Experts from Defense Logistics Agency Energy and other organizations across the Defense Department discussed the future of alternative fuels at a Jan. 9 forum at the McNamara Headquarters Complex.
DLA Energy Strategic Energy Analyst Jeanne Binder, who organized the meeting, said the purpose of the meeting was to gather DoD senior leaders and organizations involved with alternative fuels to discuss what has been accomplished, where the department is today and how to move forward in their use.
The meeting featured program updates from the military services, but first focused on implementation of the DoD Alternative Fuels Policy for Operational Platforms, which was released in July 2012.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs Tom Morehouse said the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act required the Defense Department to establish a policy on alternative fuels, and his office worked with the services and DLA Energy to complete that in 2012.
“The policy establishes the primary goal of the alternative fuels program as future operational readiness, allowing for the flexibility of military systems to use multiple types of fuel in future operations,” he said. “All DoD investments made under this policy will go through a rigorous merit-based evaluation and then will be reviewed as part of the department’s annual operational energy budget certification process.”
Morehouse said finishing the policy was not the last step.
“It’s one thing to have a policy in place, but it’s another to understand how that policy will work in practice,” he said. “One of the things we will try to do today, along with going through the policy itself, is to walk through the mechanics of how it will work.”
After discussing implementation of the alternative fuels policy and receiving updates from the military services, Binder said discussion turned to ways ahead for alternative fuels, including challenges and opportunities in the future of alternative fuels.
“This meeting provided a great opportunity to update senior leadership and the group in general on the status of alternative fuel-related efforts and to discuss opportunities and challenges moving forward,” she said. “Senior leadership provided feedback on progress to date and issues that need to be addressed in the future. The great discussions provided the group with a common understanding of what everyone is doing and the way ahead.”