Friday, February 20, 2009

GAO: DEFENSE MANAGEMENT: DOD Needs to Increase Attention on Fuel Demand Management at Forward-Deployed Locations

Highlights of GAO-09-300, a report to the Subcommittee on Readiness, Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives

The Department of Defense (DOD) relies heavily on petroleum-based fuel to sustain its forward-deployed locations—particularly those that are not connected to local power grids. While weapon platforms require large amounts of fuel, DOD reports that the single largest battlefield fuel consumer is generators, which provide power for base support activities such as cooling, heating, and lighting. Transporting fuel to forward-deployed locations presents an enormous logistics burden and risk, including exposing fuel truck convoys to attack. GAO was asked to address DOD’s

(1) efforts to reduce fuel demand at forward-deployed locations and

(2) approach to managing fuel demand at these locations. This review focused on locations within Central Command’s area of responsibility. GAO visited DOD locations in Kuwait and Djibouti to learn about fuel reduction efforts and challenges facing these locations.

What GAO Recommends
GAO recommends that DOD establish an effective approach to managing fuel demand at forward-deployed locations by developing fuel demand management requirements; designating the new director of operational energy as the lead proponent of fuel demand management at forward-deployed locations; addressing demand management shortcomings in DOD’s energy strategy; and establishing military department oversight of fuel demand issues. DOD generally concurred with the recommendations.

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