Friday, March 25, 2011
“We are Sparta" at 8 Gallons/Marine/Day: USMC Energy Strategy on the Street
Once again, the Devil Dogs are first ashore on energy with the publication of a comprehensive, directive and accountability based strategy. The Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Strategy and Implementation Plan was signed by the Commandant of the Marine Corps on 24 February 2011 and it sets the bar high. According to folks one step to the left and one to the rear, the CMC is fired up about it and wants to be aggressive. This is intended to get more teeth and less tail into the fight. The document is comprehensive in that it includes the vision, mission, scope, goals, initiatives and a way ahead. Most importantly, it includes the implementation guidance necessary to get the acquisition community rolling. More available at the Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Office website.
For you fans of the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS), and I know you are out there, the next step is the Initial Capabilities Document and the Marines are ready to rock the JCIDS. They are completing staffing of the Expeditionary Energy, Water, and Waste Initial Capabilities Document (E2W2 ICD). For those not familiar with this document, the ICD identifies a capability gap or other deficiency in terms of the functional area, the relevant range of military operations, and the time frame. Key Performance Parameters (KPP), such as Energy are not included in the ICD. The ICD guides the Concept Refinement and Technology Development phases of the Defense Acquisition System and supports Analysis of Alternatives (AoA). The AoA is where the Fully Burdened Cost of Fuel is used to compare alternatives in doctrine, organization, training, material, logistics, personnel and facilities. For industry: Gentlemen, start your engines! Class dismissed.
The document goes beyond the battlefield to embrace “the fifth element” of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force: bases, stations and Garrison Mobile Equipment. The goal? 50% will be Net Zero by 2020. Leathernecks will also take water and waste on as an element of the energy equation. The strategy is chock full of data point, examples and fun facts. Among those facts is that the new USMC metric for operational energy is Gallons Per Marine Per Day (GPMD). I would classify this metric as as good as any. The current number is eight GPMD. For installation energy the metric will continue to be the Defense Utility Energy Reporting System.
The Marine ICD is expected to identify 112 gaps capabilities and groups them into 29 tasks for resolution. It was created by three separate working groups consisting of SMEs from around the Corps. Will keep you posted on the deployment of this document.
One of the organizations drawing attention to the Marine energy effort is, of course, the ExFOB. It gets the press because it is a very visual example of what is being done (and not being done) in operational energy. That being said, in order to have real organizational impact, documents like the ICD are required. They start the wheels turning, money flowing and requirements for material necessary to engage industry. The ExFOB provides the initial energy capability and informs the requirements process in order to pursue technological solutions and programs of record that meet long term objectives.
The last major deployment of ExFOB kit was with India Company 3/5 Marines. The initial reports on that effort from the field were very positive. Next will be support for a battalion command and operations center this summer. As with the company set, the material solutions (hybrid PV/Gen/Btry system, DC air conditioners, tent liners, LED lights), will be tested in CONUS training and deployed only if operationally sound. We look forward to the outcome of this charrette (pun intended). Thanks to Amory Lovins for adding that to my lexicon. Dan Nolan