Operational Energy

The energy demands of Navy systems create constraints at the operational and tactical levels. Navy forces must be able to operate independently. Being wedded to fuel is a concern for every Officer and Sailor whose options in the battlespace are limited by the range and endurance of his or her ship, aircraft, or tactical vehicle. Moreover, the need to provide fuel to tactical forces requires a long and often vulnerable logistics tail, which draws forces from the fight and exposes support units to hostile action. These additional requirements of securing and transporting fuel to tactical forces effectively increase the cost of fuel to what is called the fully-burdened cost of fuel. Although fuel constraints may not be eliminated entirely, targeted investments in energy efficiency lengthen the “fuel tether,” enhancing combat capability and providing more options to Navy and Joint Force commanders. Efficient tactical power management will also be critical to accommodate next-generation weapons systems with increased power requirements.