Monday, August 20, 2012

Matchmaking in Huntsville: Intel Gathering and Speed Dating


Packing my bags for Huntsville and the pre-proposal conference for the contract “Renewable and Alternative Energy Power Production for DoD Installations”.  This will be a great opportunity to gather intelligence, but also do some match making.  Given the requirements for small business participation and the heavy past performance prerequisites, teaming and joint ventures are going to be the rule rather than the exception on this contract.  If you are a small business with power purchase agreements under your belt, please contact me here or seek me out at the conference.  Have I got a deal for you!



All though this conference is focused on installation energy and only on power production (sorry 5th fuelers and smart grid folks), there has been a fair bit of news on the operational energy side of the table as well.  In June the ASD, Operational Energy Plans and Programs published their annual certification of the Services budgets for OE.  This was the first year that the budgets were certified against the DOD OE Strategy.  The office used the seven targets from their strategy to do the assessment. For those of you who have not memorized them, they are below.

More Fight, Less Fuel: Reduce the demand for energy in military operation
Target 1 Measure Operational Energy Consumption
Target 2 Improve Energy Performance and Efficiency in Operations and Training
Target 3 Promote Operational Energy Innovation
More options, less risk: Expand and secure the supply of energy to military operations
Target 4 Improve Operational Energy Security at Fixed installations
Target 5 Promote the Development of Alternative Fuels
More capability, less cost: Build energy security into the future force
Target 6 Incorporate Energy Security Considerations into Requirements/Acquisition
Target 7 Adapt Policy, Doctrine, Professional Military Education

All of the Services got a "go" in their job books with the following caveats. The Army needs to improve the energy performance of the future ground tactical fleet (Fully Burdened Cost of Energy and Energy as a Key Performance Parameter). The Navy needs to work on “their operational energy efforts by budgeting for the development and implementation of the tools and systems required to incorporate energy security consideration in to Requirements and Acquisition” (develop the doctrinal underpinnings for the Requirements process). The Air Force “could strengthen its operational energy efforts by budgeting for greater energy efficiency in the legacy and future fixed wing fleet and the development and implementation of the tools and systems required to incorporate energy security considerations into Requirements and Acquisition”(fix up your old stuff; you will be flying it for a while!). 

This focus on the Requirements process is appropriate.  We will not fix the current fight, but we can fix the next one.   You can rail against the current Acquisition process, but it is the only one we have, so get over it and get on with it.  What the Navy and Air Force “need to strengthen” is informative. The “development and integration of tools” refers to Fully Burdened Cost of Energy and Energy as a Key Performance Parameter.  Both have been required by mandate and the USAF and USN have shown some reluctance to play along.  At the recent Admiral Moore Military Energy Security Forum at the National Defense University, AF and USMC reps indicated that their folks were looking at these two requirements with somewhat of a gimlet eye. Their contention was that only contributions to combat and mission effectiveness should be considered.  I asked Energy and Security Group VP Steve Siegel about this.  ESG is working this effort for the Army G4.  Steve said:
 I fully agree with (the) point that operational energy decisions should be based on contributions to combat and mission effectiveness – that is the basis for the fully burdened cost of energy (FBCE).   For example, in the Army’s Fully Burdened Cost Tool (formerly Sustain the Mission Project), the FBCE includes costs (and benefits in parentheses) in terms of:  fuel resupply convoy casualties (avoided), fuel resupply convoy soldier threat exposure (hours avoided), fuel consumption (gallons saved), fuel supply truck miles (freed up for other missions), aviation fuel transport hours (freed up for other missions), convoy protection gun truck miles (freed up for other missions), convoy protection aviation system hours (freed up for other missions), and dollars (avoided) --- 7 of the 8 FBCE factors indicate operational and logistical impacts, and 1 reflects economic impacts.  That is, the FBCE shows the operational, logistical and economic value added - costs and benefits - of reducing fuel demand and reducing vulnerable fuel resupply convoys. These FBCE factors, in addition to traditional operational energy factors such as system range and speed, enable decision makers to conduct tradeoffs and better see the full value added of operational energy choices.  The FBC Tool has been and is currently used at over 25 Army agencies and offices in support of operational energy analysis and decision-making for missions ranging from research and development to operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Of course there is much to do here, and work is underway to further tie mission and combat effectiveness and the FBCE. 
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but the Army is clearly committed to this course of action in the Analysis of Alternatives portion of the Acquisition process.  

The report is well written and informative. It calls ‘em as it sees ‘em without beating anyone over the head.  This was a trend I noticed from Sharon Burke’s presentation at the Moorer conference (yes, I know I still owe you that!).  More to follow on that.   Well worth the read if you are in the OE business.  See you in Huntsville!  Dan Nolan 

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