MDM 2011: USMC examines energy, waste and water efficiencies
The USMC is continuing to look at ways to decrease its logistical footprint and become more environmentally sensitive according to Maj Sean Sadier, logistics analyst, HQ Marine Corps, Energy Office.
The Assistant Commandant of the USMC, Gen Joeseph Dunford, recently released a new Expeditionary Energy, Waste and Water Initial Capabilities Gap statement that identified 152 gaps. The document builds on the Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Strategy and Implementation Plan that was signed by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen James Amos, on 24 February
To address some of those gaps the USMC has been running its Expeditionary Forward Operating Base (ExFOB) initiative that Sadier described as 'more of a process than anything else.' Some of the elements from recent ExFOBs are now finding their way in to theatre, he described.
In June this year Sadier was involved in taking a number of technologies including hybrid solar power generators, LED lighting and tent insulation into theatre to be tested by the USMC. The various technologies were utilised by marines Patrol Base Boldock in Helmand province.
There was scepticism upon deployment about the efficacy of using solar power generation on operations but Sadier said that the marines soon saw the utility in the technologies provided and that this had led in particular to Ground Renewable Expeditionary Energy System (GREENS) becoming a programme of record. The system is a solar panel array capable of providing enough energy to run a platoon-sized Combat Operations Center, or four computers at a time. Sadier said that 20 GREENS would be delivered to theatre in November.
Also apparent to Sadier was the fact that tactical level energy demands were now a lot higher than in the past. A typical marine platoon command post has a requirement for 10kw of power.
The USMC expects to run its next ExFOB at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina in April 2012. Sadier said that the request for information for the ExFOB was not yet ready. However, he added that several areas would be the major focus of the next iteration. These include a focus on individual power and scalable power generation solutions from the individual to the platoon level; as well as water purification at a similar small unit level.
Material solutions were not the only element to better energy efficiency according to Sadier. The organisation is also focussing on how training and procedures can also lead to greater efficiencies.
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