deliver this amount, this high quantity of supplies of
fuel, water ammo or chow,” Herendeen said.
The Navy faces risks, too, in sustaining combat
logistics support at sea.
“If you have to sortie that oiler forward, that stra-
tegic asset forward, you’re making it vulnerable to a
potential adversary,” Capt. Greg Zacharski, director of
the Navy Energy Coordination Office, told CAPEX attend-
ees. “We see the same vulnerabilities and sustainability
problem at sea as the Marines do on land.”
Both services are tackling the expeditionary energy
challenge to ensure a resupply pipeline from the sea
base that is efficient, effective and reliable, whether it
is transporting fuel from sea-to-shore, shore-to-shore
or shore-to-sea nodes.
The Marine Corps’ current energy focus is to increase
the operational reach of a Marine Expeditionary Brigade
as projected in 2024. The plan to equip Marines with
more high-tech gear, equipment and weapons systems,
officials say, in turn spikes its energy demands from
batteries to generators and fuel the future force will
require. So the service must become much more efficient
in how it uses and delivers fuel for those operational
forces, they said.
“This isn’t just a Marine problem or a weapons
system problem, it’s a MAGTF [Marine Air-Ground
Task Force] problem,” Col. Brian Magnuson, director
of Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Office, said in
opening remarks kicking off the
Energy CAPEX. It requires blue-
green solutions, too.
“We have enough energy within
the sea base to meet the MAGTF’s
requirements,” Magnuson said.
“But we don’t have enough con-
nectors to move that fuel from the
sea to the points where the Marines
need it, at the time that they need
it, which is why we are focused on
connectors as a piece to [solving]
“Marines work in concert with
the Navy. We get all of our sus-
tainment from the Navy, and we
come ashore and we rely on them
to sustain the division, as they are
fighting this fight here in Steel
Knight,” he added.
Navy initiatives already are
improving the energy efficiency
of the fleet, with fuel-saving
hybrid-electric drives and hull
coatings that reduce drag. The Navy is developing soft-
ware that pulls ships’ performance, environmental,
operational, maintenance and energy systems data into
a broad, real-time energy picture for commanders,
planners and operators.
“The point here is to aggregate this data on a much
larger level,” retired Col. Jim Caley, the director for
operational energy with the Navy’s Energy Office, said
during a briefing. “The larger issue is the ability to
integrate this across all weapons systems, so that tac-
tical commanders can make decisions that positively
impact combat operations. That’s kind of where we’re
going. Older ships don’t have these systems built in, so
we’re going to have to get sensors installed.”
The Navy is developing analytical tools such as a
simulation model called LAWTS. The Logistical Ana-
lysis & Wargame Support Tool lets users see the
supply and demand literally throughout a mock
Color markers — red, yellow, green — in charts dis-
played on monitors, computers or tablets easily identify
current levels of fuel, water and other supplies. They
were constantly changing as combat forces and resupply
units maneuvered across the battlefield and through
logistics nodes, giving real-time, running data to com-
manders and planners, Shawn Charchan, an operations
research analyst with Group W, a Washington consult-
ing firm, said in a demonstration.
Marines with 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, use a heavy expanded mobility tactical
truck to refuel assault amphibious vehicles during Steel Knight 17 at Marine Corps Air Ground
Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., Dec. 8. A division of 23,000 Marines operating 100
miles inland requires 80,000 gallons of fuel a day to sustain itself.