Keep Energy Awareness a High Priority All Year Around

  • Published
  • By John D. Frost
  • NGB/A7OC
As we wrap‐up the official Energy Awareness Month, let us continue to keep energy awareness a high priority all year around. Keep in mind the theme of "A New Culture: Energy as an Operations Enabler" as you continue accomplishing the mission every day of the year.

The theme depicts how, across the nation, Federal agencies including the Air Force and the Air National Guard continue to change and how this cultural change is positively impacting day to day operations as we stimulate the economy, lower operating expenses, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and achieve long‐term energy and economic security.

Energy impacts all Air Force missions, operations, and organizations. Investments in clean energy technologies are accelerating at an unprecedented pace. Advancements in aircraft fuels, replacement of outdated vehicles with fuel‐efficient hybrid and alternative fueled vehicles, procurement of efficient products (Energy Star®), and investments in "sustainable facilities, infrastructure, and renewable technologies" are reducing energy demand. We, the Air National Guard, must position ourselves to integrate these innovations in technology into the way we operate as we find new ways to "fly and fight" more efficiently.

Although we have other energy consumers such as our aircraft and our vehicle ground fleet, our focus today is energy awareness in your facilities at your installations. Civil Engineering is pouring millions into building "Sustainable Installations" through extensive facility audits, retro‐commissioning, energy saving projects, and energy awareness.

Our challenge is to take these lessons and investments, learn from them and incorporate them, to maximize our efficiency. The Air National Guard requires your leadership to inspire your wings, groups, squadrons and flights to accomplish their missions smarter, faster, better, and cheaper; but we must do this without compromising quality and operations effectiveness and national security.

We are nearly half way through the current energy initiative that began with executive order 13423 in 2007 and which is further supported by Executive Order 13514, sign by President Obama on 5 October 2009. The initiative calls for a 3% per year reduction. The "low hanging fruit" has been picked and it is becoming more challenging to meet the energy goals set for implementation by 2015. Many of our bases are fully engaged, grasping the challenges and opportunities. Now is the time to get behind your Energy Teams and collectively attack this the program.

As last year's theme stated. we must stay on Target, work together as a team, from the Wing
Commanders to the young Airmen, and get the entire Air National Guard engaged in this effort. Air Force Instruction 90‐1701, Energy Management; published 16 July 2009, provides the Wing guidance on developing the Energy Management Steering Group as well as guidance in developing an energy management plan at each of your installations. The Energy Management Steering Group at your installation is your key to enhancing energy awareness, your key in identifying energy initiatives, and your key in meeting the goals of the Air Force and the Air National Guard.

Let's Keep Energy Awareness a High Priority All Year Around

Encourage your unit members at all levels to "think outside the box", and foster environments
that welcome any and all ideas to help attain these mandates. Perhaps you can create some spirited competition amongst your units seeking best ideas, most energy saved and so on. Everyone will be a winner in the end. Plan to celebrate and acknowledge these efforts. If we always do what we always did we will always get what we always got. All of us must shift the paradigms in order for us to achieve our goals.

Time still allows being proactive rather than reactive. Take advantage of that now.
 Plan to benchmark and network with neighboring ANG units, National Guard Bureau,
corporate America, and local utility companies. You should share your successes and
challenges with one another.
 Capitalize on your investments. Get to know your members. The folks that are already on your team.
o What are their backgrounds, education, experience, and interests that may contribute to the energy effort?
o I will make the argument that our ANG traditional members, with their extensive and varied backgrounds, are a huge, un‐tapped collection of extremely valuable assets.
o Here is a case in point: One of our bases was beginning the process to appoint an energy manager. Only then did they learn that one of their traditional members, a SSGT/E‐5, held two masters degrees and was an energy manager for a nationwide corporation in his civilian career.
o You may, and probably do, have very similar situations at your bases.

I've heard many compare our current energy situation to that of waste recycling several years ago. At first, this program was not "popular" with many or even given much consideration. More often than not, the recycling containers sat empty while many recyclables were still being thrown away. Over time, with continued emphasis and re‐emphasis of how important recycling is to do, recycling began to happen more and more. Our behavior and our culture changed.

In the energy arena, we now have another opportunity to change behavior and conserve another precious resource and reduce our exorbitant operating costs. The Air Force Energy Plan represents an institutional shift within the Air Force, whereby energy considerations are embedded across Air Force operational processes. The Vision for the Air Force Energy Plan is "Make Energy a Consideration In All We Do." This vision highlights energy as central to
many interdependent aspects of the mission execution of the Air Force, and the security
of the United States. Energy security is at the nexus of national, environmental, and economic security.

Energy--it is a critical component of Air Force operations. Without jet fuel, the fleet of high
performance aircraft would be grounded. Without heat and fuels, the many installations around the world could not function.

Let's capitalize on this effort and make energy conservation an Operations Enabler.