HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force energy: Getting the most fight from our resources

Graphic for SAF/IE

(U.S. Air Force graphic/Brandon DeLoach

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- A group of panel members discussed Air Force energy and getting more mission out of every gallon of jet fuel during the Air Force Association's Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition, Sept. 14.

“[We have] the people who are actually doing the work on making aviation energy more efficient, more affordable and getting more mission out of every gallon of jet fuel,” said Miranda Ballentine, assistant secretary of the Air Force installations, environment and energy. “(Energy) underpins everything we do; it fuels every sortie, it launches every satellite and it powers every single mission control. Without energy, we don’t have a mission.”

One topic of discussion was the importance of starting with pilot training and making slight changes in order to save fuel.

“The idea that we can operate flight missions in pilot training without regarding fuel is a thing of the past,” said retired Lt. Col. Mark Lyons, T-1A Jayhawk instructor pilot. “We felt (pilot training) was a perfect place … to plant that seed. It’s going to pay huge dividends further down their career when they go out into the bigger Air Force.”

Another way the Air Force is saving energy and money is by redesigning air refueling tracks and optimizing the use of air space, saving roughly $30 million per year.

“Taking that idea and looking at other aspects of flight, we have airdrop training (at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma), and, usually, we will have eight passes across the drop zone, but we only need to fly the low-level route one time, so the next seven times we are just wasting time,” said Capt. W. Austin Street, the 97th Air Mobility Wing commander’s executive officer. “So we just redesigned … and that saved another $3 million per year. Putting the AR tracks closer saved $29 million per year.”

Talking about taking a page out of the books of commercial airlines, the Air Force has adopted some strategies in order to be more fuel-efficient.

“Typically when you fly at constant Mach, constant airspeed, constant altitude is inherently inefficient,” said Col. Richard Eccher, the Air Mobility Command acting division chief of fuel efficiency division. “We have learned that from commercial partners and our new flight-plan software that came out last year takes that into account. No longer will a C-5 (Galaxy) or C-17 (Globemaster III) fly a 12-hour sortie at the same altitude and same airspeed. It changes now. The reason it’s so critically important from a mission standpoint is … they may run out of gas.”

Saving fuel, energy and money can also be done through technology.

“(At the) Air Force Research Laboratory, we are leading the discovery and development of technology across airspace and cyberspace, and, as we have already heard, aviation fuel is the thing that eats most of the lunch,” said Dr. Leslie Perkins, the Air Force Research Laboratory energy office director. “We have been investing a great deal of money in the research laboratory (in developing) an engine that can, on all levels of throttle, still give me fuel efficiency … When we get this into the aircraft, there will be a noticeable difference. (Buying more sorties or greater range with the same amount of fuel).”

Engage

Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Doing frequent mental health check-ins could make a big difference in building resiliency. Promote wellness within yourself…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Every time I look at "Wings Through Time” by Robert Emerson Bell it’s a constant reminder that the ability to accelerate…
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: If you need help or know someone who needs help - text 838255 or call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the Military Crisis Line. Let…
Twitter
RT @US_TRANSCOM: A @usairforce KC-135 refuels a B-2 Spirit in @US_EUCOM during a bomber task force mission.Tankers fuel the required reach…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: A senior leader message during #SuicidePreventionMonth: "You are our greatest strength and the beating heart of our Air…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Congratulations to the @USAirForce’s 12 Outstanding #Airmen of the Year on earning recognition as exemplary performers i…
Twitter
RT @RealAFOSI: 1/ #DidYouKnow Sept. is Insider Threat Awareness Month? No environment is immune from the threat posed by trusted insiders.…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Sharene and I take the caring and well-being of our Airmen and their families very seriously. Thank you @AirForceAssoc fo…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Everyone wants to make their mark on the world. But why make just one? https://t.co/g1iX4pzU9b
Twitter
10 years have passed since #DontAskDontTell was repealed. @UnderSecAF Gina Ortiz Jones celebrated the milestone by… https://t.co/i1kTNvykzM
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: It’s going to take all of our Airmen, Active-duty, Reserve and Guard to secure this nation’s future. https://t.co/4P3CUiQ…
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: A few years ago, only two small businesses joined us at AFA--this year we have 40+. @AFWERX works with these companies ever…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF is meeting with defense industry leaders today during the @AirForceAssoc’s #ASC21 events. In his #OneTeamOneFigh
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Our rate of change needs to increase. We must move with a sense of urgency today in order to rise to the challenges of to…
Twitter
.@AETCommand is working to remove barriers in the pilot candidate selection process. Learn more about the changes… https://t.co/ANcqVRdsNz
Twitter
.@UnderSecAF Gina Ortiz Jones spoke on the anniversary of DADT... https://t.co/zZYqHOTp8V
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: "We are in a national, strategic, long-term contest with a formidable adversary and what you do every day is important t…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,377,639
Follow Us