Tag Archives: solar power

Electrons to the Lowest Echelon

The Army and USMC Get Power to Dismounted Troops

By George Jagels

Over the past ten years, American warfighters have become increasingly technologically advanced. More and more soldiers and Marines carry GPS, smartphones, networked radios, nightvision systems, and laptops. These devices give Americans an edge on the battlefield few can match; from long-distances to the darkest night, U.S. personnel talk to and see each other remarkably well. Through this interconnectedness and awareness, the dismounted squad, which the Army has been focusing on beefing up, might be able to achieve a major goal: supremacy over adversaries in the same way U.S. armor and air branches face no peer competitors.

This equipment, however, does not come “free.” With more power, so to speak, comes more responsibility—much of which literally ends up on the backs of soldiers and Marines. Though their capabilities are improved, the overall weight carried by warfighters changed little during the last decade (the soldier humps about 16 pounds of batteries, according to the Army). As a result, the DoD must strive for a near perfect balance: lower weight and greater capability.

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Operational Energy by the Numbers

Take a look at the DoD’s energy use by the numbers. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs Sharon Burke has worked diligently over the past few years to make energy a greater consideration in acquisition and strategy. (Graphic courtesy of OASD OEPP)

130930-D-UL289-001%20Infographic

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TDM’s Brief Retech Recap

In support of DoD Power, Energy & Propulsion, our magazine focusing on the military’s operational energy needs, Tactical Defense Media headed to RETECH 2013. Held annually in the DC area, RETECH works hard to inform the renewables industry on federal government and military energy requirements that they can fill. Here’s a short list of some comments we found interesting.

USAF Perspective

In the conference’s opening session, Douglas Tucker, Senior Facilities Energy Engineer, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Logistics, discussed the USAF’s requirements. He reinforced the idea that efficiency is critical—particularly in forward-deployed bases—while noting that in CONUS facilities are so diverse that one renewable energy standard for the whole service is very difficult to achieve. Moreover, he said, renewable energy must be “cost competitive and reliable.”

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