The Commander, International Security Assistance Force/U.S. Forces – Afghanistan, and soon to be CIA Director, came up on the net about operational energy this month. On 7 July GEN David H. Petraeus signed a memo directing commanders throughout his organization to make energy informed, risk based decisions on aviation and vehicle operations, base camp design, power and water generation and distribution. They are also charged with rapid technology transition of new fuel savings methods and the pursuit of existing, proven alternative energy options that reduce the use and transport of fuel (Power Surety Task Force Mission!). Finally commanders must ensure energy is considered in requirements and oversight of contracts.
To assist in this process, General Petraeus is establishing an office charged with improving operational capabilities through changes in how Coalition forces use energy. This means that changes in energy use will be required of all the partners in the Coalition. If anyone is using energy more profligately than the Yanks, I will be stunned.
General Petraeus is the first person in uniform, in contact, above the grade of BG (sorry, Steve) to publicly recognize the impact of energy on operations. The Services have all spoken up (more or less), but now the Warfighters, as part of a Coalition and a Combatant Command, have issued direction. If commanders are being given the responsibility then, presumably, they will be given the authorities (resources). The only thing left to do is establish the accountability process and, again, presumably, the office GEN Petraeus is establishing will do that. We will continue to watch for developments. Dan Nolan