News | April 13, 2020

Eisenhower School Seminar goes virtual

By Connie Braesch DLA Energy Public Affairs

Using the school’s online classroom, students at National Defense University’s Eisenhower School learned about Defense Logistics Agency Energy during a virtual presentation, April 6.

Due to COVID-19 health concerns, the defense fuel management seminar was held online with the more than 20 senior-level military officers and civilians from the U.S. and four international partners – Czech Republic, Lebanon, Norway and Poland.

“DLA is a vital part of the logistics network for energy and for the Department of Defense,” said Dr. Paul Sullivan, an NDU economics professor and lead for the Eisenhower School’s Energy Industry Studies Program. “Operational and installation energy are a part of my energy curriculum. One cannot understand DOD and U.S. government energy issues without understanding what DLA does.”

The students at the Fort McNair campus in Washington, DC, are in the midterm of the Energy Industry Studies program, focusing on the energy industry and its implications to national security.

“In previous years, we invite the students to the McNamara Headquarters Complex where they have the opportunity to see DLA in action and to meet with leaders, the Service Control Points and other subject matter experts,” said DLA Energy Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Albert Miller.  

“Since we couldn’t meet in person as planned, we were happy to use the online classroom to continue with the briefing,” he said. 

From the standard price of fuel to the strategic management of petroleum and the bulk petroleum supply chain, Miller explained how DLA Energy supplies 94% of all U.S. government fuel purchases. 

“We are predominantly a contract organization,” Miller said. “While our business is about three-quarters bulk petroleum, we also support aerospace missions with cryogenics, rocket fuel and other propellants as well as installation energy with electricity, coal, natural gas and renewable energy.” 

Students, using the chat room, asked the DLA Energy Commander questions about fuel contracting, storage, reserves, pricing, accounting, and renewable energy solutions.

“The seminar ran great,” Miller said. “The conversation wasn’t constrained at all by the digital environment. Students asked great questions allowing for a very interactive and personalized briefing.”

In the service specific portion of the seminar, the military petroleum Service Control Point leaders explained how their offices interact and engage with DLA Energy to support the Warfighter. 

Army Col. Eduardo Santiago, Commander of the Army Petroleum Center, Air Force Col. Phillip Noltemeyer, Director of the Air Force Petroleum Office, and Navy Capt. Matt Holman, Officer in Charge of the NAVSUP Naval Petroleum Office, briefed students on how they support the Joint Bulk Petroleum and Water Doctrine.

“This was a very informative brief that covered major aspects of how DLA sources energy for our Services and U.S. government,” said U.S. Navy Capt. JaJa Marshall. 

Royal Norwegian Navy Capt. Connie Stien said it tied in well with the Eisenhower School’s industry study. 

“This was very interesting and of value both for what we are focusing on at Eisenhower and for my future positions back home,” she said.

The seminar’s students will develop an executive summary report and make a formal presentation based on the information they received to a prominent energy executive, an lieutenant general and a senior official from the White House. 

U.S. Army Col. James Swartz agreed saying the brief helped tie the U.S. military portion of energy usage to the school’s overall look at energy globally. 

The Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy is one of five National Defense University colleges that educate joint Warfighters in critical thinking and the creative application of power to inform national strategy and globally integrated operations.