Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 1 2014 Contents A JOINT Australian Public Service and Australian
Defence Force team is working with all areas of
Defence to link current energy initiatives, assess
system challenges, and identify innovative energy
approaches. It is establishing a Defence Energy
Integration Framework designed to enhance
Defence joint operational capability.
Today’s military missions require large amounts
of energy, and depend on fuel supply lines that
can be costly and vulnerable to disruption. The
way it is consumed and managed directly affects
With new fuel and energy technologies becoming
available, and the introduction of new capabilities
expected to double ADF energy needs in the
next 20 years, it is a fitting time for Defence to
consider its current and future energy supply.
In line with this, Air Vice-Marshal Neil Hart,
Head of Joint Capability Coordination Division
in the Vice Chief of the Defence Force Group,
has coordinated the development of a Defence
Energy Integration Framework (DEIF).
The aim of the DEIF is to ensure delivery of
sustainable energy security for operations, both
now and in the longer term.
Energy security fuel
An innovative integration framework has been developed to enhance
Defence’s energy security into the next century
An F/A-18 Hornet flying with two
other Hornets during Exercise
Pitch Black 2012 replenishes its
fuel supply from a KC-30A Multi-
Role Tanker Transport in the
Below, HMAS Sirius’ fuel
probe is connected up with
HMAS Melbourne during a
replenishment at sea off the coast
of New South Wales.
Photos: Leading Aircraftwoman
Jessica de Rouw and Able
Seaman Jayson Tufrey
Issue 1 2014
demand and supply, cognisant of the operational
risks from existing systems.”
Air Vice-Marshal Hart adds that Defence’s energy
profile also has direct budgetary consequences.
The combined cost of Defence’s liquid fuels
is already the second biggest component of
the sustainment budget, and in the context of
increasing global demand, this is set to rise.
Overall, Defence’s energy profile is heading in a
direction that is strategically unsustainable over
the medium to long term.
“If we have to spend an increasingly larger
budget proportion on fuel, then we will have
correspondingly less to spend on re-equipping
and training our people,” Air Vice-Marshal Hart
“As we are making capability decisions often
with 30-year outcomes, energy needs to be
properly conceptualised from the tactical to
the strategic level, and will need to be more
prominent in capability decisions.
“In the longer term, oil price growth is likely to
increase the amount it costs to run the liquid
fuel powered mobile platforms our capability is
currently reliant upon.
“Increasing Defence’s whole-of-organisation
energy efficiency will give Defence a clear
Through the efforts of DEIF chief developer
Colonel Neil Greet, there is a broad picture
emerging of Defence’s existing energy mix
(mostly liquid fuel and electricity).
Colonel Greet says there is systemic
security risk in the way the global energy
market is configured, making it vulnerable to
environmental change and other shocks.
Furthermore, changes in the energy
marketplace – such as the continuing closure
of refineries in Australia – need to be fully
understood, because many fuel types used by
Defence will have to be fully imported.
While the market will adjust to changes, the
resilience risk equation for Defence will also
“Commercial supply chains can take time to
fully respond to unexpected demand surges,
due to their length and efficiency focus,”
Colonel Greet says.
“If energy supply chains were interrupted during
the course of an operation – by vectors as
diverse as natural disasters, human pandemics
or enemy action – the Defence response might
be constrained in the short term by the lack of a
continuous energy supply. Any such disruption
may not necessarily occur on Australian
DEIF co-developer Group Captain Peter Layton
Issue 1 2014
Army petroleum operators from
9 Force Support Battalion replenish
fuel at the Diesel Bulk Fuel
Installation at Shoalwater Bay
during Exercise Hamel 2012.
Photo: Able Seaman Lee-Anne Mack
Defence’s ability to measure operational energy
requirements will be improved, demand reduced,
and the diversity and resilience of our energy
Air Vice-Marshal Hart says the DEIF has been
designed to provide an integrated approach to
ensuring energy security, so that the right energy
will be in the right place at the right time.
“The Australian energy industry sector is becoming
increasingly integrated into global energy supply
networks, and supply chains are shaped by market
efficiency imperatives rather than Defence energy
security requirements,” he says.
“A defence force less reliant on energy supply
and vulnerable to supply disruptions will be
more resilient and adaptable operationally – both
locally and on deployment.”
The Defence challenge is to use energy as a
strategic advantage rather than a burden.
Air Vice-Marshal Hart says clever use of energy
may also offer tactical and operational advantages,
and needs to be an important consideration
in concept development, future force design,
preparedness and operational planning.
“The Australian base in Tarin Kot relied on energy
supplied through generators, that in turn relied
on high risk road resupply and targetable bulk
storage facilities. Key allies such as the US and
UK have diversified their operational energy
adds that energy affects all the foundation
military capabilities including range, endurance,
persistence, sustainment, and command and
control. As such, energy considerations should
inform capability development and acquisition
“Capabilities must take advantage of and
enable technology advancements that provide
for intelligent and improved use of energy. This
includes the logistics supply chain needed to
manage and deliver energy,” he says.
By Michael Brooke
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