Home > Uncategorized > Richard Zilmer Pushes Renewable Energy – Business Insider

Richard Zilmer Pushes Renewable Energy – Business Insider

It started with a simple directive: bring down the casualty numbers.

At the time, Former Lt. Gen. Richard C. Zilmer was the commanding general of the most restive province of Iraq in 2006—al Anbar. And at the time, there was primarily one reason for the dramatic spike in American casualties: Fuel.

It was in the months preceding “The Anbar Awakening,” the grass roots movement that turned the tide of war in Iraq, and the Al Qaeda insurgency was fighting like a cornered animal to keep a grip on the region. As a result, Improvised Explosive Device casualties had skyrocketed.

“What we saw in Anbar was the dramatic increase in use of IEDs, side attacks, inside of roads, buried IEDs, very destructive, even to uparmored humvees,” said Zilmer. “So we started taking a hard look at everything we were doing to expose Marines to IED attacks.”

What Zilmer noticed when looking at graphs of the IED attacks was thick, red lines running along the Main Supply Routes, or MSRs, like veins along the province. Zilmer said many of the casualties were caused just from convoys moving place to place.

“We had units all over Anbar, because that’s what you do during counterinsurgency, you cover down on the enemy,” said Zilmer. “You have to be able to supply those outbound areas. Mostly fuel, diesel, combustibles, (and there was bullets, bandages, and beans, but mostly) all that energy that was being consumed was drawing us out, the more energy you needed the more convoys you needed to sustain.”

So Zilmer issued what was called at the time a “Priority 1” rapid resource response:

“(The Marine Corps must) augment our use of fossil fuels with renewable energy, such as photovoltaic solar panels and wind turbines, at our outlying bases. By reducing the need for [petroleum-based fuels], we can decrease the frequency of logistics convoys on the road, thereby reducing the danger to our Marines, soldiers, and sailors . . . . If this need is not met, operating forces will remain unnecessarily exposed to IED, RPG [rocket propelled grenade], and [small arms fire] threats and will continue to accrue preventable Level III and IV serious and grave casualties resulting from motor vehicle accidents and . . . attacks. Continued casualty accumulation exhibits potential to jeopardize mission success.

via Richard Zilmer Pushes Renewable Energy – Business Insider.

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