The long awaited report from the Assistant Secretary of the Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs (ASDOEPP) hit the streets late last week. As part of her statutory duties, Ms. Burke is required to:
review the DoD Components' proposed budgets and not later than January 31 of the preceding fiscal year for which the budgets are proposed, provide the Secretary of Defense a report containing the Director's analysis, comments, and findings of operational energy aspects of the proposed budgets as well as the certification of the Director regarding whether the proposed budget is adequate for implementation of the operational energy strategy.
The report evaluates the Services’ FY2011 budgets for operational energy in regard to their own stated strategy. In the coming years that assessment will be against the DOD Operational Energy Strategy, but since that had not been published by the due date of this report, the ASD used the Components’ own plans as the point of comparison. This is a gut check: are you walking the walk or just talking the talk.
Across the board, the Services proposed FY 2011 budgets were certified as “adequate for implementation of the operational energy aspects of their energy strategy”, with the following caveats.
1. DOD doesn’t know how energy is being consumed at the point of use. They know how much was delivered, but how it was used is unclear. What did that truck do? What was that generator powering? Was that air craft doing close support, logistics or recce?
2. Significant opportunities to improve energy efficiency in legacy mobility assets are believed to exist, but have not been identified and, therefore, not adequately funded.
3. 58% percent (down from 62% in the original version of the report) of the budget goes to research, development, technology and engineering. There are mature, shovel ready technologies on the commercial shelf, ready to go and more funds should be allocated to those efforts, rather than the long term, routine, science and technology acquisition path.
4. Energy costs are underestimated in acquisition analysis. Operational energy concerns are not addressed in models and simulations. The fully burdened cost of energy and energy as a key performance parameter were supposed to solve this. Use them.