Sunday, October 31, 2010

LTG Van Antwerp, Inventor’s Son and Energy Cheerleader

From the AUSA Meeting and Convention, Washington D.C. This is the follow up to our previous post on the Army’s Energy Security Panel that featured, the HON Katherine Hammack Assistant Secretary of the Army Installations, Energy and Environment, LTG Rick Lynch, Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management/Commanding General, Installation Management Command (IMCOM), LTG Robert L. Van Antwerp, Jr. Chief of Engineers/ Commanding General United States Army Corps of Engineers); and LTG Michael A. Vane Director, Army Capabilities Integration Center, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (ARCIC). Prior to the panel discussion, Under Secretary of the Army, Dr. Joseph Westphal and Vice Chief of Staff Pete Chiarelli provided their thoughts and guidance to a crowd of over 200 military, civilian and industry participants. LTG Lynch’s comments were followed by LTG Van Antwerp (pictured)

LTG Van Antwerp is the Chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE). He is also the son of the inventor of the belt drive turntable. The general described a childhood with a basement full of inventions and a father who would say, “Now, let’s think about this.”. An inquisitive mind is exactly what is required for his post and he has demonstrated the ability to turn inspiration into innovation and implementation. He is also a self-described “cheerleader for energy”. He may also be the only three star with his own blog! Van Antwerp talked about the goals the Corps has set for itself in energy. He also played a short video called “Did You Know”. If you have not seen this, you must. It describes a world of complexity, of information overload and constant change with which many are ill prepared to cope. We must become masters of innovation for this world. One of those innovations might be to collocate the responsibility to build and maintain the Army's permanent infrastructure.

Today, the USACOE is responsible for the military construction of new facilities to the standard of LEED Silver. But they are also graded on the number of square feet they build per dollar. The U.S. Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM) is responsible for the cost of maintaining these buildings, but has little say in the specifications for them. LEED Silver is a good standard, but in some cases, LEED points can be gained by attributes that do not affect building efficiency. Each bicycle rack is one point. One rack, one point; five racks, five points. Double paned windows and spray foam insulation for the roof might be a better energy investment, but they don’t increase the square feet and do increase the sunk cost. They reduce the cost to maintain, but that is on someone else’s books.

We are sure that USACOE and IMCOM are working closely to balance the equation and the books. But just in case they are not, it is worth a look. LTG Van Antwerp is clearly motivated to help realize the ASA, IE&E’s vision for net zero energy, water and waste and has some innovative programs such as rain water capture at the Fort Belvoir hospital to demonstrate that commitment. Cheerleaders are great, but we need players that can get in the game and hit as well.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Army Energy Leadership on Display: AUSA Part 1 of 4

From the AUSA Meeting and Convention, Washington D.C. This is the follow up to our previous post on the Army’s Energy Security Panel that featured, the HON Katherine Hammack Assistant Secretary of the Army Installations, Energy and Environment, LTG Rick Lynch (pictured), Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management/Commanding General, Installation Management Command (IMCOM), LTG Robert L. Van Antwerp, Jr. Chief of Engineers/Commanding General United States Army Corps of Engineers); and LTG Michael A. Vane Director, Army Capabilities Integration Center, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (ARCIC). Prior to the panel discussion, Under Secretary of the Army, Dr. Joseph Westphal and Vice Chief of Staff Pete Chiarelli provided their thoughts and guidance to a crowd of over 200 military, civilian and industry participants.

Ms. Hammack outlined the Army’s goals for energy and sustainability. Her new and wide ranging portfolio includes installation and operational energy as well as responsibilities for other natural resources. She described goals for Net Zero for energy, water and waste. This bold, holistic approach has the potential to unite the islands of excellence we now have into a systems approach that reduces demand, smartly distributes and uses and reuses our resources responsibly. It is a moon shot goal.

Ms. Hammack was followed by LTG Rick Lynch from IMCOM. IMCOM is responsible for the physical plant of the Army and oversees millions of square feet of building space, a $28 Billion budget and a workforce of 120,000 employees. Lynch has a folksy manner, but is deadly serious about energy security. He takes a pragmatic, soldier’s approach to his daunting task. Lynch has devised a comprehensive strategy for IMCOM composed of various lines of operations. One of these is energy. He sees the advantage to reducing his $1.7 billion “Light Bill” (utilities cost) by 30%. He has instituted a measure to ensure that every post, camp and station has a dedicated energy manager, not as a collateral duty but as their mission in life. They will have access to the command group to ensure their voice is heard. Lynch seeks to apply his “Three Questions” to energy: 1. Are we doing the right thing? 2. Are we doing things right? 3. What are we missing?. We recommend these for everyone with a hand in energy security.

LTG Lynch had the most memorable comment of the panel discussion. “Vision without resources is a hallucination.” He also recognizes the criticality of creating incentives, not just at the installation level, but for individuals occupying family housing. Working with the privatized housing organization, programs have been established to baseline average utilities cost and then bill or reward housing occupants for exceeding or conserving energy use over a given time period. Lynch reported that over 80% of participants are receiving rebates. LTG Lynch has given authority to commanders to meet their responsibilities. The next step is accountability and the carrot or the stick.

Next installment: LTG Van Antwerp, Inventor’s Son and Energy Cheerleader.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Army Energy Leadership on Display

From the AUSA Meeting and Convention, Washington D.C. Today, members of the Army leadership focused on the challenges of energy security for a Service fighting two wars and under the stress of nine years of continuous conflict. With the massive and immediate burdens of maintain the health, welfare and effectiveness of the Soldiers, their families and the mechanism of war it is often difficult to look over the horizon and consider the implication of our profligate energy use. For the Army, despite a letter signed by the Secretary, CSA and CSMA, it has not been a top 10 priority. Until today.

The panel was hosted by HON Katherine Hammack Assistant Secretary of the Army Installations, Energy and Environment and composed of LTG Robert L. Van Antwerp, Jr. Chief of Engineers/Commanding General United States Army Corps of Engineers; LTG Michael A. Vane Director, Army Capabilities Integration Center, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command and LTG Rick Lynch, Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management/Commanding General, Installation Management Command. Dr. Marilyn M. Freeman, Ph.D. Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology was supposed to speak, but was unable to attend and sent a gentlemen who showed us slogans disguised as equations.

One of Ms. Hammond’s first announcements was that of Richard Kidd as the new DASA, Energy and Partnership (see previous entry). Welcome back to the Army, Rich.

The surprise of the morning was the two unlisted leadoff hitters: Under Secretary of the Army, Dr. Joseph Westphal (pictured) and the new leader of the Army Greenhawks, Vice Chief of Staff Pete Chiarelli. Dr. Westphal reminisced about his days in the Carter Administration and Carter’s "Crisis of Confidence speech and its plan to end our addiction to foreign oil. This was clearly an idea whose time had not yet come. Dr. Westphal now has an opportunity to bring an old idea to a new, more receptive audience. GEN Chiarelli continued his theme pushing the speed of deployment of technologies and techniques that reduce the burden of fuel and energy at forward operating bases and installations. He emphasized the importance of the execution of the Army Energy Security Implementation Strategy (AESIS). He also does a great Alex Rodriguez impersonation.

We will follow with more detail on the presentations by each of the empanelled speakers, but the significance of this event was the appearance of the Army’s second most senior leaders in uniform and mufti. Their presence and remarks indicated a sea change (dirt change?) in how the Army looks at energy. The next most significant event to watch for is the application of resource to the AESIP. LTG Rick Lynch led off his remarks (more to follow) with one of my favorite sayings. Vision without resources is a hallucination. As DoD soldiers on under a continuing resolution, we will scour the budget documents to see if the AESIS is a vision or a mirage.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Kidd on the Block: Army Names DASA, E&P

DOD and the Department of the Army named Richard Kidd as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Energy and Partnership. This post, vacant for nearly two years, is responsible for Army Energy Security and, among other things, Utilities Privatization.

Mr. Kidd, a 1986 West Point grad and former Infantry Officer, has extensive experience in government, serving with the U.N., State Department and Department of Energy. Most recently he was responsible for the Federal Energy Management Program. No one has more extensive knowledge of the mandates and policies surrounding energy that are profligate in the Federal Government. In that position he worked tirelessly to promote closer relationships between DOE and DOD. This culminated in an agreement signed in July 2010. The MOU focuses on cooperation between the agencies to enhance energy security. Kidd inherits the Army Energy Strategy Implementation Plan which focuses on “identifying, integrating and executing specific actions to achieve the Energy Security Objectives (ESOs)”. We wish him the best of luck as he works to identify the resources necessary to execute this very ambitious strategy.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Amateur Tactics and Professional Logistics: The NSN and Secure LOCs

Sara Moore with the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System had a great article on a new northern supply route into Afghanistan. The Defense Logistics Agency felt that they could open a route from Germany that would move supplies in 30 to 50 days. Two trucks carrying two 20 ft containers each drove from German to Bagram, Afghanistan. This was intended to provide relief in the event that either of the two routes from Pakistan were to be closed. Again. The recent closing of the Torkham crossing caused great consternation. There even appears to be some concern that the Pakistani routes will be abandoned altogether. It was reopened recently. In an unrelated article, the U.S. just approved $2.29 billion in military aid to Pakistan.

The good news about the northern route was the reduction in travel time. The bad news is that the Taliban is reading the newspaper in Pakistan. A recent increase in attacks against the Northern Distribution Network (NSN) has been noted by NATO. On the Pakistan route we had to worry about Pakistan. On the NDN we will have to worry about Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan. We do not have to worry about the Russians. They have already refused rights to move military material across their land.

Redundant lines of communications are a must in any military operation. But if 70% of what we are hauling overland is bulk fluids and, as the Marines have found, there is the possibility to reduce the water burden by using local supplies that do not impact the local population, then we need to focus on reducing the fuel burden. Unless we produce certified biofuels locally, we will still have to haul in our mobility fuel. The focus must be on demand reduction and then, renewable energy for power production at our forward operating bases, again as the Marines have done with India Company, 3rd of the 5th Marines. The challenge there is the agility of the acquisition agencies. The tools for demand reduction are there and in use; the RE is in short supply. We heard loud and clear last week from the policy side of the house. We now must turn words into action.

The Association of the United States Army is meeting for their Winter Convention this week in Washington. The associated tradeshow is a cornucopia of military capability. What COMDEX is to wireheads, AUSA is for warheads (yours truly included). I will attend and report back on energy trends for installations and FOBs. The pickings have been slim in recent shows as regards energy; it will be interesting to see what the professionals are thinking now. Whether it is potential or kinetic, it is all about energy. Dan Nolan

Friday, October 22, 2010

Spotlight on DoD Energy Leadership

As part of the recent DoD Energy Leadership outreach, Ms. Sharon Burke, Director, Operational Energy Plans and Policy and Ms Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Environment and Energy made themselves available through the Department of Defense Bloggers Roundtable. This program is a superb forum to allow access to DoD leadership and we commend the Department and the participants for their openness and willingness to engage in this manner. We encourage other members of the leadership to participate in these events. The transcripts are available here for Ms. Burke and Ms. Hammack.

Additionally, Ms. Burke appeared on This Week in Defense News with Vago Muradian. She gave a report on her early views of the state of operational energy and its fragmented chain of accountability and responsibilities. Worth the watch.

Monday, October 18, 2010

DoD Energy Awareness Week: Leadership Steps Up

The week of 12 – 15 October was a banner week for leadership in DoD Energy. The Pentagon hosted an energy awareness week complete with senior leadership panels, blogger interviews and vendor displays that highlighted energy use in the rain. For the hardy few who were there on Thursday, you know what I mean. Much has already been written on the subject so I will reference those pieces and then give you my thoughts. But first, an editorial note to senior leaders in DOD: Please stop quoting the fully burdened cost of $400/gal for fuel! This is from a 2001 Defense Science Board report on the extremes to which the cost could go. After serving on the Marine Corps Energy Assessment Team and the Air Force Team as well, the only way you can get to $400/gal is if one fighter aircraft refuels another over the battlespace AND you include the pilots respective bar tabs. I would rather you quoted the FBCF in blood. That is without price. Now, back to our story.

Vendors setup and displayed their wares on Tuesday, but things really kicked off on Wednesday morning with a panel discussion led by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ADM Mullen and included Chief of Staff of the Air Force, GEN Schwartz, Army Vice Chief of Staff, GEN Pete Chiarelli and the Chief Technology Officer of the United States, Dr. Aneesh P Chopra. The panel wrapped up with comments by the Secretary of the Navy, HON Ray Mabus. The Navy conducted their own forum beginning on 12 October, were Chief of Naval Operations, ADM Gary Roughead discussed the importance of life-cycle costing to include the cost of energy. The gist of the DOD panel’s remarks is available here. That ADM Mullen opened this event speaks volumes about senior leadership commitment. Of course if you have read the issue of FAST COMPANY in which he was featured, you would not be surprised to see him in the lead.

The afternoon session was anchored by Dr. Dorothy Robyn, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment and featured VADM William Burke, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistic; MG Ellen Pawlikowski, Commander, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; MG Howard Bromberg, Special Assistant to the Commanding General United States Army Forces Command; COL Brutus Charette, Director, USMC Expeditionary Energy; and Capt. Jeffrey Maclay, Commander, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida. Each of the speakers provided updates on their respective agencies effort to come to grips with the various mandates and goals established to reduce fossil fuel energy consumption and increase renewable energy use. VADM Burke related the findings of one study regarding the use of a hybrid electric drive on a ship that demonstrated a savings of $250 million over the life of the vessel. That is for a single ship! Now that is the kind of number that would get noticed even in the Pentagon. MG Bromberg (former CG at Fort Bliss, Tx) listed eight things to think about when considering energy in the Department:

  1. Need incentives for installations for energy savings and creation.
  2. Design savings into buildings. Spend the extra to gain the ROI.
  3. Need personnel on staff with RE/ALT energy expertise.
  4. Need to do the intelligence preparation of the battlefield for energy. See Bliss Tiger Team.
  5. Need to link Operational and Installation Energy
  6. Must embrace public/private partnership that provide benefit to both
  7. Need legislation that supports investment in demand reduction and renewables (e.g., Renewable Portfolio Standards)
  8. Need to establish Energy Centers of Excellence for the Services and educate the public

COL Brutus Charette delivered his message as only a Marine Corps Fighter Pilot could. He emphasized the need for the USMC to remain lethal, fast and austere and that energy efforts must support this. His demeanor was light hearted and self-effacing until the close. After discussing the company that had deployed recently with renewable energy capability, he reminded us that this was and will continue to be a deadly business. Four Marines from the battalion of which that company was a part, were killed by a roadside bomb while conducting combat operation in Afghanistan the day before.

In addition to the panels, numerous vendors with existing government contracts or considerations were invited to display their wares. I saw everything from small storage solutions to water purification to the USMC’s GREEN system. Several government agencies to include the Air Force Research Lab had displays as well, but what I didn’t see were many representatives from the acquisition community. Given the body slam delivered by GEN Pete Chiarelli, I would not be surprised if they continue to maintain a low profile. As quoted in the NDIA article concerning his remarks during the panel discussion:

The Pentagon’s acquisition process also impedes energy reform by slowing down innovation and making it difficult to buy off-the-shelf technology for military use, Chiarelli noted. One of the most successful fuel-savings measures that the Army introduced several years ago in Iraq was to spray temporary housing and tents with insulating foam, which cut down dramatically on the use of heating and air conditioning. That was a relatively inexpensive product that resulted in sizeable savings, Chiarelli said. But it was “cheap because we bought it off the market … Had we developed it ourselves, it probably would have cost 20 or 30 times more, and we would be waiting five more years to spray it on the tents.”

Swapping out fuel-hogging helicopter engines could generate significant savings, but it would take 10 years under the Army’s procurement process, Chiarelli said. “I worry that our acquisition system is too slow to take advantage of technological changes.” During the decade that it takes to complete an engine replacement program, he said, the Army would not be able to take advantage of new technology that may not exist today.

All in all, I would consider this past week’s activity a spectacular success… first steps go. The folks responsible were able to engage the leadership, bring in the vendors and put this all together in a little over two months. Of particular note were COL Paul Roege, Kevin Geiss, Anne Johnson, Sara Lake, Nora Maccoby and the ubiquitous Joe Eichenlaub. From my understanding they were not encumbered by a lot of top down guidance and these great Americans just made it happen. I saw the following comment from one of the vendor attendees:

I spent all week working with our clients inside the courtyard, and have nothing but superlatives for how well this event went from our perspective. I talked to numerous other exhibitors, and all had the same response - great effort by the various elements of the WHS and Army Staff, and great opportunity for service members stationed at the Pentagon to see what’s going on in DoD energy world outside of the “building".

Also a great opportunity for us to show off what we are doing for energy security both at the operational and installation levels. Several exhibitors commented that this was as well run as any of the top trade shows and conferences they’ve been involved with.

Everyone involved is to be commended and I recommend the planning for next year’s event start tomorrow! See you at AUSA next week. Dan Nolan

Monday, October 11, 2010

Late Breaking News: Hammack is Army Operational AND Installation Energy Guru

Responsibility Assumed: Just got off the phone with Ms Katherine Hammack, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Environment and Energy. Ms. Hammack conducted a phone interview with several bloggers as part of the DOD Live Bloggers forum. During the course of the interview, I asked her who was responsible for Operational Energy in the Army and she forthrightly declared that it was she. Question asked and answered. Well done, Ms. Hammack and welcome to the fight! - Dan Nolan

Opening the Gates: Fuel to Begin Flowing to Afghanistan

As the Pentagon prepares to observe energy awareness week as part of the DOD Energy Awareness Month, Pakistan has announced that they will reopen the Torkham border crossing. The pictures of the back up at that crossing site show that it is happening none too soon. According to folks in theater, there has not been a noticeable impact on operations or quality of life, but the troops are asking questions. They want to know what the options are and what we would do if we dipped too deep into our days of supply. The answer is, well, we would apologize.
Unfortunately, energy solutions take a bit more than 30 days to implement so that was really the only option. Demand reduction technologies such as spray foam on temporary structures like tents have been available for a couple of years and have shown great results in Iraq, but have had less traction in Afghanistan. Alternative and renewable power production is still treated as experimental. But, when coupled with storage solutions like lithium ion and deployable flow batteries these renewable sources become a proven, nonintermittent power source that gives our forward operating bases the energy security they require from logistics interruptions. One can bet that the amount of world attention garnered by the fuel tanker attacks was not lost on our adversaries – they will be back for more.
We dodged a bullet this time, but next time we may not be so fortunate. For the Army, this should provide the operational need necessary to create a REQUIREMENT. For those who are not TRADOCIANS, a requirement from the Training and Doctrine Command is what is necessary for the acquisition community to go to work to find the material solution. The Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC) led by LTG Michael Vane, is just the organization to lead the charge.
LTG Vane has demonstrated his understanding of the issues with the publication of a white paper regarding Power and Energy Strategy. This paper, jointly signed by Vane, LTG Mitch Stevenson, Army G4 and MG Nick Justice, Commander of the Research and Development Command, lays out three challenges: 1. Help Soldiers Manage Power and Energy, 2. Reduce Demand, and 3. “Build resilience and flexibility into force capabilities to continue operating in the face of energy disruption.” The recent activities (or lack thereof) at Torkham and similar attacks enroute to the Chaman Gate demonstrate the need for this final “challenge” in spades. The paper goes on to detail seven strategies for meeting these challenges. The requirements listed in the paper ought to provide the acquisition community the necessary impetus to start cranking out the necessary technology, but who is in charge of operational energy? Sharon Burke has the rose at DoD, but who has it at the Service level?
So, what is next? TRADOC will have to publish an Initial Capabilities Document to identify energy capability gaps and solutions. This would be followed by a Tactical Fuel and Energy Implementation Plan; and a roadmap that spells out the Doctrine, Organization, Training, Material, Leadership, Personnel and Facilities activities required to execute the Army's Operational Energy Strategy. It would seem that LTG Vane would have the responsibility for tracking the management of these tasks, but who has overall responsibility for the Operational Energy Strategy? To whom do the Soldiers turn when the border closes again? COL Brutus Charette is shouldering the responsibility for the USMC. We look forward to meeting his Army counterpart.
Late Breaking News: Just got off the phone with Ms Katherine Hammack, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Environment and Energy. Ms. Hammack conducted a phone interview with several bloggers as part of the DOD Live Bloggers forum. During the course of the interview, I asked her who was responsible for Operational Energy in the Army and she forthrightly declared that it was she. Question asked and answered. Well done, Ms. Hammack and welcome to the fight! - Dan Nolan

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Strategies to Reduce DOD Building Energy Use by 50%

DOD manages over two billion square feet of building space. According to DOE, “Residential and commercial buildings account for almost 39 percent of total U.S. energy consumption and 38 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.” With the very aggressive goals established for energy reduction in DOD over the next several years, this sector must be considered carefully. Vince Marshall of Cherokee Energy Management & Construction took a look at a couple recent reports, one from Amory Lovin’s Rocky Mountain Institute and the other from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. It’s a good day for Colorado! Highly recommend reading for Energy Managers and Commanders responsible for making energy goals. Read on…….

Building energy consumption is a significant portion of the total energy consumed by DOD. Within the past few weeks, studies by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) have focused on whole building approaches to reducing building energy use.

Rocky Mountain Institute’s- Whole Building Retrofits: A Gateway to Climate Stabilization. Is a high level approach to create significant energy savings by looking at a building as an entity and not as individual systems. Many times designers, engineers and even building owners see building systems such as space cooling, heating and domestic hot water heating as having independent functions and not how they can all work together.

It is extremely cost effective to upgrade major HVAC systems by “piggybacking” on planned capital improvements. That is to identify ageing systems and upgrade to a more efficient system when that unit reaches the end of its useful life. Often we see a “Replace in Kind” approach with whatever was there before instead of spending a small amount of capital to significantly increase efficiency. Paybacks on these marginal expenses are superb.

NREL’s Technical Support Document: Strategies for 50% Energy Savings in Large Office Buildings is a 163 page, in-depth road map to attain a 50% reduction in energy use for large commercial buildings. This is as compared to ASHRAE 90.1 2004/ 2007 editions. The report is lengthy, but easy to read and makes good sense.

The following are summaries from this document:
  • Achieving 50% energy savings cost effectively requires an integrated building design—an approach that analyzes buildings as holistic systems rather than as disconnected collections of individually engineered subsystems. We analyze the complex interactions between building systems and ensure the building will operate as efficiently as possible. 
  • Careful attention is paid to simulated comfort indices to ensure indoor environmental quality is not sacrificed in the interest of energy savings or costs 
  • We recommend off-the-shelf technologies that are available from multiple sources, as opposed to technologies or techniques that are available only in limited quantities or from one manufacturer. 
The following energy efficiency measures played important roles in reaching the 50% energy savings target:
  • The baseline hydronic VAV system was replaced with radiant heated and cooled slab ceilings with DOAS for ventilation. ( Dedicated Outside Air System) 
  • The DOAS design was tailored to address climate-specific requirements as follows: sensible and latent energy recovery equipment was used in humid climates, sensible energy recovery equipment was used in marine and very cold climates, and indirect evaporative cooling (IDEC) was included in dry climates. 
  • Waterside economizing was incorporated in dry climates. 
  • Lighting power density was reduced to 0.63 W/ft2 in offices spaces and occupancy sensors were assumed in infrequently occupied zones. 
  • Day lighting controls tuned to maintain a 27.9 fc (300 lux) set point. 
  • Entrance vestibules and envelope air barriers were included to reduce infiltration. These features were important to avoid condensation on radiant cooling surfaces in humid climates. 
  • High efficiency boilers (condensing, nominally 98% efficient), chillers (COP of 7), air distribution units (69% total fan efficiency), and service water heating (SWH) equipment (90% thermal efficiency) was installed. 
  • Fa├žade WWR (Window to Wall Ratio) was reduced to 20% and window properties were modified to reduce solar gain, improve overall envelope insulation, and reduce construction costs. In low-rise buildings, double pane windows with low-emissivity film and argon fill (U-0.235, SHGC-0.416, VLT-0.750) were installed; in high-rise buildings, double pane windows with low-emissivity film and tinted glass constructions (U-0.288, SHGC-0.282, VLT- 0.55) were used.
  • Exterior wall insulation was added in cold climates (up to R-19.5 continuous insulation (c.i.) for the low-rise case and R-22.5 c.i. for the high-rise case). 
  • Total plug loads were reduced by 23% to 0.68 W/ft2 (7.3 W/m2) by purchasing high efficiency electronic equipment and employing control strategies to eliminate plug loads when equipment was not being used. 
As we all strive to meet annual energy reduction goals, these are two really good articles filled with solid ideas and it is worth your time to read them.

[i] U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), 2008 Buildings Energy Data Book. Prepared for the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by D&R International, 2008.

We Need Hap Arnold

In September 1939, the U.S. Army Air Corps had a heavy bomber force of just 23 B-17. Then Chief of the Air Corps, LTG Hap Arnold had requested an estimate from his staff of production capabilities, training capacities and other logistical requirements necessary to expand the force to meet the looming specter of war in Europe. The number provided by the staff was significantly lower than LTG Arnold felt necessary, so he went to the President with a request for 10,000 aircraft. The rest, as they say, is history.

In August 2006 then MG Zilmer, commanding USMC forces in the Anbar province of Iraq asked for one hundred and eighty three renewable power generation systems . The Joint Requirements Oversight Council felt the technology was not mature enough so no systems were fielded. There was no Hap Arnold to overrule the staff in this case.

Today, four years after the request, the Marines have deployed one company with a suite of renewable energy systems . These systems like the 300 watts of continuous power provided by Ground Renewable Expeditionary Energy System (GREENS) will help in unleashing Marines from the tether of fuel, but they will not be sufficient to meet the megawatt needs of our large forward operating bases.

Now, with border crossings closed and multiple attacks on fuel convoys sitting in Pakistan, the front page of the New York Time lauds this effort. It discusses the other programs that the Navy and Air Force are pursuing to relieve the burden of fuel. The one mention of the Army is about an out dated report on casualties associated with convoys. The article states that for every 24 convoys, one contractor or service member is killed. The report mentioned is the September 2009 Sustain the Mission Project which states that for every 24 convoys in Iraq, we sustain one casualty, not KIA. This number has dropped significantly for Afghanistan where convoy security from source to major FOB is provided by contractor personnel. This may be function of spotty reporting from contractors. None the less, after nearly nine years of combat and four years since Zilmer’s request, we are still waiting on the significant impact of renewables in the battle space.

Afghanistan is not Vietnam. In Vietnam, we could bring our supplies in through Cam Ranh Bay and protect our lines of communication all the way to the front. In Afghanistan we have to bring our supplies in through Karachi in Pakistan and hope for the best. Perhaps the light from burning fuel tankers at the Torkham border crossing will illuminate the need for assured power to support our combat operations.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Conference Alert: Navy Energy Forum 2010

It's coming up fast, and this year's theme is "Seapower Repowered: Energy as a Force Multiplier and Strategic Resource." Hosted by Navy Task Force Energy and NDIA, this event will "emphasize the importance of energy to the warfighter for enhanced combat capability" and will bring together Navy, defense, federal, and industry leaders.
  • When: October 12-13, 2010
  • Where: Ronald Reagan Building, Washington, DC 
  • What: The detailed agenda is posted HERE
  • How: Online registration for the Navy Energy Forum has been extended until today, Monday, October 4, at 5 pm EST. Click HERE to register at NDIA and then for the conference
Note: the registration fee will increase beginning Tuesday, October 5. After Monday, you must bring your filled out registration form onsite to the Reagan Building to register in person. The registration desk will open at 7:15 am on Tuesday, October 12.

Photo credit: USS Ronald Reagan on

Friday, October 1, 2010

In AfPak: Closed Borders, Dwindling Supplies

From June 1948 to May 1949, the Soviet Union closed ground access to the city of Berlin in an effort to gain control of the divided city. During that period the Allied forces flew over 200,000 sorties, hauling about 13,000 tons a day into the beleaguered city. It cost the Allies 101 lives and $2 billion in today’s dollars, but it succeeded. Is it time to get ready for the Bagram Airlift?

According to news reports, following an incident in which Apache Helicopters moved into Pakistani airspace after receiving effective ground fire and in keeping with the rules of engagement, “Within hours, Pakistan closed the vital ISAF supply line that runs from Karachi, Pakistan, through the fabled Khyber Pass to the Torkham crossing. About half of ISAF supplies come through Torkham and the southern Spin Boldak crossing, according to the U.S. Central Command.” Most FOBs maintain a certain number of days of supply of various classes of supply in order to be able to continue operation.

This action by the Pakistani government threatens the mission and highlights the absolute need for self sufficiency in our forward areas. Our days of assured supply and safe rear areas are behind us. What better example of the vulnerabilities we face in the long war than this? The products of the Marines’ ExFOB and the Net Zero Plus JCTD need to get into the hands of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. This is an area that requires rapid acquisition of systems that will provide our troops independence from political whims as well as tools necessary to continue the mission.

As frantic diplomatic engagement goes on, 30 days of supply of beans, bullets and benzene go by very quickly.

Picture courtesy of