CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan -- Marines and sailors with III Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Installations Pacific gathered together to discuss the importance of saving energy in the workplace and at home Feb. 26 during an interactive briefing at the Camp Foster Theater, Okinawa.
The briefing discussed future energy efficiencies are possible throughout the Marine Corps. Money is being spent on excessive utility costs when resources can be conserved to cut those costs. Energy-saving technology was also introduced.
The Marine Corps is renewing a focus on conserving resources, according to U.S. Marine Col. James Caley, director of the Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Office, Headquarters Marine Corps. It is important to ensure the Marine Corps uses its energy responsibly, Caley continued.
Caley gave an example of Marines on a convoy mission in Afghanistan leaving their vehicles idling even when inside the base and away from enemy lines, which constantly burned fuel.
“We do this because we need to be effective on the battlefield,” said Caley. “If we only have enough gas for seven days in Afghanistan and not 30, then we’re in trouble.”
Energy powers everything necessary for the mission, according to Dennis McGinn, assistant secretary of the Navy with Energy Installations and Environment, Department if the Navy He said every Marine has the power to promote energy efficiency throughout all military occupational specialties.
“We must become energy warriors, and really value the energy ethos in garrison, in the field or any operational setting,” said McGinn. “We want to make sure that we treat energy just like we treat bullets and ammunition. We do not want to create a logistics vulnerability to ourselves with energy.”
Officials explained that energy warriors are Marines who take charge of conserving readily available resources and actively embrace the energy-saving lifestyle. They direct others to pay the same respect to the energy supply to cut costs of utilities and nonrenewable resources.
Mitigating the cost of utilities by being energy efficient will provide more money for the Marine Corps, according to U.S. Navy Capt. Michael Monreal, assistant chief of staff, and director of facilities, GF, Marine Corps Installations Pacific-Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, Japan. This will allow more funding for training and equipment.
“We have to be able to use this energy-saving ethos when we’re going forward in the battlefield and when we are in garrison,” said Monreal. “It’s a way of thinking that needs to be instilled in Marines’ minds as they work to conserve energy to keep the water and energy flowing.”
The Marine Corps is taking action by looking for the most energy-efficient technology, according to McGinn. Use of technology such as the Ground Renewable Expeditionary Energy Network, flexible solar panels and light-emitting diode lights has already been introduced.
The technology provides alternative power options for energizing communications equipment, computers, and other electronic equipment in an expeditionary environment.
“If we could maximize our resources to be the most effective on the battlefield by being energy warriors, we are a better, more effective warfighting force,” said McGinn. “If we are energy warriors, we are better warriors, and we will prevail in bringing the fight to the enemy.”