The Marines are moving into a new age of warfare, built around renewable energy.
As battalions go through live-fire exercises at the base in Twentynine Palms, the Marines are also looking at solar panels and windmills to help get an added advantage on the battlefield.
“We realize foreign oil is not the answer. So we’re trying to lead the way, at least for the military, to become a greener service and become more self-sufficient,” said Gunnery Sergeant Jason Parrish.
To do that, the Corps has set up a renewable energy swap meet of sorts, inviting a small group of vendors to show off their “green” technologies.
From tent coolers to water purification systems — they will all be put to the test.
Marines say “going green” will not only be cost-efficient, but that it will save lives.
In battle, supply trucks carrying fuel and water make for big targets. The Corps wants to get more of those trucks off the road.
“We’re losing Marine lives on convoys taking bottled water from one location to another. They’re getting hit by IEDs,” said Parrish.
As for the vendors, they say they want to do more than simply push their products.
“We’d love to be able to help them. To where we know we made a difference, made it easier for them to do their job and do it safer,” said David Bergeron of SunDanzer, a maker of solar-powered refrigeration.
Some of the green technology has already been integrated with training and the harsh conditions at the base.
One unit will soon head to Afghanistan with the new equipment.
“If they can operate here, it raises our confidence level to be able to deploy this forward,” said Parrish.