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AMC continues to ‘power the force—fuel the fight’ for energy efficiency

  • Published
  • By Gen. Ray Johns
  • Commander, Air Mobility Command
"Efficiency promotes effectiveness." That's a creed the Air Mobility Command Fuel Efficiency Office has lived by since its creation in 2008. Since then, they've helped save the Air Force millions of gallons of fuel as well as millions of dollars in the process.

The FEO's motto and its efforts are just a part of what Air Mobility Command Airmen are doing to support energy efficiency and conservation across the command. For fiscal year 2012, the Air Force's motto for energy awareness is, "Power the force - fuel the fight." The Air Force, as well as AMC, is working to instill a culture of energy efficiency among all Airmen and their families. In the end, the effort helps us all.

Changing our culture on energy use as a military force is critical to driving the new ideas and methodologies essential to achieving increased operational efficiency. We've had a good start at AMC and in the Air Force, but we can do more.

We can make efforts similar to those of Lt. Col. Stan Davis, an Air Force Reservist from the 317th Airlift Squadron at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. Davis was a key player in building new approach and descent procedures for aircraft at the joint base where a historic agreement between the Department of Defense and Federal Aviation Administration was made.

The agreement establishes procedures for pilots called Optimized Profile Descent, or OPD, which reduces noises, fuel costs and emissions. Colonel Davis notes, "This new procedure allows pilots to fly descent profiles using (the lowest engine power setting) which reduces the amount of fuel consumed."

The agreement, worked on by Davis went into effect Aug. 25 with new guidelines that establish four dedicated corridors of the airspace around Charleston, to allow any pilot the flexibility to descend at any gross weight on a predetermined track, guided by waypoints.

Davis spent part of two years in C-17 simulators, inputting data from professors at Georgia Tech University into the test. The data gathered from optimized descents in civilian aircraft was then used in C-17 simulator trials to discover the best way to reduce fuel consumption.

Experts from AMC's FEO say specific fuel savings from OPD procedures are hard to determine precisely, but "previous FAA demonstrations at Los Angeles, Miami and Atlanta indicated a fuel savings of approximately 50 gallons or 340 pounds per arrival." Truly this whole effort is efficiency in action.

Also, consider the efforts of Michael Miller at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. Miller, an Energy Management Control Systems operator with the 92nd Civil Engineer Squadron, was awarded the U.S. Federal Energy Management Program's 2011 Federal Energy and Water Management Award for Exceptional Service earlier in 2011.

Fairchild leaders say that over the past 20 years, Miller has led and overseen the installation and operation of three Energy Management Control Systems. His projects will accrue total lifetime savings of 1,326,000 British Thermal Units, $7.9 million in cost savings and avoid emissions of 70,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. A truly magnificent success!

One more mobility Airman, Staff Sgt. Daniel Morrison of the 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Travis AFB, Calif., was also a key player in saving energy in AMC when he implemented an energy conservation plan for his unit's facility that saved more than $1,000 a month.

After seeing the amount of energy his building was using, Morrison and his fellow maintenance Airmen turned off 50 percent of the aircraft hangar lights that typically remain on. Eventually, his unit "saved enough energy in one month to power another facility of similar size." Before the energy conservation plan was implemented, the monitors displayed 30 kilowatt hours of energy being used. After one month, they read 11 to 15 kilowatt hours.

Just like those AMC energy savings leaders at Charleston, Fairchild and Travis, there are people throughout the mobility family doing great things every day to help our command. As we continue down the path of energy conservation and efficiency, I ask that each and every person in AMC to continue to find ways to further this effort.

During October Energy Awareness Month, please make an extra effort to look into saving energy and becoming more efficient in your home and workplace. Do your part to "power the force" with less energy, and continue to "fuel the fight" with new ideas for energy conservation. Together through this effort we will be even more efficient while maintaining our unrivaled effectiveness, ready to answer the call of others anywhere in the world.