Risk on the Horizon, Rig for Dark: Solutions to Mitigate DoD's Reliance on the Fragile Electric Grid
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV NORFOLK VA JOINT ADVANCED WARFIGHTING SCHOOL
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The Department of Defense DoD relies heavily on civil electrical infrastructure to provide the necessary electrical power to operate its installations. The DoDs capability to exercise command and control at both the strategic and operational levels over deployed and deployable forces resides in the commands and buildings located on these installations. Communications, information technology, and their cooling systems that enable commands to carry out their functions depend on electricity. Without electricity production from some source, commands across the DoD cannot accomplish their critical missions -- electricity is their lifeblood. The DoDs primary task is defending the nation in case of attack, deterring our enemies, and supporting our allies and friends. To accomplish this, the DoD developed complex and high-tech systems of communications, weapons, and supporting functions. Many, if not most, of these systems rely on uninterrupted power to control, plan, communicate, target, and execute missions. The DoDs reliance on civil infrastructure to provide 99 percent of this electrical power leaves a major vulnerability exposed, especially in the ability of higher headquarters elements to provide and maintain strategic and operational control when civil electrical infrastructure is interrupted for more than a few hours. The thesis of this paper is that DoD should mitigate this vulnerability by developing and acquiring the capability to supply at least 30 percent of installation power for a minimum of three weeks without the use of off-installation resources.
- Electric Power Production and Distribution
- Civil Engineering
- Military Forces and Organizations