Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Operational Energy Strategy: Bumper Stickers for All

The Department of Defense rolled out its Operational Energy Strategy yesterday with all the impact of a low velocity marshmallow. The Joint Publication 1-02, Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms sets forth standard US military and associated terminology to encompass the joint activity of the Armed Forces of the United States. This document defines strategy ”as a prudent idea or set of ideas for employing the instruments of national power in a synchronized and integrated fashion to achieve theater, national, and/or multinational objectives”. It would be expected that a strategy published by DoD would conform to this characterization. This document does not.

What was released yesterday was a rehash of recent military energy history and bumper stickers. It was due to Congress on 21 December 2010. Six month later we get a missive signed by the DepSecDef (guess the SecDef was still on the farewell tour) that the National Journal summed up by saying, “Right now, the energy strategy consists of a new office, a new way of thinking about energy, and a three-point plan laid out in an 11-point memo that’s full of slogans but short on specifics”

The strategy promises an implementation plan within 90 days that ”will include specific targets and timelines for achieving this strategy in the near-, mid-, and long-term”. The strategy and implementation plan will be updated annually and will serve as the basis for the ASDOEPP’s annual certification of Service operational energy budgets. So, what are the “set of ideas for employing the instruments of national power in a synchronized and integrated fashion to achieve theater, national, and/or multinational objectives”? The three bumper stickers read: More fight, less fuel; More options, less risk; and More capability, less cost. Let’s take a closer look at what the strategy requires of the Services..

The first Strategic Goal is to “reduce the demand for energy in military operations”. The strategy requires the Services to:
  • Document actual and projected energy consumption in current and planned military operations
  • Accelerate and adopt technological and management innovations from across the “DOTMLPF” spectrum to reduce demand and improve efficiency

The second Strategic Goal is to “diversifying and securing military energy supplies (in order to) improve the ability of our forces to get the energy they require to perform their missions”. The strategy requires the Services to:
  • Diversify and develop new energy sources suitable for expeditionary use, to include efforts aimed at developing the capacity of partner nations in support of U.S. strategic goals
  • Assure reliable energy supply for critical operational missions at fixed installations

Finally, the third Strategic Goal is to ensure that “energy consumption and the associated costs and logistics challenges are taken into account in all decisions about strategic planning, structuring, equipping, and posturing the force. The strategy requires the Services to:
  • Analyze and report the primary “lessons learned” from current operations to inform future planning, to include the tactical, operational, and strategic consequences
  • Apply those lessons to future military force development
  • Demonstrate civilian and military leadership commitment to incorporating energy analysis and planning

The strategy consists of telling the Services to figure out how they are using energy and then use less; get more sources (types?) of energy and plan for energy in force development. In the entire document there is only one mention of the fully burdened cost of energy and no mention of energy as a key performance parameter. Both of these are required by law but with caveats.

The promise of the implementation plan is tantalizing. Targets and timelines are not enough; the Department has those and each Service has their own. What are required are measureable objectives for each goal with associated authorities (resources) and a belly button for each objective so that there is someone to be held accountable. Then, when the ASDOEPP provides their annual report to Congress on Service budget certification for operational energy, they will have a set of measurable objectives against which to measure. Responsibility, Authority and Accountability: my bumper sticker. Dan Nolan

1 comment:

bumper stickers said...

really great picture,also great work done by the army..never seen before i like it...