The Marines executed another flawless amphibious landing, coming ashore in New Orleans to conduct the USMC Expeditionary Energy Symposium. From 25 to 27 January, the Corps’ senior energy officer, the Commandant, GEN James Conway led the assemblage of DOD and industry leaders through the rapidly evolving plan to increase expeditionary capability and reduce reliance on length supply lines. Briefings and panel discussions focused on operational mobility and infrastructure. Concurrently, GEN Conway conducted a senior leadership conference and took the opportunity to bring those leaders into the conference so they could get his intent first hand. There were no stunning revelations; however, the briefings on the Experimental Forward Operating Base (ExFOB) helped industry better understand how to participate in this important effort. The intent of the ExFOB is to identity mature, relevant technologies that can be “proofed” rapidly and then deployed to forward areas to help Marines reduce their logistical footprint. COL Charrette, the new appointed head of the Expeditionary Energy Office helped put this process in perspective for industry attendees. COL T. C. Moore briefed the results of the Marine Energy Assessment Team and personally led several Bourbon Street sorties.
One of the most innovative events at the symposium was the “Pitch a Capability” session. Industry representatives were given the opportunity to provide ten minute presentations on their technologies or services to groups of USMC acquisition and operational leadership. Over the course of the symposium, they reviewed dozens of presentations and provided meaningful feedback to participants.
Having recently returned from Afghanistan and Qatar as part of the USAF Energy Assessment Team (more to follow as information is cleared), I was again heartened to see Service senior leadership stepping up to focus on this critical issue. The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps are present for duty. Unfortunately, the Army ... [HORN SOUNDS].
Sorry Dan, that's all we have time for today. Stay tuned for Dan's incisive analysis of Air Force energy audits in Afghanistan and to find out how he really feels about the Army's leadership energy leadership.