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Air Force seeks more efficient fuel practices to conserve energy

  • Published
  • By Capt. Jonathan Stock
  • Air Mobility Command Public Affairs
As oil prices continue to soar, Air Mobility Command officials here are looking for ways to lower the amount of aviation fuel used by the command's fleet of airlifters and tankers.

An Air Force study using 2006 data revealed aviation fuel accounts for 82 percent of the Air Force's total energy consumption, with AMC accounting for 27 percent of that total. 

The command's airlifters and tankers consumed 675 million gallons of jet fuel in 2006 at a total cost of $1.5 billion. That was when a gallon of jet fuel cost $2.27.

Now, as jet fuel prices have climbed above $4 a gallon, AMC officials are searching for additional cost-saving initiatives to add to two major ones the command has instituted in recent years.

After studying fuel conservation methods used by commercial airlines, AMC officials now put only enough fuel on its aircraft for them to complete their assigned missions, instead of a standard (or set) fuel load.

The change has saved the command more than $18 million annually and, according to one Air Force report, could result in an additional $40 million savings a year in cost avoidance.

Another AMC initiative saves $1.6 million a year in projected fuel costs by removing equipment KC-135 Stratotankers once carried on board during training missions.

Approximately 1,200 pounds of equipment, such as chains, bins, tables and seats, are no longer carried on these types of flights. 

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