18 Oct: JCS: Pentagon Energy Security Forum as Delivered by Gen Martin Dempsey

JCS Speech: Pentagon Energy Security Forum: as Delivered by Gen Martin Dempsey. The Pentagon. Washington DC. Tuesday, October 18, 2011.


Gen. Dempsey’s Remarks at the Pentagon Energy Security Forum:

October 18, 2011 — I heard Secretary Hammack tell you I’m an armor officer by background which means that I was probably among—I’d have to check whether I’m right about this with the Navy, but I was probably among the most energy consumptive hogs that ever walked the face—you know the M1 tank, two gallons to the mile. You know the drill.

So. Thank you Katherine for that kind introduction. And to you and Secretary Burke and Dr. Robyn for leading the efforts here to encourage us to think differently about energy and how energy relates to our security.

As a student of literature and history, I feel obliged to note that 160 years ago today, Herman Melville’s classic, Moby Dick, was first introduced to the public.

No, you’re not in the wrong place and I’m not here to give you a lecture about the nuances Herman Melville’s work, Moby Dick. So what connection does your presence here today have to this great American novel?

In a word, energy. Ishmael, Captain Ahab and the crew of the fictional ship Pequod were part of a global industry largely dedicated to one thing – the pursuit of a critical source of energy … and at that time, of course, whale oil.

And 160 years later, some things just haven’t changed. We’re still engaged in a nearly, in a seemingly endless energy and quest for the pursuit of energy.

So, let me make this point up front: improving our energy security directly translates to improving our national security.

As Chairman, I’m particularly focused on looking beyond current requirements to what the force will need to look like in about a decade. Some of you have heard me speak about Joint Force 2020. Well, in the coming months, you will hear me talking even more about Joint Force 2020 .. and energy efficiency and energy availability must be part of that equation.

We’re already making progress as I’ve said. We’ve designed more fuel efficient Ground Combat Vehicles; installed hybrid systems on some Naval ships; and invested in fuel cells to provide backup power to military installations and I know the Army is running a pilot on three installations right now to get at a net zero baseline for energy consumption.

These are important steps. But, as I said, more must be done. And it must be done not as individual services, but must be done jointly. And I’m counting on the people in this room to get it done.

One of those people is Lieutenant General Brooks Bash, my Director of Logistics on the Joint Staff. And I don’t know where you are Brooks, but would you stand up so we can see you and hold you accountable for whatever we do in the future. [laughter] Let’s give Brooks a round of applause [applause]

And actually, I haven’t been Chairman long enough to have given each one of my directors their sort of marching orders so this is an opportunity for me to do that and Brooks, you now know how much I care about the future of energy in the Joint force and I’ll be counting on you as my point man in this arena.

Finally, let me touch on the budgetary realities we face. Secretary Panetta has been very clear that we must scruitinize every single area of our operations. Nothing is off the table and that includes investment and wise investment in energy and technology.

— Source: DoD: Joint Chiefs of Staff: Gen Dempsey Moby Dick Energy statements; Dept of Defense: 18 Oct 2011; War Times: 18 Oct 2011; ASA M&RA/Army G-1: 18 Oct 2011; The Joint Staff: 18 Oct 2011; DoD Energy: 26 Oct 2011.