On December 6, 2016 the U.S. Marine Corp Expeditionary Energy Office conducted an Energy Capability Exercise at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twenty Nine Palms. The USC Schwarzenegger Institute, recognized for its focus on climate change and energy conservation public policy issues, was invited to observe the exercise and to see first-hand the ways Marines are improving energy efficiency and using alternative energy to become a more effective fighting force.
During the exercise the USC Schwarzenegger Institute learned how the Marines are using new technologies, operational procedures, and decision tools to reduce their energy tether and increase their operational impact. The capabilities displayed included solar powered mobile artillery, fuel efficient tactical vehicles that can go farther on a single tank of gas, and command-and-control systems that allow mission commanders to better manage and maximize their resources.
The U.S. Marine Corps has actively pursued energy goals set by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus which mandate the service to diversify its energy supply and increase energy efficiency. Governor Schwarzenegger recently examined the Pentagon’s efforts to leverage improvements in its use of energy to increase operational capability and the U.S. military’s overarching relationship with climate change in National Geographic’s hard-hitting series “The Years of Living Dangerously.”