I am Air Force Energy

SCOTT AFB. Ill. -- October is Energy Action Month. This year's theme is "I am Air Force Energy." As the theme implies, whether you are a military member, civilian or contractor, your ideas are vital to improving efficiency.

In the last 6 years, Airmen in Air Mobility Command have reduced aviation fuel consumption 4 percent, ground fuel consumption 6 percent and facility energy intensity 18 percent. Some of these accomplishments, which many of you contributed to, are described below.

AMC Airmen reduced aviation fuel consumption 4 percent since 2006 by eliminating unnecessary cargo, flying more fuel efficient routes, cleaning engines regularly and even loading cargo to balance aircraft weight. Initiatives like these saved the Air Force $165 million, and allowed us to transport 24 percent more cargo while using 5 percent less fuel.

Since 2003 AMC Airmen have reduced facility energy intensity 18 percent by upgrading lighting with energy efficient technology such as fluorescent and LED, improving insulation around windows and doors, and modernizing heating and air conditioning systems. These efforts reduced future utility bills while improving the quality of the AMC work environment.

A recent example of Mobility Airmen embracing "Air Force Energy" can be found in Mobility Air Forces aircrew electronic flight bags. The 21-member AMC Electronic Flight Bag team sought to deliver a single automated platform, consolidating paper flight references for 18,000 aircrew members assigned to more than 100 units across five major commands. This initiative will save $5 million annually in printing costs alone and a productivity increase of 22,000 man-hours, placing an emphasis back on the mission. Moving from a paper-based electronic flight publication system to an electronic-based system not only improves operational efficiency and safety, but saves the Department of Defense significant time and money. The AMC EFB team is currently one of the three finalists vying for the 2012 Chief of Staff Team Excellence Award. The Department of Energy recognized the work of Airmen with six Federal Energy Management Program awards this year out of fifteen competitive nominations submitted by the Air Force. These winners will help save the Air Force more than $289 million, including 42 million gallons of jet fuel. Two AMC winners were identified, one from Headquarters AMC and the other from the 375th Air Mobility Wing, both at Scott Air Force Base.

The AMC Fuel Efficiency Office successfully implemented a mission index flying optimization tool. The software gives pilots the most energy-efficient altitude and speed based on atmospheric conditions. AMC also secured funding for the KC-135 engine upgrade and KC-10 drag clean-up fuel efficiency initiatives. These three initiatives, officials said, are projected to save the DoD $284 million over the next 10 years.

Liz Toftemark, Scott AFB utility engineer and energy manager, successfully negotiated electrical contracts over the past two years that will save the Air Force $5.5 million. She helped implement energy-saving projects such as heating, cooling, lighting and window upgrades that will save $4 million over the life of the projects. Through her efforts, the base library now has a reflective "cool" roof and 55 skylights which reduced electrical usage 30 percent at the facility.

Additionally, Jim Shores, 22nd Operations Support Squadron short range scheduling chief, from McConnell AFB, Kan., was awarded $10,000 through the Innovative Development Employee Awareness program, for identifying a recalibration during KC-135 air refueling training missions. This recalibration will save AMC approximately $472,000 annually in fuel waste.

I commend each of you who have had an impact on making our Air Force more energy efficient thus far. Now, I challenge each of you to seek even more ways to create a culture of energy awareness and to identify and follow up on energy saving initiatives so that those dollars saved can continue to enhance our nation's combat capability.