Officials at the highest levels of government have long supported the concept of public- private partnerships, or P3s, whereby government agencies forge voluntary, non-contractual collaborations with private industry to leverage expertise
and resources for achieving agreed-upon goals.
Consequently, a vast range of critical programs
across the Departments of Defense and the Navy have
picked up speed over the years, paving the way,
according to stakeholders, to major advances in renewable energy and serving as a catalyst for innovation in
national security technology.
As far back as April 2013, when the Department of
Defense girded for across-the-board budget cuts, then-
Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and ADM
James Winnefeld, vice chairman of the joint chiefs of
“During the next decade, the Department of Defense
(DoD) will operate in an increasingly complex and
interdependent global environment while facing signifi-
cant fiscal constraints. Given these two realities, DoD will
benefit from collaboration with non-
Federal entities (NFEs), including
the private sector and nonprofit
organizations,” the memorandum
stated. “The heads of DoD Com-
ponents are encouraged to be for-
ward thinking in order to resolve
concerns and eliminate unnecessary
impediments to cooperation.
[PPPs] are not a new concept. DoD
components currently use PPPs
across a broad spectrum of areas.”
P3s have been credited across
DoD for establishing important mil-
itary programs, such as partner-
ships with more than 40,000 private
organizations that have supported veterans and military
families, programs for global disaster response and local
emergency assistance, and even collaborations on med-
ical breakthroughs that have led to advances and new
treatments for wounded warriors, Winnefeld said in a
speech last fall to the Concordia Summit in New York.
“We, in the military, encourage these partnerships,
because they lead to innovation and creative thinking
… and they allow both sides of the equation to share
both risk and reward,” he said.
Were it not for P3s, the aggressive goal of the
Department of the Navy’s (DoN’s) energy program, for
example, would not be as viable as it is today, said Dennis
V. McGinn, assistant secretary of the Navy for Energy,
Installations and Environment. In one of the Navy’s most
comprehensive public-private partnerships to address
energy needs across the service, Secretary of the Navy Ray
Mabus last May established the Renewable Energy
Program Office (REPO) to identify cost-effective renewable energy projects for DoN installations, McGinn said.
“On the energy front, REPO has really been a success,”
he told Seapower. “Our goal, if you will, having started
last May, is to have on contract by the end of this year one
Picking Up Speed
DoD, DoN are embracing, executing public-private partnerships
By DAISY R. KHALIFA, Special Correspondent
Public-private partnerships, or P3s, have been credited across the
Department of Defense for establishing important military programs.
; Were it not for P3s, the aggressive goal of the Department of
the Navy’s energy program would not be as viable as it is today.
; Using a variety of models for producing or procuring renewable
energy, the Navy’s Renewable Energy Program Office, has exhibited the importance and utility of P3s.
; With private industry, the Navy is entering into energy savings
performance contracts, utility energy savings contracts, power
purchase agreements and enhanced use leases.