The Army is making great strides toward energy awareness, from official documents to fielding systems. For example, we have fielded systems that improve performance, such as solar power applications, micro-grids and water recycling. These are tools that will move us closer to becoming an Army of energy experts – Soldiers and civilians who will use energy to the greatest operational advantage and routinely make energy-informed decisions.
Another tool that will help us achieve our goals is the recently approved Operational Energy Initial Capabilities Document (ICD). It is not often we become excited over the internal progress of doctrine or strategies. However, on 18 April 2012, the Joint Staff approved the Army’s Operational Energy for Sustained Ground Operations Initial Capabilities Document.
This is important to the Army because Operational Energy is about military options and mission success. It is a key enabler for operations, essential for combined arms maneuver and required for Soldier sustainment. Operational Energy performance drives our operational effectiveness through mobility, agility, flexibility, resilience and sustainability.
The approval of this document is a significant step in our efforts to change the Army culture and make energy a consideration in everything we do. It’s not just about using Operational Energy less, but using it best. Smart energy wins the fight!
Improving the Army’s Operational Energy Posture will increase mission effectiveness by enhancing or preserving adaptability, versatility, flexibility and sustainability, as well as reducing costs and preserving future choice.
The newly approved Initial Capabilities Document provides the basis for Operational Energy capabilities in dismounted, mounted, aviation and contingency basing operations. It focuses on interoperability and our ability to manage Operational Energy within operations. It reflects our strategy of adopting ‘energy-informed operations’ as the objective.
The Operational Energy Initial Capabilities Document is also a key component of our strategy to incorporate Operational Energy into the requirements process, again making energy a consideration in everything we do. This strategy requires a holistic look at energy-related capabilities across the range of military operations, allowing us to maximize Operational Energy contributions to operational effect.
This Initial Capabilities Document is one of three interrelated power and energy requirements documents. The other two, still in Joint staffing, are the Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy, Water, and Waste Initial Capabilities Document, and the Joint Staff’s Contingency Basing Initial Capabilities Document.
This success was a total team effort from the offices of: the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment; The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology; The Training and Doctrine Command; the Combined Arms Support Command; Army Material Command; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and many others.
This is a testament to all the efforts of this team. I thank them for their passion and persistence.
The next step is to use all the ICD’s as a guide to pursue an integrated, managed Operational Energy capability set. The Operational Energy Campaign plan, which we are fully incorporating into the Army Campaign Plan, will allow us to manage progress towards our goals.
The G-4 stands committed to energy security on a systemic and long term basis and we will keep you informed.
Blog post submitted by:
Hon. Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army-Installation, Energy & Environment
Lt. Gen. Raymond V. Mason, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4 (logistics)