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Pentagon wants greener fighting force

Feb. 2, 2012 at 7:28 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- A military that relies more on renewable energy resources is a stronger and more resilient fighting force, officials at the U.S. Department of Defense said.

The Pentagon announced it was releasing $18 million to fund military programs designed to cut energy demand for combat forces by transitioning to less carbon intensive resources.

"A military force that uses energy more strategically is stronger, today and in the future," Sharon Burke, assistant secretary of defense for operational energy plans and programs, said in a statement.

The Defense Department described conventional fuel as "tactical and operational vulnerability." Fuel convoys in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon said, were a primary target for anti-Western forces.

Officials in 2010 said the U.S. Navy tested a command boat that used a 50-50 blend of algae-based fuel and conventional petroleum as part of a green-energy campaign. The Navy has plans to get 50 percent of its energy consumption from alternative sources by 2020.

"It's essential that we continue to develop innovative energy solutions to advance our military missions and use our precious resources wisely," U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said.

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