Frequent readers of this blog will note I'm making the case that DOD, far from being a laggard in energy transformation, has compelling mission-based and structural reasons for being out in front in innovation, clearing the way for the rest of the nation.
I recently found back-up from a guy who penned this fantastic and prescient paper: "War Without Oil: A Catalyst For True Transformation" 2 years ago while at Air War College. Author Col. Michael J. Hornitschek, Zoomie class of 1989 and now Vice Commander, 62nd Airlift Wing, McChord AFB, Washington, has spent a heck of a lot of time in and around tankers including the KC-10 and KC-135. That means a lot of time immersed in the business of fuel, and clearly it went to his head.
On page 3 of his 95 page paper (now linked under "DOD Enery Reports" in this blog's sidebar) Hornitschek nails it:
It is precisely the long acquisition lead times of these petroleum-fueled weapon systems [e.g., F-22A Raptor], in conjunction with their decades-long life cycles [e.g, the 45-year-old B-52 fleet], that will uniquely force the DoD to be the first government agency to address an approaching global oil peak.I also like the boldness of Chapter 3 - Creating an Assured Energy Strategy, which includes a "Three Stage Approach" as follows:
- Stage I – 2006-2015 Near Term Strategy
- Stage II – 2020-2035 Mid Term Strategy
- Stage III – 2035-2050 The “New Energy Force”
It may not turn out to be right or completely do-able as described. And new things will surely come along that neither the author nor anyone else could have foreseeon, but you've got to admire his guts for laying out a case. More of this, please.
Photo courtesy of Liem Bahneman @ Flickr