Tag Archives: Air Force Live

“On the Definition of Energy Security” by Mike Aimone

Below is a blog post about energy security by Michael Aimone, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Installations and Mission Support, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. In light of the upcoming Earth Day, as well as the overall ongoing news about energy concerns, Mr. Aimone wants to open up a discussion about energy security. Following this blog post, and the interest of readers, we may look for a place to keep the energy discussion going.

On the Definition of Energy Security” by Mike Aimone

The purpose of this blog post is to open a dialogue on the definition of the term “Energy Security”. Google the term “energy security,” and you’ll get 92 million hits. Say energy security (ES) to five different people, and I bet you’ll get 10 different answers!

Is ES achieved by U.S. Naval oil tanker convoys through the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf? Or the piracy concerns off the horn of Africa? Or possibly the implications of a blockade within the Strait of Malacca? You can see there is a strong tie between National Security and Energy Security.

Some say the current financial debacle is somewhat tied to the high oil prices over the past three years. Some suggest that ES is achieved by energy independence, though others will point out that crude oil prices are fungible in the worldwide economy, and even if the U.S. had significant domestic resources available to meet domestic needs, prices would have risen to the worldwide price standard. That is, there is a strong tie between Economic Security and Energy Security.

I think most people have accepted the fact that global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are climbing, and with that the effect on climate change. Certainly manmade GHGs are rising as the developing nations expand their middle class expansion through industrialization. Imagine a China or India with a greatly expanded automobile sector. That is, there is a strong tie between Environmental Security and Energy Security.

The Office of the Secretary of Defense is working to create an Energy Security definition for the Department of Defense. One working definition is

DoD Facilities energy security encompasses sufficiency, surety, and sustainability. Above all, energy security means having adequate power to conduct critical missions for the duration of that mission (sufficiency).

Secondarily, and leading to sufficiency, is ensuring resilient energy supplies that are accessible when needed (surety). Finally, the energy supplies must present the lowest life cycle cost, while considering all statutory and executive order requirements, as well as the impact to mission, community, and environment (sustainability).

I look forward to hearing your comments about this working definition.

Update #1

In addition to the comments we’ve received, a reader posed the following question:

Q: Does the OSD interest in the energy security definition stem from Al Shaffer?

A: (from Mike Aimone.) Energy issues, and the interest in the term “energy security” in OSD is
shared by functionally between DDR&E for weapon systems, I&E for installations & ground (non tactical) transportation, and HD&ASA for issues associated with energy systems Critical Infrastructure Protection.  All these organizations share common interest in what I am seeking by defining, for the department, the term energy security.  Mr. Shaffer is just one of those interested parties, though Mr. Lally in I&E also helped draft the definition on the blog.

Continuing Fargo flood coverage from Minot Air Force Base

2nd Lt. Kidron B. Vestal, Deputy Chief of Public Affairs at Minot AFB, sent an update of the continued support being provided by the 54th Helicopter Squadron and other Airmen in Fargo, N.D. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009: 1117 CSTMinot Air Force Base Public Affairs is continuing to cover the flood support mission at Grand Forks Air Force Base.

“We are staying on to support the efforts of the augmentees that are assisting in personnel shortages at Grand Forks Air Force Base. We are working in the dining facility, our logistics readiness forces are driving shuttles, and our security forces are participating in field missions. We are projected to stay throughout the week and possibly into the following week.” Below are photos from Monday, March 30, 2009 that show the continued devastation in the area.





Aboard a UH-1N “Huey,” one of our crews from the 54th Helicopter Squadron at Minot Air Force Base was surveying the area in preparation for any needed search and rescue missions on the Red River. In doing so, we noticed a train frozen in its tracks, due to the flooding of the river north of Fargo, North Dakota.






While continuing to conduct aerial surveys, we passed by Army National Guard crews placing sandbags on the dike surrounding this home on the Red River, north of Fargo, North Dakota.







The F.L.I.R, or Forward Looking Infrared system, is just one of the many tools that our two crews use to facilitate search and rescue operations. The system can detect body heat from flood victims that are not easily seen, making the search missions more effective.

Minot AFB’s 54th Helicopter Squadron assists during Fargo flooding

When the Red River in Fargo, ND began to rise rapidly last week due to fast-thawing snow, members of the 54th Helicopter Squadron at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., began preparing for search and rescue missions as part of an interagency task force. In the past, the 54th Helicopter Squadron has deployed in support of Joint Task Force Katrina and Rita. The 54th brings specialized hoist equipment, a necessary tool for search and rescue in flood conditions, as well as a Forward Looking Infrared System, a high-tech camera with night vision and thermal heat-seeking capabilities. Reports state that the flood waters are easing, but there is still a lot of work and monitoring to do before an all clear can be sounded. Below are some photos (except #1) by Airman 1st Class Joshua Rosales and commentary from Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs from the effort.







MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. — A pair of UH-1N Huey helicopters take off from here March 25 heading for Bismarck, N.D., to assist in disaster relief efforts from flooding the city is bracing for. Eight crewmembers and two helicopters from the 54th Helicopter Squadron are deploying to aid the recovery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joe Rivera)







March 29, 2009
Today we demonstrated our search and rescue capabilities by showing community members in Hillsboro, N.D., how the Lucas hoist system provides recovery support. We had a crew from the 54th Helicopter Squadron, out of Minot Air Force Base, set up at the Hillsboro Regional Airport. We surveyed the flooding of the Red River and positioned our forces to be available when called upon. The helicopter our crew flew was a UH-1N “Huey”.







March 30, 2009—2:45 CST

Two of the helicopter crews from Minot Air Force Base redeployed Friday to Grand Forks Air Force Base, to assist in the flood relief efforts. Earlier in the week we went to Bismarck and returned to swap out the crew. Our teams are standing by to provide maximum support. Currently, we may be in place until Wednesday, but a duration until Saturday is also a possibility. When this photograph was taken yesterday, the waters were up a little bit and the wall seemed to be holding. However today, the water has started to seep through.







March 30, 2009—2:50 CST

We continue to survey the bridge along the Red River, monitoring the flooding. We’ve already flown over it and around twice today and will continue so in the search and rescue mission.