Inside a futuristic-looking dome that rises from the sandy wasteland of the high Mojave Desert, soldiers in plywood cubicles work at computers powered by solar panels and a towering wind turbine.
Plug-in cars shuttle the troops across the vast expanses here at Ft. Irwin in San Bernardino County. At night, tents lined with insulating foam provide a cool retreat at the end of a 100-degree day.
The desert base, which houses the Army's premier training center for troops deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan, has become a testing ground and showcase for green initiatives that officials estimate could save the services millions, trim their heavy environmental "boot-print" and even save lives in the war zones, where fuel convoys are frequent targets.
The Department of Defense is the single largest energy consumer in the United States. Last year it bought nearly 4 billion gallons of jet fuel, 220 million gallons of diesel and 73 million gallons of gasoline, said Brian Lally, deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment.
The Military has been chasing green technology for some time and for different reasons than you might think. Most people think of green technology and images of tree huggers and global warming come to mind, but the Military is going green to save money and reduce our dependency on foreign oil. Even better, when the Military putting resources into green technologies that means that technology will filter down to us sooner rather than later. This is a pretty long article but well worth checking out.
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