Commanders can respond quickly to unexpected
events, like a damaged bridge, for example, where they
might send engineers to repair or determine an alternate route.
“This is a real enabler for planners,” Charchan
said, adding the tool still is in development and will be
streamlined to make it more user-friendly.
The Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Energy Office
wants such advanced technologies and existing, commercial, off-the-shelf devices as well as low-cost
concepts like retraining motor vehicle operators that
also bolster energy efficiency, Magnuson said.
His office is focused in four key areas: Equip tactical vehicles with new or existing energy-efficient
technologies; train and educate Marines about more
energy-efficient behaviors like their driving habits;
field more solar and renewable energy sources that
also are lightweight and expeditionary; and improve
tactical energy production and storage to include
hybrid generators, powerful but leaner rechargeable
batteries and harnessed energy.
“We idle our vehicles about 70 percent of the time,”
Magnuson said. And “half of that time is spent inside
the wire, where there’s no tactical value whatsoever.”
One of the analytical and planning tools the Marine
Corps is using is called Joint Operational Energy
Command and Control, or JOEC2. It uses sensors and
collects data into an energy dashboard with informa-
tion that can help commanders and logisticians make
decisions for things such as fuel requests, said Maj.
Doug Peterson, the JOEC2 project officer with Marine
Corps Systems Command.
The idea is to pull vehicle and energy information
from equipment, weapons systems and vehicles — like a
tactical vehicle’s fuel status and power consumption —
and provide the consolidated data to higher headquarters,
Peterson said in a brief about JOEC2. That is a technological leap from the manual steps Marines do with dipsticks
or strings to determine how much fuel remains in a
vehicle or bladder and recording the data in logbooks.
The accuracy and relevance of such information is
fleeting when units are moving and supplies like fuel
quickly get depleted as requests for resupply are processed through the chain of command.
“By the time the data gets to them, it could be a day
or two old,” Peterson said. And human errors lead “to
a lower level of confidence.”
This, in turn, leads to over-inflated requests for
“The tendency is just to push more [supplies]
forward so they can mitigate the risk,” he said. “Situa-
tions like that lead to delivering 4,000 gallons of fuel
to a unit that can’t even accept 2,000 gallons of fuel.
When that happens, you’re putting extra vehicles on
the road, you’re using more fuel to push fuel that’s
not needed and you’re putting operators, Marines, and
risking their lives unnecessarily just to push more fuel
Tactical vehicles equipped with JOEC2 will automat-
ically send their energy-level data that is aggregated
in an energy dashboard at, say, a combat operations
center. That will increase confidence and cut unneces-
sary fuel resupplies, Peterson said, especially important
when operating in austere, distributed environments.
U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey aircraft land at the Strategic Expeditionary Landing Field to deliver supplies for Marines participating in Steel
Knight 17 Dec. 8. A Marine Corps Energy Capability Exercise held in conjunction with Steel Knight addressed the challenge of ensuring fuel and
other vital supplies like food and ammunition flow efficiently from supply ships and aircraft and across longer distances — and potentially dangerous
terrain — in the likely future dispersed battlespace.