November 22, 2007


A green idea for saving lives in Iraq: An Army trial program is insulating structures to reduce dependence on fuel, and the dangerous convoys that supply it (Doug Smith and Saif Rasheed, November 22, 2007, LA Times)

When a little-known agency of the U.S. Army asked Joe Amadee III to come up with an idea for saving lives in Iraq, it was probing for some kind of a contraption.

After all, the Rapid Equipping Force, a 5-year-old think tank for military innovation, had come up with some pretty high-tech stuff: robots to search caves in Afghanistan, an acoustic sniper finder and a hand-held laser pointer that soldiers use to flag down cars at night.

But, instead of a gadget, Amadee proposed a green solution.

And so, before long, he and a crew led by an Oklahoma roofing contractor were at this desert base east of Baghdad spraying foam onto tents.

Their plan is to turn all of the Army's hulking, heat-absorbing tent barracks into rigid shells of 2-inch insulation.

The way that would improve soldiers' lives may be self-evident. What is less obvious is how it also could save their lives.

The key is fuel: The more of it a base uses, the more soldiers are exposed to deadly roadside bombs on fuel convoys.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 22, 2007 8:26 AM
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