By Jeffrey Braun, Chief, USAF Alternative Fuels Certification Divisions
Wildly fluctuating fuel prices and the push by more and more Americans to “be green” are constant reminders of an underlying energy crisis we face here in America and around the world. As the federal government’s largest consumer of energy, the USAF is actively pursuing numerous initiatives designed to address these growing areas of concern. These initiatives are summarized by the three pillars of the Air Force Energy Policy – “Reduce Consumption,” “Increase Supply,” and “Change the Culture.”
While individual Airmen can’t necessarily control the amount of fuel we require for our aircraft and support systems to conduct the mission, we can all do our part to ensure we conserve energy (fuel) in other ways. From something as simple as turning off unnecessary lighting, to the implementation of more efficient mission planning or integration of improved fuel saving engine/aircraft designs, every Airman can have an impact on the size of the USAF’s “petroleum footprint.”
In the area of “Increase Supply,” the USAF has embarked on an initiative to develop and evaluate renewable and environmentally friendly alternative fuels for integration into unrestricted flight operations. To date, testing of these “green” fuels has been very successful. Not only will these bio-fuel blends provide the USAF with a pathway to ultimately reduce the amount of petroleum it currently requires (and decrease our current greenhouse gas footprint), but they will also enhance national security by allowing for the production of fuels domestically, thus enabling the US to become less reliant on oil imported from overseas.
The USAF is leading change. Through its commitment to energy conservation and exploration of cleaner, renewable sources of fuel that can be produced domestically, the USAF is shaping the way we meet our future energy needs. What are you doing to conserve energy?
PHOTO: October is Energy Awareness Month. Ramstein’s 86th Civil Engineer Squadron encourages Airmen that work and live on base to conserve energy at all possible times. There are several steps you can take to be more efficient with energy, such as turning off computer moniters after the work day. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Ciara M. Travis)