In Department of Defense Energy Strategy: Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks, Col Gregory J. Lengyel, United States Air Force (USAF), takes a comprehensive look at our national energy problems from a perspective unique to the Department of Defense (DOD). From his fictional opening implying that conflicts of the future could revolve around volatile world energy markets to his recommendations on creating and implementing a DOD energy strategy for improved energy security, the reader should find this book both thought provoking and informative. The author begins by introducing our national and military addiction to vast amounts of energy. He adeptly points out that we have created the world's mightiest military but historically have t considered energy to be a critical component of the war-planning process. His discussion of the burdens associated with our energy consumption t only identifies the cost of energy as a commodity but the often overlooked cost of infrastructure, personnel, transportation, and delivery of our energy requirements. Colonel Lengyel also identifies key vulnerabilities caused by our energy dependence: potential oil and electricity supply disruptions due to terrorism, sabotage, physical and cyber attack, and infrastructure failure. Additionally, he highlights areas where our dependence on imported energy creates foreign policy vulnerabilities. In sum, Colonel Lengyel offers an analysis of current DOD energy strategy and proposes a strategy for improved energy security and an implementation plan. He highlights numerous USAF initiatives as a model for the DOD to pursue, such as bases operating on 100 percent renewable energy, Air Force Smart Operations 21 (AFSO 21) fuel savings processes, culture change, and leading the way in synthetic fuel testing and certification.
Col Gregory J. Lengyel is the commander, Combined Joint Special Operations Air Component, for United States Central Command. He is currently engaged in combat in Operations Iraqi/Enduring Freedom. Colonel Lengyel graduated from Texas A&M University in 1985, earning his commission as a distinguished graduate in the Reserve Officer Training Corps. He is a command pilot with more than 3,700 flight hours in the UH-1H, UH-1N, TH-53A, MH-53J, and MH-53M. He is also a graduate of the US Marine Corps Weapons and Tactics Instructor course. Colonel Lengyel has served in several operational flying and staff assignments, including commander of the 21st Special Operations Squadron while flying MH-53M Pave Low IV helicopters in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was also military assistant to the secretary of defense, Hon. Donald H. Rumsfeld, while he was assigned to the Pentagon. Colonel Lengyel wrote this paper as part of the Air Force Fellows program while assigned as a National Defense Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC.