Air Force chief scientist lauds AMC as a leader in energy initiatives

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol
  • Air Mobility Command Public Affairs
The Air Force's chief scientist, Dr. Mark T. Maybury, visited Air Mobility Command here June 27 to 29 and lauded AMC's initiatives as he discussed the importance of energy efficiency.

Maybury's visit included serving as the keynote speaker for the AMC "Future Aircraft Fuel Efficiency Industry Days" conference. During his presentation, he touched upon the Air Force's science and technology strategy for energy efficiency.

"This is essential not just for the Air Force and DOD, but also for our national security," he said. "It's a matter of operations success."

Maybury is conducting a multi-front study on "Energy Horizons" to identify more energy-efficient technologies in air, space, cyberspace and infrastructure areas.

The study is sponsored by the chief of staff of the Air Force and secretary of the Air Force. AMC's chief scientist, Dr. Donald Erbschloe, is co-leading the "air" section of the team and is ensuring the command's ideas are brought to the table.

During the conference, Maybury also discussed AMC Fuel Efficiency Office's initiatives that are making an impact, including mission index flying, or MIF. MIF allows mobility Airmen to optimize flight planning and execution without requiring an advanced onboard flight management computer system. The tool helps minimize overall operating costs by providing optimized flight parameters for the aircrew to fly to minimize fuel burn for the flight.

"AMC has been a leader in this," Maybury said.

He also highlighted the Next Generation Cargo Capability initiative where the goal is to move more cargo with the same amount of airlift. "This is where it's about getting one more pallet on board," he said.

For the Air Force, Maybury noted the Energy Horizons Team focus of an "assured energy advantage across air, space, cyberspace and infrastructure" is achieved through building partnerships. He said that building partnerships with other government agencies, other services, national laboratories and academia is paying dividends and will continue.

"This (Future Aircraft Fuel Efficiency Industry Days) conference builds on that effort," he said.

In his work as chief scientist, Maybury provides assessments on a wide range of scientific and technical issues affecting the Air Force mission. In this role he identifies and analyzes technical issues and brings them to attention of Air Force leaders. He also interacts with other Air Staff principals, operational commanders, combatant command staffs, acquisition specialists and science and technology communities to address cross-organizational technical issues and solutions.

Maybury also interacts with officials in other services and the office of the secretary of Defense on issues affecting the Air Force in-house technical enterprise. He serves on the steering committee and senior review group of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, or SAB. He is also the Air Force principal science and technology representative to the civilian scientific and engineering community and to the public at large.

Through his work, Maybury said, success in energy efficiency will be achieved not only through building partnerships, but also through building a culture of change.

"That culture change (in energy efficiency), requires leadership, education and incentives," he said.

He also mentioned some of the Air Force's other efforts for using more energy efficient technology.

"Today the Air Force coordinates an effort across the DOD to dramatically increase the use of electric vehicles," he stated as one of the examples.

Additionally, Maybury said Air Force officials are looking at "revolutionary" enabling technologies such as ultra-efficient photo voltaics, biofuels, ultra-capacitors, advanced batteries, nano-materials and energy efficient "cloud" computing.

"Some of this we might not see in the next two to three years, but maybe in the next five, 10 or 15 years," he said.

Overall, he highlighted "energy is an operations enabler," and the Air Force science and technology community will continue to work to better the service's energy efficiency efforts.

"Our assured energy advantage will require us to conserve resources and protect the environment," Maybury said. "It will demand a focused energy roadmap and a targeted approach to be successful."