09 December 2009

New Air Force Plan Targets Energy

National energy independence took another leap forward with today's rollout of the Air Force Energy Plan. The plan serves as the framework for communicating Air Force energy goals and further expands a culture shift "where Airmen make energy a consideration in everything we do."

"The case for action to reduce our energy consumption and diversify our energy sources is more compelling than ever," states the plan. "Military forces will always be dependent on energy, but we must dramatically reduce the risk to national security associated with our current energy posture."

The Air Force is the largest user of energy in the federal government. The Air Force Energy Plan supports Air Force priorities and provides links to energy goals established by the federal government. It involves energy-focused considerations from initial design and acquisition through effective use of Air Force resources.

"Integrating energy considerations into Air Force operations is not new," said Ms. Debra Walker, currently performing the duties of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Logistics and Environment. "While we have recently developed overarching policy guidance, the Air Force Energy Plan provides us with a foundational, comprehensive plan from which to execute programs."

The plan is written in "...plain English. It explains installation energy requirements, goals and targets," said Ms. Walker. "But these requirements, goals and targets are part of a larger plan that includes acquisition and technology, changing the culture and how we train and indoctrinate people about considering energy in their duties and other matters. It also strongly considers aviation operations."

Colonel Suzanne Johnson, Chief of Policy and Planning, worked on the plan for more than two years. The final product is laid out in four sections: The core document, which gives an overview, and three appendices: Aviation Operations, Infrastructure, and Acquisition.

The desired effect will be achieved through a three-part strategy, which can be applied to any functional area: (1) reduce demand, (2) increase supply--through a variety of alternative and renewable types of energy, and (3) change the culture.

"We are proud of the energy initiatives already implemented by the Air Force," Ms. Walker said. "But this gets an actual, institutionalized, long-range energy plan into 2035. Otherwise, we have no unity of purpose, no unity of effort."

The Air Force Energy Plan was signed by Secretary of the Air Force, Michael Donley.

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