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AMC officials give $225K to three bases for thinking green

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Kathleen Ferrero
  • Air Mobility Command Public Affairs
Green thinking led to cold cash Nov. 18 when Air Mobility Command officials gave $100,000 to Charleston Air Force Base, S.C.; $75,000 to Scott AFB; and $50,000 to Travis AFB, Calif.; for efforts by people at each base to conserve energy and promote culture change.

Eligibility for the Energy Incentive Award this year opened up to include groups outside of civil engineer units -- another example of how AMC officials set the bar by encouraging a culture change.

The three winning groups will receive half of their base's cash award, and their wings will get the other half, to spend however they choose, said Mr. Stephen Kalmer, AMC resource efficiency manager.

This literally could mean more money for basketballs at the base gym and other quality of life programs in exchange for inspiring conservationist mindsets at the base level. This directly improves the quality of life for Airmen, and with Year of the Family, this is a win-win for everyone.

"The most impressive thing that I saw was Charleston's energy reduction numbers after they installed a decentralized heat plant," said Mr. Kalmer, who also served on the award selection committee. "Charleston's always been good; but that was what really stood out."

In addition to saving energy in facilities, the winners excelled in vehicle fuel initiatives; renewable energy technology pursuits; water conservation and overall cultural change.

The plentiful California sunshine at Travis AFB makes it an ideal location for solar technology development. Base leaders there have taken advantage of this and are working with scientists to research a massive solar farm on the base.

Additionally, as one of their moves to promote cultural change, Travis AFB personnel organized "Fridge Away," a program that involved Airmen and pushed more than 120 electricity-leeching miniature refrigerators off the base grid.

People at Scott AFB also impressed the award selection committee with their efforts. Some $50,000 in annual operating costs was saved through a consolidated recycling center, and officials have increased the use of bio-diesel fuel in vehicles -- diesel with 20 percent biodegradable fuels -- by 128 percent.

In addition to conserving energy, AMC environmental specialists lead the way in identifying best practices with fuel efficiency, such as flight simulation. For example, it can be up to 10 times cheaper to train in a simulator than to fly the aircraft.

By enabling creative ideas to eliminate energy waste, AMC officials will continue to save the Air Force money in the future.

"That's our goal at AMC: to do the things that make sense, save the Air Force money over a long period of time and reduce the use of materials," Mr. Kalmer said.