The US Army in Afghanistan recognizes that going green solves fuel supply problems for troops.
Logistical supply line problems in military forces have been the downfall of armies since organized warfare began. The US Army goes green as a tactical move: Recent attacks against US military and NATO fuel convoys in Afghanistan have resulted in US military seeking ways to incorporate renewable energy into field units in order to have less dependence on fossil fuels, according to a recent article in the NY Times.
Some of this equipment running on solar energy include portable solar panels that fold up into boxes; energy-conserving lights; solar tent shields that provide shade and electricity; and solar chargers for computers and communications equipment. This desire to use solar and other forms of renewable energy in the military, stems from recent innovations in renewable energy technology that enable these portable “field units” to be used in areas where logistical dependence on supplies of fossil fuel is difficult, if not downright dangerous due to terror attacks by insurgent combatants. What fuel supplies that are available are more needed for military vehicles, including trucks, personnel carriers and attack vehicles.
Solar power in the field
These fuel logistical problems are not confined to US and NATO forces, however. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are also starting to use renewable energy in military bases and field units, including solar energy field re-chargers for communications equipment and solar water heaters on military bases.
Logistical supply line problems in military forces have been the downfall of armies since organized warfare began.
In more recent times, fuel supply problems resulted in the defeat of the German Afrika Korps led by Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, also known as “The Desert Fox” in WWII; and more recently, Russian military forces in Afghanistan during the 1980s.
Israeli military forces have always tried to be involved in very short military conflicts; partially due to logistical factors dealing fuel and other supplies to troops and equipment in combat, as was evident during the 2006 war with the Hezbollah in Lebanon.
These problems have resulted in more efforts being made to find ways to conserve fuel; and as a result, the use of renewable energy to save on the use of petroleum based fuels to generate electricity. The idea to introduce hybrid models for jeeps which have both and electric and fossil fuel engines, is another energy saving option that is now being considered by the IDF.
These practices are not only designed to save fuel, but will be much more environmentally friendly in the long run. The IDF is also looking for ways to conserve water supplies; and is introducing “green” courses into its various training programs. Being such a small country, with limited distances to travel in the event of military conflicts, the IDF will never have the logistical problems that the US now has in Afghanistan.
But even so, the reliance on renewable energy for at least some uses is a start toward using less fossil fuel by the Israel military.
Read more about IDF green and energy conserving issues:
The IDF Adopts Solar Energy Recharges in Field Practices
Israel Defense Forces Look to Hybridize its Jeeps
IDF Advances in Green Practices; But Victory Comes First
Image via Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times