Marines help pave the future of Marine Corps technology

2 May 2016 | Sgt. Anna Albrecht I Marine Expeditionary Force

Marines have the opportunity to evaluate and provide feedback on new energy-efficient technologies at the 2016 Expeditionary Energy Concepts May 3-5 at Camp Pendleton.

E2C, formerly known as Experimental Forward Operating Base, or ExFOB, is the Marine Corps’ process to identify and evaluate energy-efficient technologies in order to increase the effectiveness and self-sufficiency of expeditionary forces. It is part of the Expeditionary Energy Strategy and Implementation Plan, issued in 2011 by the 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James Amos.

This year, the Marine Corps’ E2C technology will focus on four key areas:

1) Squad-sized small unit water purification

2) Energy storage technology for mobile electric micro-grid application

3) Energy scavenging to support distributed operations

4) Optimization of shock trauma platoon/forward resuscitative surgical systems.

As background, the Navy and Marine Corps are employing various energy efficient systems in the fleet today as a result of E2C. These systems include:

1) The Solar Portable Alternative Communications Energy System (SPACES); a portable renewable energy system that provides power for platoon and squad-size units in remote locations

2) The Ground Renewable Expeditionary Energy Network System (GREENS); a man-transportable power generation system that powers equipment such as lights, sensors and radios inside battalion combat operations centers.

“SPACES and GREENS are great early examples of technologies first introduced by industry at past E2C demonstrations that are currently Programs of Record and improving our combat effectiveness,” said Col. Brian Magnuson, director of the Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Office.  “These systems reduced fuel consumption and resupply requirements, and increased the self-sufficiency of Marine forces.  We proved this when the systems were deployed in Afghanistan and it will remain true on future battlefields.”

The intent is to be the premier self-sufficient expeditionary force by changing the way the Marine Corps employs energy and resources, increasing combat effectiveness and reducing the need for logistics support.

Select industries designed their products based on the needs of the Corps in conjunction with Marines’ feedback. They will visit Camp Pendleton to demonstrate these technologies that will potentially address current Marine Corps energy, water, and waste capability gaps.

There are multiple phases of E2C, taking the technology from concept to combat. This event is the first phase: demonstration.

The Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Office invited companies to demonstrate their energy-efficient systems to the Marines. During this 3-day demo, a technical team will collect data on system performance and Marines will provide feedback on what they see.

Based off those results, the Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Office purchases a handful of those systems for additional evaluation in a controlled, lab environment. They make adjustments in order to meet specific needs of the Marine Corps before they send it out to the field for Marines to evaluate under combat and training conditions.

After trying out the new technology in the field, they can develop a written military requirement, and the Marine Corps acquires that capability.

Marines play a crucial role in developing tomorrow’s Corps and reaching the Expeditionary Energy Strategy and Implementation Plans’ mission of having the ability, by 2025, to deploy Marine Expeditionary Forces that can maneuver from the sea and sustain command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, and life support systems in place. The goal is to only need liquid fuel for more-efficient mobility systems.

“Input from Marines helps inform Marine Corps’ requirements and ensure the gear is as practical as it is tactical,” said Magnuson.

By attending E2C 2016, Marines have the ability to shape a more combat effective force by changing the way we use energy on the battlefield. This ensures America has a forward deployed, self-sustained, amphibious capability, able to respond to crises in any clime and place.