Energy C2 dashboard will help Marines, soldiers extend operational reach
By Mathuel Browne, Marine Corps Systems Command
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Virginia -- The Marine Corps and Army are jointly developing a fuel tracking system that will automatically record fuel usage to better assess energy efficiency in theater.
The Joint Operational Energy Command and Control program, initiated in 2014, is focused on customizing commercial fuel monitoring systems to automate fuel tracking for fuel storage assets, fleet vehicles and generators. Still in testing, the system will collect vehicle diagnostic and fuel transaction details using microchips embedded in the fuel valves of refueling trucks as they resupply fuel-powered assets. Data will then be sent wirelessly to the commander for a visual representation of energy consumption.
“Instead of a Marine tracking in a log book how much fuel they are issuing, JOEC2 will automate the process, removing the potential for errors and decreasing the time it takes for leaders to receive data,” said Maj. Douglas Peterson, project officer for JOEC2 at Marine Corps Systems Command. “We are working to extend operational reach and give decision makers the quickest, most accurate picture of their energy use.”
JOEC2 has three fundamental components: data collection, communication and an integrated computer dashboard. The data collection will happen each time a vehicle or generator is refueled. The information is then transmitted wirelessly to the command operation center. Computers, running an energy dashboard application, receive the data and display the information for commanders to further analyze.
“Right now, we are targeting JOEC2 for unit leadership evaluation through Tactical Service Oriented Architecture, an approved Marine tactical app store,” said Peterson. “The raw data received by the energy dashboard is then converted into useful information—from the amount of fuel currently stored on the refueling trucks to the mileage since the last fueling event.”
The initiative became a joint effort between the Marine Corps and the Army when the Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Office at Headquarters Marine Corps and the Office of the Army, G-4, began working together to find ways to decrease oil dependency, thus curbing cost and risk in a contingency environment.
“We started working with the Army on this program last year,” said Peterson. “They are more focused on base camp needs, while the Marine Corps is more expeditionary focused.”
In December, the system was showcased during a Great Green Fleet demonstration to Navy and Marine Corps leaders to highlight Marine Corps fuel-efficiency efforts. GGF is a Department of the Navy initiative that demonstrates the sea service’s efforts to transform its energy use. MCSC enlisted the support of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific to assist with technology demonstrations.
“We were also able to show that JOEC2 can gather secondary information such as mileage, idle times and fuel efficiency through an onboard diagnostic system similar to a personal car,” said Christine In, deputy project manager for Energy C2 at SSC Pacific. “Just like energy use, Marines should not have to wait until there is a failure to diagnose a maintenance issue.”
SSC Pacific is testing the system with the 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California, to further understand the warfighter’s needs.
“Just recently, we received great feedback from one of the officers that they plan to use JOEC2 in the future for maintenance planning,” she said. “Looking even beyond energy, participants are thinking about how to use the system to monitor maintenance issues and better equip their Marines.”