Military overseas will now use Minnesota-built generators, U.S. Sen. Al Franken and a Department of Defense official announced at TCF Bank Stadium on Wednesday.
The new generators, built by Cummins Power Generation Inc. in Fridley, Minn., are lighter and 21 percent more energy-efficient than current generators. They will be used in Afghanistan and the Korean Peninsula, Franken said.
Many soldiers are killed or injured in convoys delivering fuel, so using the more fuel-efficient Advanced Medium Mobile Power Sources will put fewer troops in harm’s way, Franken said.
Department of Defense Assistant Secretary Sharon Burke, the department’s top energy official, said President Barack Obama’s 2014 budget will include more than $112 million for the AMMPS generators, which will be immediately deployed in Afghanistan.
“Our supply lies completely on the field of battle. They are targets, and we’ve paid a high price for that,” Burke said. “If we can get our forces to get their jobs done with lower risk, we really need to do that.”
About 400 AMMPS generators are already on the ground in Afghanistan, and the military might add about 150 more, depending on operational needs, Lt. Col. Michael Foster said.
Foster said generators provide energy for communications, fuel and basic necessities for troops.
About 400 of the generators will also be sent to South Korea combat outposts and contingency bases, Burke said.
“I know this will be an important benefit for our troops there,” she said.
The DOD is the nation’s largest consumer of energy, Franken said.
Franken and Burke toured the Fridley Cummins plant to see where the generators are being produced and met privately with the company’s leaders after the press conference Wednesday afternoon.
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