A SunDial 28.2-kilowatt solar generator is in use in Afghanistan. In addition to being used by Special Forces Soldiers in Afghanistan, these systems have been deployed for oil companies, railroads, mining companies and a number of non-governmental organizations. (Photo used with permission of SunDial Capital Partners)
Soldiers are enlisting the sun’s power in Afghanistan.
Ten solar generators are now providing Special Forces soldiers in distant outposts the energy they need to accomplish their mission. And, these generators are allowing them precious more time to train Afghan forces and win the friendship of local Afghans.
The key benefit of solar is savings in fuel. Fuel makes up a significant portion of weight and volume that has to be transported great distances to remote locations in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
“During World War II, we used (an average of) one gallon of fuel per day, per soldier,” said Richard G. Kidd IV, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Energy & Sustainability, with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy & Environment. “We now use (an average of) 20 gallons per day, per soldier, and in Afghanistan, over 40 percent of that fuel is used to produce electricity.
“With solar power, we are cutting the supply of fuel needed in half, from 40 to 20 percent,” he added. That is the first of at least five benefits, he said.
Lt. Col. Lars Ulissey is a United States Air Force Flight Surgeon and Chief of Bioastronautics, at the 45th Space Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. Previously he has been a family medicine physician, and was a pilot and VP 44 Patrol Plane Commander in the US Navy. He was awarded USAF Flight Surgeon of the Year in 2006 (AFMC) and 2010 (AFSPC).
Lt. Col. Lars Ulissey
Detachment 3, of the 45th Operations Group at Patrick Air Force Base, is home to the Human Space Flight Support office, which functions as a direct link between NASA and the Department of Defense (DOD). Among the many responsibilities of Det 3, one of the most important has been to provide contingency support for Space Shuttle operations. Flight surgeons and Air Force Pararescuemen (PJs) are critical elements of a rescue package that the US Air Force brings to each and every Shuttle mission. Flight Surgeons work in concert with Air Force PJs and the crew of H60 helicopters (Jollys), to form the cornerstone of the medical rescue effort, should a Space Shuttle mission go awry.
The Flight Surgeons are stationed one to each helicopter and paired with two PJs, who are members of the military’s elite Special Forces or Air Force’s Personnel Recovery experts. The unique feature about a PJ, is that in addition to his special survival capability, each is medically trained to the level of a civilian paramedic. The flight surgeons bring added dimension to the rescue effort, by placing an Advance Trauma Life Support (ATLS) trained physician at the scene of rescue, for real time intervention. The Flight Surgeon’s role on the Jolly is to integrate with the crew to help retrieve, stabilize, treat and transport the patient as expediently as possible to the most appropriate medical facility. This can range from transporting astronauts to a nearby NASA designated triage site, or to the nearest and most appropriate trauma hospital, based on injuries.