Loading fuel
(Credit: U.S. Air Force / Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz)

During the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the military set up temporary bases that ran on diesel fuel. That fuel had to be transported through combat zones.

A study by the Army Environmental Policy Institute found that in 2007, about 170 U.S. soldiers were killed while protecting fuel convoys in those countries.

Devereaux: “In Afghanistan, the estimate was that one out of every 24 fuel convoys suffered a casualty. They’re a tremendous source of vulnerability.”

Retired Major General Rick Devereaux is the former director of Operational Planning Policy and Strategy for the Air Force at the Pentagon.

He says to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, the military is experimenting with using renewable energy. For example, the Army has tested a portable microgrid system with solar panels and battery storage.

He says using renewables could make soldiers safer and save money because using fossil fuels …

Devereaux: “… generates a big bill every year. So anything the military can do to slowly move towards less expensive and more resilient source of energy will free up dollars that can be used for actual combat capabilities.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.