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Saving energy: it all adds up

  • Published
  • By Lt. Gen. Brooks Bash
  • Air Mobility Command vice commander
As we face budget uncertainty and rising energy costs, we need your help, our Mobility Airmen, to find innovative ways to reduce energy costs on the ground and in the air.

Across the Air Force Airmen are continually thinking about ways to reduce energy use and to bring down costs. Although October is Energy Action Month, in Air Mobility Command, energy-saving alternatives are something we are looking for every day of the year. We have no choice.

Refueling, airdrop and aeromedical operations bring an amazing capability to our Nation, but our aircraft also burn a lot of fuel. Rapid global mobility has a price--and the price is largely paid in fuel costs. In 2012, AMC spent nearly $5 billion on jet fuel....nearly 60 percent of the total Air Force energy bill!

Your creative ideas on how to manage and reduce our fuel and energy use can help establish a culture of conservation and increase stewardship of taxpayers' resources. Maybe you can help us more precisely fuel and fly our aircraft or run our ground equipment. Maybe you can help us find a way to ensure lights are turned off when they are not in use. The amazing thing is that even small innovations can add up when you operate on a global scale like we do in the Mobility Air Forces.

Whether at work or enjoying the evening in the dorms, reducing energy use must be a priority. Every gallon of fuel or watt of electricity we eliminate from our operations reduces overall costs.

There are a lot of little things we can do preserve our resources.

Just last month, various energy saving initiatives allowed us to avoid more than $630,000 in costs in a single day.

I am also encouraged by stories like the C-17 Fuel Economy Initiative, which could save more than $200 million in fuel costs using software upgrades to improve fuel efficiency.
Earlier this year, a tiger team of civil engineer, security forces and safety uniformed and civilian Airmen at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., pulled together to find ways to conserve nearly $100,000 in energy costs. They reduced lighting requirements for buildings, streets and parking lots, and adjusted thermostats at work centers. Dorm managers also cut costs on non-essential appliance use throughout the day.

The team at Travis provides a typical example of Airmen's ingenuity and resourcefulness.

As we start fiscal year 2014, I encourage all Mobility Airmen to be innovative in reducing our energy use. If we all actively engage in a culture of energy awareness, we will each help Air Mobility Command reduce the demand for energy and accomplish more with the resources that we have.