U.S. Army Research Development and Engineering Command is leading an effort along with the U.S. Army Natick Research, Development and Engineering Center to reduce energy use and provide alternative energy at a Navy forward operating base in Djibouti, Africa with the assistance of the Kansas Army National Guard. The concept is simple enough: solar shades with battery storage reduces the requirement for air conditioning and provides about 2 Kw of power. The charrette has been running since last July and has been so successful that the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa has decided to keep the equipment and add it to the property book. This is an example of an abbreviated acquisition process. From R&D to MTO&E in under a year is an impressive record. Now, I don’t think it is ACTUALLY on the Modified Table of Organization and Equipment, but I hope the folks at TRADOC are figuring out how to do that.
The effort has been nominated for the 33rd Annual Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Awards. Typically, these awards have been presented to Army installations energy and water efforts. It is time to recognize the efforts in operational energy. While the dollar savings are often the focus in these awards, this project and its potential savings can be measured in dollars and blood.