Saturday, January 15, 2011

Energy in DOD’s Strategic Management Plan

On 30 December 2010 the US Department of Defense released its Strategic Management Plan (SMP) for FY 2011 which directly maps to Departmental strategic goals and objectives derived from the February 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review.
The SMP, the highest-level plan for improving DoD’s business operations, describes the business strategic aims and actions DOD will take in FY2011. It also lists each military department’s top priorities for achieving integrated management of business operations.
The SMP lists 5 goals. One of the objectives under the Business Goal 3 (Reform the DoD Acquisition and Support Processes) is to “Increase energy efficiencies” with accompanied two performance measures:

• Cumulative average percent reduction in building energy intensity

• Percentage of renewable energy produced or procured based on DoD’s annual electric energy usage

Note that the DOD listed five Strategic Goals in QDR. One of the strategic objectives of these five goals (DoD Strategic Goal 5 - Implement the Reform Agenda) was to “Increase use of renewable energy and reduce energy demand at DoD installations.”

As for Departmental business priorities it is rather disappointing not to see any priority containing energy for Department of the Army. Navy and Air Force, however, insert energy into their business priorities.

One of the 7 business priorities of the Department of the Navy is to

“Improve the DON’s energy posture by reducing fossil fuel use and increasing the percentage of energy derived from alternative sources

• Enhanced Energy Security is achieved by utilizing sustainable alternative sources that meet tactical, expeditionary, and shore requirements and force sustainment functions, and have the ability to protect and deliver sufficient energy to meet operational needs.

• Enhanced Energy Independence is achieved when Naval forces obtain at least half of their energy from alternative sources. Enhanced energy independence increases operational effectiveness making Naval forces more energy self-sufficient and less dependent on vulnerable energy production and supply lines.”

One of the 5 business priorities of the Department of the Air Force to

“Increase energy efficiency by reducing aviation fuel use, installation energy intensity, and (non-tactical) vehicle fleet petroleum

• Reduce fuel consumption through improved operational planning, alternative training concepts, and installation modernization and management.”

All these are good efforts but like the ones I showed above all SMP priorities talk about “what” instead of “how”. This is unfortunate. The focus should have been how to ensure that taxpayer money is spent responsibly.

To specify “how” may be a difficult task but it should not be left out and must be synchronized with the legislative regulations and procedures.

While the SMP does not bother with “how”, some recent legislative actions focus solely on “how”. For instance, consider this story in the New York Times article: “The military authorization law signed by President Obama on Friday contains a little-noticed “Buy American” provision for the Defense Department purchases of solar panels.” And how about the Domestic Fuel for Enhancing National Security Act of 2010 introduced in House, which aims to extend the number of years (from maximum 5 to 15 years) that multiyear contracts may be entered into for the purchase of advanced biofuels?


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