This is the accessible text file for GAO report number GAO-09-388T 
entitled 'Defense Management: Increased Attention on Fuel Demand 
Management at DOD's Forward-Deployed Locations Could Reduce Operational 
Risks and Costs' which was released on March 3, 2009.

This text file was formatted by the U.S. Government Accountability 
Office (GAO) to be accessible to users with visual impairments, as part 
of a longer term project to improve GAO products' accessibility. Every 
attempt has been made to maintain the structural and data integrity of 
the original printed product. Accessibility features, such as text 
descriptions of tables, consecutively numbered footnotes placed at the 
end of the file, and the text of agency comment letters, are provided 
but may not exactly duplicate the presentation or format of the printed 
version. The portable document format (PDF) file is an exact electronic 
replica of the printed version. We welcome your feedback. Please E-mail 
your comments regarding the contents or accessibility features of this 
document to 

This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright 
protection in the United States. It may be reproduced and distributed 
in its entirety without further permission from GAO. Because this work 
may contain copyrighted images or other material, permission from the 
copyright holder may be necessary if you wish to reproduce this 
material separately. 


Before the Subcommittee on Readiness, Committee on Armed Services, 
House of Representatives: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

For Release on Delivery: 
Expected at 1:00 p.m. EST:
Tuesday, March 3, 2009: 

Defense Management: 

Increased Attention on Fuel Demand Management at DOD's Forward-Deployed 
Locations Could Reduce Operational Risks and Costs: 

Statement of William M. Solis, Director: Defense Capabilities and 


Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: 

I am pleased to be here today to discuss the Department of Defense's 
(DOD) efforts to reduce fuel demand at its forward-deployed locations, 
particularly those that are not connected to local power grids. In 
2008, more than 68 million gallons of fuel, on average, were supplied 
by DOD each month to support U.S. military forces in Iraq and 
Afghanistan. Transporting large quantities of fuel to forward-deployed 
locations presents an enormous logistics burden and risk. Long truck 
convoys moving fuel to forward-deployed locations have encountered 
enemy attacks, severe weather, traffic accidents, and pilferage. For 
example, DOD reported that in June 2008 alone, 44 trucks and 220,000 
gallons of fuel were lost due to attacks or other events while 
delivering fuel to Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan. High fuel demand, 
coupled with the recent volatility of fuel prices, also have 
significant implications for DOD's operating costs. The fully burdened 
cost of fuel--that is, the total ownership cost of buying, moving, and 
protecting fuel in systems during combat--has been reported to be many 
times higher than the price of a gallon of fuel itself. While DOD's 
weapon systems require large amounts of fuel, the department reports 
that the single largest battlefield fuel consumer is generators, which 
provide power for base support activities such as air conditioning/ 
heating, lighting, refrigeration, and communications. A 2008 Defense 
Science Board Task Force report noted that Army generators consume 
about 26 million gallons of fuel annually during peacetime but 357 
million gallons annually during wartime.[Footnote 1] 

Today, we are publicly releasing a report that addresses DOD's (1) 
efforts to reduce fuel demand at forward-deployed locations and (2) 
approach to managing fuel demand at these locations.[Footnote 2] My 
statement will highlight the key findings and recommendations of our 
report. Our review focused on locations that were in Central Command's 
area of responsibility. As part of this work, we analyzed DOD 
documents, interviewed agency officials, and visited two forward- 
deployed locations--Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, and Camp Lemonier, Djibouti-
-to gain a firsthand understanding of fuel demand reduction efforts and 
challenges facing these locations.[Footnote 3] We conducted our review 
from March 2008 through February 2009 in accordance with generally 
accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that we 
plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence 
to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on 
our audit objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a 
reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit 

This is the third in a series of studies that you have requested 
examining DOD's energy use for military operations. In March 2008, we 
issued a report and I testified before this Subcommittee on the need 
for DOD to establish an overarching organizational framework to guide 
and oversee energy reduction efforts for military operations.[Footnote 
4] In addition, we are currently conducting work at your request on 
renewable energy at U.S. military installations. 

DOD Has Initiated Efforts to Reduce Fuel Demand at Forward-Deployed 
Locations but Lacks an Effective Approach to Managing Demand: 

DOD has efforts under way or planned to reduce fuel demand, but the 
department lacks an effective approach to enable widespread 
implementation and sustained attention to fuel demand issues at forward-
deployed locations. Many of DOD's efforts to reduce fuel demand at 
forward-deployed locations are in a research and development phase, and 
the extent to which they will be fielded and under what time frame is 
uncertain. Notable efforts by DOD components include the application of 
foam insulation to tent structures, the development of more fuel- 
efficient generators and environmental control units, and research on 
alternative and renewable energy sources for potential use at forward- 
deployed locations. In addition, during our visits to Kuwait and 
Djibouti, we found local camp efforts aimed at reducing fuel demand. 
The following summarizes some of DOD's initiatives. Additional 
initiatives are highlighted in the report that we publicly released 
today.[Footnote 5] 

* Foam insulation for military tents. DOD is applying foam insulation 
on tents at some forward-deployed locations to reduce the amount of 
fuel required by generators to provide power to these structures. 
Demonstrations by DOD's Power Surety Task Force showed that the 
application of foam insulation reduced dust, heat, cold, noise, and air 
conditioning requirements. According to task force officials, based on 
the results of a recent demonstration, DOD decided to pursue a large- 
scale effort to apply the foam insulation to temporary structures, such 
as military tents, in Iraq to reduce the number of generators needed to 
power the structures. According to a Central Command official, the tent-
foaming initiative could reduce energy consumption by approximately 50 
percent, potentially reducing the number of convoys needed to supply 
fuel to locations in Iraq, although metrics had not yet been 
established to systemically measure efficiency. A senior Army official 
told us that DOD also has plans to apply foam insulation to tents in 

* Fuel-efficient generators and environmental control units. The 
Project Manager-Mobile Electric Power office, a DOD joint program 
organization, is developing a next generation of generators, called the 
Advanced Medium Mobile Power Sources, which employ advanced 
technologies to achieve greater fuel efficiency and other improvements 
over current military generators. The office plans to begin procurement 
of these generators in 2010. In addition, it intends to replace its 
current environmental control units with improved environmental control 
units to provide cooling, heating, and dehumidifying for servicemembers 
and material systems. The improved units, one version of which is 
currently in low-rate production, are expected to reduce energy 
consumption by up to 25 percent over current units. 

* Renewable and alternative energy technology initiatives. Several 
military services are exploring the use of alternative and renewable 
energy technologies to generate power at forward-deployed locations and 
reduce petroleum-based fuel demand. For example, the Air Force Research 
Laboratory has created the Renewable Energy Tent City--a collection of 
various deployable shelters powered by solar and fuel cell generators. 
The Marine Corps Systems Command is developing the Deployable Renewable 
Energy Alternative Module--a module towed by vehicle that would employ 
solar, wind turbine, battery, and generator technologies to temporarily 
power radios or computers until fuel can be resupplied to forward- 
deployed locations. In addition, the Army Research Laboratory is 
working with universities and private sector firms to develop a 
processor that converts tires into energy and recyclable products for 
potential use at forward-deployed locations. 

* Initiatives at individual locations. During our visits to forward- 
deployed locations in Kuwait and Djibouti, we found some local efforts 
by camp officials to reduce fuel demand. In Kuwait, for example, an 
official at Camp Arifjan shared plans to consolidate loads on small 
generators by creating groupings--networks--of multiple generators, 
which could improve overall efficiency and reduce the number of 
generators that operate at most times of the year. In Djibouti, 
officials at Camp Lemonier were able to remove two of the five air 
conditioning units used to cool the camp's gymnasium after the 
application of foam insulation to the tent exterior of the facility, 
resulting in an estimated fuel savings of 40 percent and an indoor 
temperature reduction from 95-100 degrees to about 72 degrees 

While these efforts show potential for achieving greater fuel 
efficiency, DOD lacks an effective approach to fuel demand management 
at forward-deployed locations. DOD has stated that it needs to reduce 
its dependence on petroleum-based fuel and the logistics footprint of 
its military forces, as well as reduce operating costs associated with 
high fuel usage. However, DOD faces difficulty in achieving these goals 
because managing fuel demand at forward-deployed locations has not been 
a departmental priority and its fuel reduction efforts have not been 
well coordinated or comprehensive. More specifically, we found that DOD 
lacked (1) guidance directing forward-deployed locations to address 
fuel demand, (2) incentives and a viable funding mechanism for 
locations to invest in fuel reduction initiatives, and (3) visibility 
and accountability within the chain of command for achieving fuel 
reduction. The following summarizes these key findings. Additional 
information is provided in our report.[Footnote 6] 

1. Lack of guidance. DOD generally lacks guidance that directs forward- 
deployed locations to manage and reduce their fuel demand--at the 
department level, combatant command level, and military service level. 
While DOD is driven to address energy issues at its U.S. installations 
largely by federal mandates and DOD guidance, agency officials were 
unable to identify similar guidance for forward-deployed locations, and 
they told us that fuel reduction has been a low priority compared with 
other mission requirements. Our analysis of combatant command and 
military service guidance related to forward-deployed location 
construction showed that the existing guidance is largely silent with 
respect to fuel demand management and energy efficiency. Similarly, we 
found a lack of attention to fuel demand as forward-deployed locations 
are sustained and products are procured for the locations. The Joint 
Staff has begun an effort to develop common living standards, referred 
to as "joint standards of life support" (e.g., square footage for 
living space per person, duration of showers), for military 
servicemembers at forward-deployed locations, which present an 
opportunity to make decisions that take into account fuel demand 
considerations. However, Joint Staff officials told us that fuel 
reduction has not been considered in this effort to date. 

2. Lack of incentives and viable funding mechanism. DOD has not 
established incentives or a viable funding mechanism for fuel reduction 
projects at its forward-deployed locations, which discourages 
commanders from identifying fuel demand management as a priority. 
Officials at Camp Lemonier, for example, had identified several 
projects that would reduce the camp's fuel demand but told us they saw 
little "return on investment" for them to undertake such projects 
because they would not see the associated savings for use toward other 
camp improvements. Moreover, many of DOD's forward-deployed locations 
rely heavily on funding from supplemental appropriations related to the 
Global War on Terrorism, and delays in receiving this funding can 
present challenges in covering existing costs, making it difficult for 
commanders to fund more expensive fuel reduction projects. Funding 
mechanisms exist to promote energy reduction projects at permanent DOD 
installations, including an energy conservation program and energy- 
performance saving contracts with private sector firms. In addition, 
DOD encourages energy reduction efforts at U.S. installations through 
energy awareness programs and energy-efficiency awards; and the Navy 
has established an energy conservation program through which ships that 
use less than the Navy's established baseline amount of fuel receive 
the associated quarterly fuel savings toward the purchase of shipboard 
items. Without incentives and a viable funding mechanism, commanding 
officials at DOD's forward-deployed locations are unlikely to identify 
fuel reduction as a priority for making a significant investment of 

3. Lack of visibility and accountability. DOD's current organizational 
framework does not provide the department visibility for fuel demand 
issues at its forward-deployed locations. We found that information on 
fuel demand management strategies and reduction efforts is not shared 
among locations, military services, and across the department in a 
consistent manner. Moreover, DOD guidance does not designate any DOD 
office or official as being responsible for fuel demand management at 
forward-deployed locations, and we could not identify anyone who is 
specifically accountable for this function through our interviews with 
various DOD and military service offices. The Duncan Hunter National 
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 requires DOD to 
establish a Director of Operational Energy Plans and Programs, an 
operational energy strategy for DOD, and military department-level 
operational energy officials.[Footnote 7] DOD has not yet established a 
director or strategy for operational energy. In meeting the 
requirements, DOD has an opportunity to improve visibility and 
accountability for fuel demand management at forward-deployed 

GAO Recommends That DOD Take Actions to Improve Fuel Demand Management 
at Forward-Deployed Locations: 

We recognize that it may not be practical for DOD to decrease fuel 
usage at every forward-deployed location and that base commanders must 
place their highest priority on meeting mission requirements. However, 
DOD's high costs, operational vulnerabilities, and logistical burdens 
in sustaining forward-deployed locations that depend heavily on fuel- 
based generators underscore the importance for the department to give 
systematic consideration to incorporating fuel demand into 
construction, maintenance, procurement, and other policy decisions for 
forward-deployed locations. In the report that we publicly released 
today, we make several recommendations that would facilitate the 
widespread implementation of DOD's fuel reduction initiatives and 
sustained attention to fuel demand issues at its forward-deployed 
locations. In summary, we recommend that: 

* the combatant commanders and the military services establish 
requirements and guidelines on fuel demand management at forward- 
deployed locations; 

* the Joint Staff incorporate fuel demand considerations into its 
initiative to develop joint standards of life support at DOD's forward- 
deployed locations; 

* DOD designate the new, congressionally-mandated director of 
operational energy as the department's lead proponent of fuel demand 
management at forward-deployed locations and that the director, in 
establishing a departmentwide operational energy strategy, address the 
shortcomings related to managing fuel demand at forward-deployed 
locations that I have highlighted in this statement; and: 

* the military departments' senior energy officials be assigned, among 
their other duties, responsibility for overseeing fuel demand 
management at forward-deployed locations within their respective 

DOD generally concurred with all of our recommendations. However, in 
its response to our draft report, the department did not provide 
specific actions or time frames within which it would address the 
issues we raised. 

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, this concludes my 
prepared statement. I would be happy to answer any questions that you 
may have at this time. 

Contacts and Acknowledgments: 

For further information regarding this testimony, please contact 
William Solis at (202) 512-8365 or In addition, contact 
points for our Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs 
may be found on the last page of this statement. Individuals who made 
key contributions to this testimony are Assistant Director Thomas 
Gosling and Alissa Czyz. 

[End of section] 


[1] Defense Science Board Task Force on DOD Energy Strategy, More 
Fight--Less Fuel (February 2008). 

[2] GAO, Defense Management: DOD Needs to Increase Attention on Fuel 
Demand Management at Forward-Deployed Locations, [hyperlink,] (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 20, 

[3] At the time of our visit in June 2008, both camps were under 
Central Command's area of responsibility. On October 1, 2008, DOD 
transferred Camp Lemonier under its newly established Africa Command. 

[4] GAO, Defense Management: Overarching Organizational Framework 
Needed to Guide and Oversee Energy Reduction Efforts for Military 
Operations, [hyperlink,] 
(Washington, D.C.: Mar. 13, 2008) and Defense Management: Overarching 
Organizational Framework Could Improve DOD's Management of Energy 
Reduction Efforts for Military Operations, [hyperlink,] (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 13, 

[5] [hyperlink,], pp. 12-19. 

[6] [hyperlink,], pp. 19-34. 

[7] The act defines operational energy as the energy required for 
training, moving, and sustaining military forces and weapons platforms 
for military operations; it includes energy used by tactical power 
systems, generators, and weapons platforms. 

[End of section] 

GAO's Mission: 

The Government Accountability Office, the audit, evaluation and 
investigative arm of Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting 
its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance 
and accountability of the federal government for the American people. 
GAO examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and 
policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance 
to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding 
decisions. GAO's commitment to good government is reflected in its core 
values of accountability, integrity, and reliability. 

Obtaining Copies of GAO Reports and Testimony: 

The fastest and easiest way to obtain copies of GAO documents at no 
cost is through GAO's Web site [hyperlink,]. Each 
weekday, GAO posts newly released reports, testimony, and 
correspondence on its Web site. To have GAO e-mail you a list of newly 
posted products every afternoon, go to [hyperlink,] 
and select "E-mail Updates." 

Order by Phone: 

The price of each GAO publication reflects GAO’s actual cost of
production and distribution and depends on the number of pages in the
publication and whether the publication is printed in color or black and
white. Pricing and ordering information is posted on GAO’s Web site, 

Place orders by calling (202) 512-6000, toll free (866) 801-7077, or
TDD (202) 512-2537. 

Orders may be paid for using American Express, Discover Card,
MasterCard, Visa, check, or money order. Call for additional 

To Report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse in Federal Programs: 


Web site: [hyperlink,]: 
Automated answering system: (800) 424-5454 or (202) 512-7470: 

Congressional Relations: 

Ralph Dawn, Managing Director, 
(202) 512-4400: 
U.S. Government Accountability Office: 
441 G Street NW, Room 7125: 
Washington, D.C. 20548: 

Public Affairs: 

Chuck Young, Managing Director, 
(202) 512-4800: 
U.S. Government Accountability Office: 
441 G Street NW, Room 7149: 
Washington, D.C. 20548: