The Department of Defense (DOD) relies heavily on petroleum-based fuel for mobility energy--the energy required for moving and sustaining its forces and weapons platforms for military operations. Dependence on foreign oil, projected increases in worldwide demand, and rising oil costs, as well as the significant logistics burden associated with moving fuel on the battlefield, will likely require DOD to address its mobility energy demand. GAO was asked to (1) identify key efforts under way to reduce mobility energy demand and (2) assess the extent to which DOD has established an overarching organizational framework to guide and oversee these efforts. GAO reviewed DOD documents, policies, and studies, and interviewed agency officials.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Defense||1. To improve DOD's ability to guide and oversee mobility energy reduction efforts, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Deputy Secretary of Defense to establish an overarching organizational framework by designating an executive-level OSD official who is accountable for mobility energy matters and sets the direction, pace, and tone to reduce mobility energy demand across the department; improve business processes to incorporate energy efficiency considerations as a factor in DOD decision making; coordinate on energy issues with facility energy officials; act as DOD's focal point in interagency deliberations about national energy concerns; and lead the department's potential transition from petroleum-based fuel to alternative fuel sources. This official should be supported by an implementation team with dedicated resources and funding.|
|Department of Defense||2. To improve DOD's ability to guide and oversee mobility energy reduction efforts, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Deputy Secretary of Defense to establish an overarching organizational framework by directing the executive-level mobility energy official to lead the development and implementation of a comprehensive departmentwide strategic plan for mobility energy. At a minimum, this strategic plan should set forth mobility energy goals and objectives, time frames for implementation, and performance metrics to track and evaluate progress.|
|Department of Defense||3. To improve DOD's ability to guide and oversee mobility energy reduction efforts, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Deputy Secretary of Defense to establish an overarching organizational framework by ensuring that OSD takes the following steps to fully incorporate energy efficiency considerations into DOD's requirements development and acquisition processes: (1) develop a methodology to enable the full implementation of an energy efficiency key performance parameter in DOD's requirements development process; and (2) as part of its efforts to complete DOD's fully burdened cost of fuel pilot program, develop an approach for incorporating this cost information into the acquisition decision making process.|
|Department of Defense||4. To establish effective communication and coordination among the executive-level OSD mobility energy official and the military services, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force and the Commandant of the Marine Corps to designate an executive-level official within each of their military services to act as a focal point on departmentwide mobility energy efforts as well as provide leadership and accountability over their own efforts.|