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Energy leader: The smart use of energy helps accomplish the mission

WASHINGTON (AFNS) --

Military and industry leaders discussed the role of energy in helping the Air Force accomplish its mission and current initiatives to improve resiliency, reduce demand, assure supply, and foster an energy aware culture.

Dr. Kevin Geiss, the deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for Energy, weighed in on the challenge, one of many topics attendees explored during the 55-session, three-day Air Force Association Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition here today.

“The best way to do that is to get better at every single flight we make, every sortie making it more energy efficient and getting more productivity out of every gallon that we use,” Geiss said. “At the end of the day when you look back at 2012 we not only hit that 10 percent, but exceeded it.”

Other panelists included Mark Dusynski, Johnson Controls Federal Systems vice president of strategic marketing and retired Col. Richard Fryer, Environmental Consultants Contractors, Inc., energy program manager.

“We, in the Air Force, don’t care about energy for energy sake,” Geiss said. “We care about energy because it enables every single mission of the Air Force to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace.”

Geiss highlighted the force’s strategic energy plan which includes improving resiliency, reducing demand, assuring supply and fostering an energy aware culture.

“We have proven as an Air Force that it is a false choice to say that we can either save energy and be more efficient or complete the mission,” Geiss said. “We have shown time and again that we can complete the mission and at the same time reduce the amount of energy required for that mission as well as doing it more efficiently and effectively.” 

The Air Force has a $9 billion annual energy bill with about 84 percent of that allotted for aviation operations, but the Air Force, Geiss said, does not control the operations tempo.

“When the (combatant commander) needs something, the Air Force is expected to provide the capability,” he said. “We don’t control how many times we get called upon; we don’t control the total amount of cargo that we have to haul each year.”

Fryer noted how the Air Force reduced energy consumption during 2012 and why it remains important to continue the trend.

“There are (federal) mandates and these mandates are not being relaxed,” he said. “They are calling for energy efficiency and renewable energies.”

Geiss said he encourages individuals with energy saving ideas to engage with their installation energy experts.

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