
use its resources wisely, and that includes our energy resources."
The strategy claims that right now the DoD tends to treat energy as a
commodity. The strategy document reads, "[the DoD] tends to treat energy
as a commodity that will always be readily available, regardless of the
strategic, operational, and tactical costs."
The military is making adjustments and using tech to reduce the need for fuel
and batteries in the field. Already, Marines operating in Afghanistan are using
solar panels to help power their electric hardware. The strategy paper
also notes that the DoD doesn't even have a set standard for batteries in
radios. Needing only one type of battery would make life in the field easier.