Thursday, April 22, 2010

Marines Expedite Expeditionary Energy Efforts

There's book knowledge and there's what you know by doing. And everyone knows the difference. While the Marines could surround themselves with academic experts and consultants from industry to improve their energy knowledge (and I'm not saying they're not!), their focus is on learning by doing. In the field. Where it counts. And it's all being driven from the top via the hard charging Commandant, General James T. Conway.

As is their mission (and fervent desire) in combat ops, the Marines are first in on expeditionary energy. It's no surprise; we've see it coming here on the blog with write-ups here, here, here, here, here here, and here.

The Marine strategy for transforming its energy management strategy is centered on five themes:
I. Technology is available today, but it is not focused on the Marine expeditionary problem. The Marine strategy must foster a pipeline of commercial solutions
II. Apply technology intelligently; take a systems approach
III. New behavior is key; technology alone won’t solve the problem
IV. Top level leadership and integration into Marine Corps strategy is essential
V. Leverage capabilities, solutions and lessons learned from across the Marine Corps, Navy, and the other Services, as well as the Department of Energy (DOE), CIA
These are all on target of course, but don't forget the reason we're really talking about it now is number IV - leadership. Energy management initiatives began in the field, but until folks like Conway picked up the ball and began running with it, we were still moving in slow motion. Now the crawl's become a walk and is showing signs of becoming a smart sprint very soon. There's a good deal of energy activity elsewhere in DOD, but OSD and the other services should scramble to keep up, learn, adapt and apply these concepts.

Click here for a fuller account from NDU's "Expeditionary Energy Roundtable" by NDU's Energy Security lead, Richard Andres. And for more, read about the USMC Experimental Forward Operating Base (exFOB) here.

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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