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DoD energy leaders meet on alternative fuels 
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Alternative fuel experts from across the Department of Defense meet to discuss current and upcoming alternative fuels programs at the Defense Logistics Agency Energy’s headquarters at Fort Belvoir, Va., Jan. 9. Photo by Christopher Goulait
By Christopher Goulait, DLA Energy Public Affairs 

Alternative fuels experts from across the Department of Defense met for an alternative fuels forum at the Defense Logistics Agency Energy’s headquarters at Fort Belvoir, Va., Jan. 9. 

Meeting organizer and DLA Energy Strategic Energy Analyst Jeanne Binder explained the purpose of the meeting was to gather DoD senior leadership and organizations involved with alternative fuels to discuss what has been accomplished, where DoD is today and how they need to proceed.  

The alternative fuels meeting featured program updates from the military services, but first focused on discussing the implementation of the DoD Alternative Fuels Policy for Operational Platforms released July 5, 2012. 

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs Tom Morehouse explained that last year’s National Defense Authorization Act required DoD to establish a policy on alternative fuels, and the OEPP office worked with the military services and DLA Energy to complete that task last summer. 

“The policy establishes the primary goal of the alternative fuels program as future operational readiness, allowing for the flexibility of military systems to use multiple types of fuel in future operations,” Morehouse said. “All DoD investments made under this policy will go through a rigorous merit-based evaluation, and then will be reviewed as part of the department’s annual Operational Energy budget certification process.” 

“It’s one thing to have a policy in place, but it’s another to understand how that policy will work in practice,” he continued. “One of the things we will try to do today, along with going through the policy itself, is to walk through the mechanics of how it will work.” 

After discussing implementation of the alternative fuels policy and receiving updates from the military services, Binder said discussion turned to ways ahead for alternative fuels, including the challenges and opportunities relating to alternative fuels in the future.

 “This meeting provided a great opportunity to update senior leadership and the group in general on the status of alternative fuel related efforts, and to discuss opportunities and challenges moving forward,” Binder said. “Senior leadership provided feedback on progress-to-date and issues that need to be addressed in the future. The great discussions provided the group with a common understanding of what everyone is doing, and the way ahead.”