From the base to the fight, every Airman can protect the power

  • Published
  • By Melissa Tiedeman
  • Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Energy
October is Energy Action Month across the federal government, and for the Air Force, it represents an opportunity to remind Airmen of the role energy plays in fulfilling the Air Force’s mission.

The Air Force theme this year, “Protect the Power,” calls on Airmen and the larger Air Force community to practice smarter, more efficient energy and water consumption behaviors to enhance mission assurance.

“With threats to our power infrastructure increasing -- in numbers and severity -- enhancing mission assurance through energy assurance is critical to readiness. Now is the time to address these challenges; every kilowatt-hour, every gallon, and every idea counts,” said Richard Hartley, acting assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and energy.

“As we look to the future, improving resiliency through optimized demand and assured supply will play a key role in enhancing our combat capabilities. We need every Airman to play a part, reducing their demand for energy and innovating to bring resilient and efficient approaches to the table,” Hartley said.

The Air Force consumes significant quantities of energy protecting the nation’s interests. With so many of our missions operated from our bases, building resilience, reliability and efficiency into energy operations is vital to our combat capability. To achieve these objectives, Mark Correll, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for environment, safety and infrastructure, encourages Airmen to participate, both at work and at home.

“Energy Action Month is an important reminder to everyone that energy is a critical aspect of all Air Force missions,” said Correll. "Regardless of where or what the mission is, we require electricity and fuel to operate. By increasing their energy awareness and understanding, Airmen make energy a consideration in all they do and, in turn, increase our capabilities."

“Fuel consumes 82 percent of the total Air Force energy budget, however increasing energy efficiency means more than just cost savings,” said Roberto Guerrero, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for operational energy. “Making energy a consideration in future platforms and looking at current processes for ways to optimize energy use is the key to bringing greater combat capability, more training, and lower sustainment costs to the Air Force mission.”

Airman making smarter energy choices and integrating energy efficient technologies and fuel optimization measures has a direct positive impact on combat capability. That is why the Air Force is challenging Airmen to increase their awareness of the energy and water they use, understand its impact on the mission, and continuously look for ways to better utilize these critical resources.

This means many Airmen taking small steps, such as turning off lights. And it means the Air Force making large enterprise-level moves, such as energy savings performance contracts that finance multimillion dollar energy saving infrastructure improvements or optimizing fuel use and increasing training opportunities by adjusting aircraft training routes. No matter the size or complexity of the change, every Airman can take action to “Protect the Power.”

For more information on Energy Action Month, visit the Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Energy’s Energy Action Month website at:

Air Force Energy Facts (through fiscal year 2016):
• Spent $5.8 billion last year for electricity, heat, and fuel
  o 82 percent for aviation fuel
  o 16 percent for installation electricity & heat
  o 2 percent for ground vehicle and equipment fuel
• Reduced facility energy usage by 10 percent since 2011
• Increased on-site renewable energy usage by 12 percent from 2015 to 2016
• Have more than 134 megawatts of on-base renewable energy capacity
• Reduced total fuel consumption for ground vehicles by 20 percent since 2008
• Improved aviation energy productivity by 5.7 percent since 2011
• Reduced aviation fuel consumption by 23 percent since 2011