Tag Archives: Earth Day

My day at the Pentagon

Submitted by Deante Dowdell

Editor’s note – In the spirit of Take our Sons and Daughters to Work Day, Deante Dowdell, son of  Maj. Richelle Dowdell, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs Current Operations, spent April 22 at the Pentagon with his mom. Deante, who is 13, shares a unique take on his experience as documented below. We’re pleased to present our youngest blogger on Air Force Live.

100420-F-2270A-293I spent “Take Your Child to Work Day” with my mom. It was pretty cool, but it wouldn’t have been as cool if she didn’t work at the Pentagon. You see my mom works in Air Force Public Affairs which basically means she is the press for the Air Force. She takes care of publicizing big Air Force events, media coverage, and making sure that the big Air Force figures represent the best that they can be. Her job is pretty cool. She gets to go to cool places and events, and she gets to meet famous people like the person who sings that song that’s stuck in your head but can’t remember the name of.

Anyway, on “Bring Your Kid to Work Day” [April 22] my mom was initially going to take my sister but she wanted to go to the school where my dad works because she wanted to see her friends there, so my mom was stuck with me. Hey, I was okay with that because I like visiting the Pentagon. It’s so big and cool and complex and there is so much stuff packed into it. It’s a wonder the people fit in. Plus today was Earth Day so I was wondering if the Pentagon even celebrated Earth Day. So we jumped in the car (after we got some clothes on of course PJs aren’t formal at the Pentagon), grabbed a slugger from the commuter lot, hopped in the H.O.V. and headed off to the Pentagon.

So we get to the Pentagon, dropped off the slugger – whose name I don’t know – and checked in to the Pentagon. My mom took me into her office and proceeded to introduce me to every person in her office by name’s which I proceeded to forget but that’s okay we are all still friends.

After my formal and forgetful introductions, my mom and I made a breakfast and coffee run for the office – I guess it was her turn. We walked to one of the many and bigger food courts in the Pentagon. When we got there I knew I had a very tough decision ahead of me:  Which fast food restaurant should I choose to eat at? The BK?  Subway?  The place I’ve never heard of before in my life?   My goodness, the choices were nearly endless. I decided  to chose BK because in the end I knew I needed energy for today, though when it comes to most fast food companies that translates to sugar and fat so you know I had to pick the best option.( BK, you know I love you.)

We took the coffee and food back to the office and my mom got called to an important meeting. I could not go to so I waited at her desk. After two minutes my short attention span took over, and I tried to entertain myself. After about 10 minutes I had done everything I could in an office without breaking something and that in itself was becoming a temptation. Finally one of my mom’s co-workers wanted to take me to a tree-planting ceremony that was being held in the courtyard for Earth Day. She took me out there and on the way she explained how 40 other trees were being planted on Air Force bases around the world. So the camera man set us up for the best camera angles and lighting and other stuff. The important people gave important speeches and poured important dirt on the important tree – it was all very important. I was asked to pour some dirt on the important tree. I had my picture taken doing it; it was pretty cool to say the least.

The party didn’t stop after that for me and my mom. After a quick stop at the office she then took me to a session of media training for some guy who was probably important – he certainly looked the part and that’s what counts isn’t it?  Basically media training is where important  people in the military learn how to deal with that collective-minded press and paparazzi. When we got there she introduced me to all the camera men and women and the people behind the scenes. It was basically a mock press conference about the release of a new MRAP (mine-resistant, armor-protected vehicle) in Afghanistan. It went pretty good considering the reporters knew him and the subject inside and out. My mother has taught him well I guess.

After that we went back to my mom’s office to see what other exciting activities we had planned for the rest of our fun-filled day. These activities consisted of making a quick lunch run down to the Popeye’s in the food court mentioned earlier and watch my mom type on a computer for about 30 minutes. After a while, someone across the office asked my mom to assist with developing some talking points for the upcoming premier of the Iron Man 2 movie. I thought that meant that she was going to the premiere of the movie, so I asked her if I could come too. She then crushed and shattered my dreams by explaining that developing talking points of the event meant she didn’t go to it. (I am mad they changed the actor who played Rhodey in the first movie but will just see what the new guy does.)

The final test of all the knowledge I accumulated over my day as a child PA was a daunting one. One I doubted I would survive. It would push my limits both physically and mentally. After nearly completing this assignment I doubt I will look at anything the same way ever again. The labor was terrible and frightening but the fruit it produced is beautiful and satisfying. So what was this daunting task I am talking about? Well, you’re reading it.

Photo Caption: Thirteen-year-old Deante Dowdell, son of Maj. Richelle Dowdell, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs, shovels soil onto a Valley Forge American elm as part of “40 Trees in 40 Communities” April 22 at the Pentagon. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott Ash)

“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.