Greening the Army to Save Lives

tent in iraq

Image courtesy of octal

Sustainability probably isn't the first term that comes to mind when you think about the Iraq War. The complexities of military planning, troop deployment and equipment allocation must understandably weigh more on the minds of top strategists and officials than the provision of gadgets and technologies that could help "green" the war.

That doesn't mean, however, that lower-level officials and planners haven't been giving such eco-friendly solutions some thought. Joe Amadee III, a member of the Rapid Equipping Force (a think tank for technological innovation), suggested using such a green technology in order to both reduce the Army's heavy fuel consumption and save human lives. His proposed solution: turn all of the Army's heat-absorbing tent barracks into 2-inch shell-like insulation layers to cut down on the large amount of fuel used for air conditioning. So how exactly does this also help save lives? It's all about the fuel - more specifically the process of obtaining it. "What he's really telling you is that the most dangerous thing in Anbar at that time was driving fuel to the Syrian border," said Dan Nolan, another official with the Rapid Equipping Force.

Amadee has partnered with Glencoe Insulation & Roofing, an Oklahoma-based roofing contractor, that creates thick layers of insulating foam with spray-on chemicals. Though the technology is expensive - about $30,000 a tent - Amadee and Nolan argue that, in the long run, the savings the Army will make by cutting down on fuel usage will more than make up for the initial investment. Some preliminary figures have indicated that insulating the tents may reduce a base's fuel consumption by almost 40%.

What else could be next? How about a zero-energy base. According to Bruce D. Jette, the founder of the Rapid Equipping Force, one other easy target would be all the cooking oil bases use. Given that they throw out an average of 475 gallons a week, Jette thinks that the leftover oil could be converted into about 300 gallons of fuel - and a good deal of soap.

Via ::Los Angeles Times: A green idea for saving lives in Iraq (newspaper)

See also: ::Sustainable and Sound Infrastructure Now., ::Make Rain, Not War