By Samir Naqvi – Oct. 15, 2018
Many civilians tend to take for granted their access to electricity and cellular communications. Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and other events that can suddenly (and temporarily) leave cell towers and power lines inoperable can send residents into a panic. But for members of the military, temporarily losing the ability to communicate with others in the field can be a regular occurrence — putting lives at risk in the process.
In September 2018, the Department of Defense awarded a $491 million, five-year contract to Indiana-based diesel manufacturer Cummins, Inc., seeking its supply of more effective advanced medium mobile power sources (AMMPS) and diesel generators. These AMMPS are more mobile, more reliable, and more efficient than the ones currently in use, and experts believe this move will significantly improve troop safety in the field.
What Cummins Will Supply
Cummins plans to manufacture and deliver diesel-powered generators and AMMPS to the U.S. military through 2023. The AMMPS will largely replace the Tactical Quiet Generators (TCGs) currently being used and Cummins claims their AMMPS units are 40 percent more reliable and 21 percent more fuel-efficient than TCGs. Not only will this save the Department of Defense money (an estimated $432 million over the course of the contract), but it should improve combat troop safety by ensuring soldiers always have access to a functional power source.
With U.S. troops stationed across the globe, access to upgraded AMMPS units can ensure that tactical decisions are made based on policy, not necessity — that is, troops won’t be forced to evacuate a crucial location due solely to equipment failure.
The Impact of AMMPS
These AMMPS are also more mobile than TCGs, which will allow troops quickly to get where the action is. Currently, Cummins has employed more than 24,000 of its AMMPS generator sets throughout the U.S., Africa, Afghanistan, and South Korea, among other countries. Its diesel generators are used in a variety of contexts, from military to commercial to residential.
The Department of Defense has undertaken a multifaceted approach to improving the way the U.S. does battle. In addition to enhancing troop security by upgrading decades-old equipment that may no longer be reliable, the DoD has focused on energy-efficiency as well. Implementing more efficient diesel generators can reduce the amount of fuel that must be transported into the field, saving money and improving the logistics of troop transport in the process.