ARLINGTON, Va. -- Military officials frequently try to promote energy-efficiency stories to Pentagon journalists, usually without much luck. (Bases install solar panels, LEEDS buildings are built.)
But thanks to a half dozen attacks on NATO fuel trucks in Pakistan, suddenly there’s reason to reexamine how the armed forces use energy. The military long has said it hoped that energy innovations would result in fewer fuel convoys across hostile territory of Kuwait and Iraq, or Pakistan and Afghanistan. The convoys were frequent targets during the Iraq war.
With some good timing, the Pentagon is turning all green next week for a major energy savings campaign. Starting Tuesday, October 12, the Pentagon courtyard will become an expo floor to showcase the Defense Department and services energy efficiency achievements and campaigns.
“In Iraq and Afghanistan, one Army study found, for every 24 fuel convoys that set out, one soldier or civilian engaged in fuel transport was killed,” the New York Times reported on its front page this week. “In the past three months, six Marines have been wounded guarding fuel runs in Afghanistan."
On Wednesday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen will lead an energy discussion with DOD’s energy guru Sharon Burke, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh P. Chopra, and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, and others.
The Air Force, in one example, has committed that half its jet fuel come from blended fuels by 2016, according toPolitico’s Morning Defense: “Take the service's testing of biomass-derived hydro-processed renewable jet fuel blends.” (Please!) “The testing evaluated both a 50/50 blend derived from beef tallow and JP-8 fuel, as well as a 25/25/50 blend using HRJ, Fischer-Tropsch (which is derived from coal) and JP-8,” writes Gordon Lubold.