In line with that original mission, the implementation plan outlined seven concrete steps the military will take, all under supervision of the Defense Operational Energy Board: (1) establish energy consumption baselines and take any action to improve these baselines in the future; (2) improve energy efficiency in operations and training ; (3) promote innovation in operational energy needs; (4) improve operational energy security at fixed installations; (5) promote development of alternative fuels; (6) incorporate energy security considerations into military requirements and acquisition; and (7) adapt policy, doctrine, professional military education and combatant command activities to promote energy security.
The military has been actively changing its consumption of energy in the last few years under the guidance of Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment. Among her initiatives has been the net zero program, aimed at dramatically reducing waste by limiting consumption, recycling resources, composting and repurposing “waste” items for more energy.
That program has already set up 17 test bases intended to consume no more energy, waste or water than they generate by 2020, AOL Energy reported last May. Another recent initiative is a portable, self-sustaining wastewater treatment system, being developed by researchers at Michigan State University that will allow troops on the front lines to be less dependent on fresh water deliveries.
In Afghanistan, solar and microgrid technology is also already in place and allows soldiers in remote areas to power tents without batteries. That means less to carry in backpacks and longer lasting more efficient power for the camp. The Air Force is changing flight planning and plane loading to save fuel, actions the DOD says will save the Air Force $500 millions in fuel over the next five years. The Navy has also joined the effort and has deployed shipboard hybrid-electric drives, stern flaps and hull and propeller coatings to improve efficiency.