Tag Archives: blog

USAF Moving Forward with Energy Conservation

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)

Blog Spotlight: Boots in the Doorway

*Occasionally, Air Force Live puts the spotlight on individual blogs written by Airmen or their family members. These blogs provide an unofficial glimpse into the various aspects of Air Force life. Opinions expressed are those of the bloggers and are not endorsed by the US Air Force.

For Cheryl, home is wherever the Air Force sends her and her family.

So far, the California-native has lived in Mississippi, Kansas, Texas, Florida and Arizona, all in support of her active-duty Air Force husband, who is currently deployed for eight months. As a stay-at-home mother of two children, she shares her experiences in her blog, Boots in the Doorway, writing candidly about the ups and downs of life during a deployment.

“The airport allows military families  to go to the gate so that they can spend a little more time together which we were very thankful for,” she wrote of sending her husband off on his deployment. “On our way 2 different people stopped Chris to thank him for his service. I always get choked up when that happens because it means so much to hear that from people. It reminds me how proud and special all our military are and that our journeys tend to be a little different then civilians in so many ways that can’t be explained.”

Since then, she’s shared everything from class field trips with her daughter to preparing care packages for her husband, all while reflecting on what it means to serve from the homefront when it literally feels like half her heart is in Iraq. 

“I never know what is going to spark that emotion in me that can break me down in a instant,” she wrote recently. “Sometimes its driving by his work or seeing his uniform hanging in the closet, finding his favorite hot sauce hidden in the fridge, his razors in the cabinet or that song you hear on the radio.”

Recently, Cheryl got a happy distraction via a spouse incentive flight at her base on a KC-135 Stratotanker, where the ladies got to watch an F-15 refuel in the air. She was able to take photos and a short video clip of the flight for her blog.

“We took turns taking tons of pictures and watching the action,” she wrote. “I HIGHLY suggest you take the opportunity if it comes available to go on a spouse flight. They were happy to do it since they want the spouses to be excited about the Air Force so we encourage our hubby’s to stay active.”

To read more about Cheryl’s experience as the Air Force wife of a deployed Airman, visit Boots in the Doorway.

Button Up

If you haven’t already seen it in our sidebar, U.S. Air Force Live now has a button for bloggers.

Bloggers can help us spread the word by posting the button in their sidebars as a widget. Most blogging sites give users to ability to add widgets or gadgets.

For specific directions on how to add a widget to your blog, please visit your site’s help or support section.

In most cases,  bloggers can simply copy and paste the button’s HTML code into a text box within their sidebar. When viewers click on the button, they will then be directed to our site to learn more about the U.S. Air Force!

Welcome Army!

If you haven’t noticed the amazing progress being made by the military services with respect to social/new/emerging/digital media, check out the “live” series online. Air Force. Army. DOD.
What’s new about this? Well, for one, they’re institutional blogs from the service staffs. Secondly, which you won’t be able to see on the Web pages is the collaboration taking place behind the scenes with all the armed services and Federal Government. We meet monthly with armed services counterparts and members of Federal Government to determine the best way ahead for our services in a joint manner regarding social media at the Joint Services Working Group on Social Media.

So yes, the Air Force and Army have recently made big splashes, but it’s due in large part to the great teammates at the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, DoD’s Defense Media Activity and others.

These are some of the most committed people I’ve ever met and we’re all working towards a common goal: to increase transparency in the military and relate our service’s stories to those online.

Expect more. Welcome U.S. Army, the site looks great!

“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.