Soldiers wait as bundles of fuel are air delivered to Forward Operating Base Waza K'wah in Paktika province, Afghanistan, Jan. 30, 2011.
March 5, 2012 – Small businesses are an important part of the Defense Department’s plans for better managing how it uses energy, the assistant secretary of defense for operational energy plans and programs said.
Sharon E. Burke spoke to about 450 audience members at the Operational Energy Capabilities Improvement Fund’s Small Business Conference in Crystal City, Va., March 2.
“The fact is, small businesses and entrepreneurs matter to DOD,” Burke said. “Small businesses are a hub of ideas and innovation.”
Throughout government, Burke said, the Defense Department has taken the lead on releasing funds for small businesses to compete on energy-related contracts. “We often find a powerful combination when small businesses team with large companies” on defense programs, she said.
Officials last year released the department’s first operational energy strategy, which factors energy use into battlefield plans. About 75 percent of the department’s energy use comes from operations, rather than fixed installations. The military’s increasing energy reliance has increased security risks and budgets, Burke said.
Under the new strategy, military equipment, as well as military members, will use less energy and more alternative forms of energy, such as solar power and biological fuels, rather than fossil fuels, Burke said. read more>>>