Mission Execution Excellence Program (MEEP): Empowering Fuel Efficiency for Air Force Sustainability

  • Published
  • By SAF/IE Strategic Communication Team

In the ever-evolving landscape of global conflict, readiness and resource optimization are fundamental pillars that define military preparedness. One program the Department of the Air Force initiated to enhance this preparedness is the Mission Execution Excellence Program.

The cornerstone of MEEP is to recognize the critical need to drive cultural change around aviation fuel optimization.  This program stands as a beacon of innovation within the Department of the Air Force. 

MEEP was not designed as a top-down cost-saving mandate; rather, it was established to serve as a driving force to incentivize a cultural shift on fuel usage. Established in 2022, MEEP has laid the groundwork for a transformative journey within the Department of the Air Force. In less than two years, MEEP has swiftly materialized substantial savings. During it’s pilot-year, MEEP savings totaled nearly $3 million within the first five months. This success was only the beginning of the transformative impact. In 2023, MEEP expanded from four to fifteen flying squadrons, accruing savings of over $20 million to-date and significantly reducing fuel consumption by millions of gallons.

MEEP utilizes an incentive-based initiative to foster a cultural revolution that optimizes aviation fuel utilization, particularly in heavy aircraft. This pioneering program encourages energy-efficient practices, offering incentives such as rebates and monetary awards to commend exemplary unit performance. Its primary objective of optimizing aviation fuel usage dovetails seamlessly with the requirements of agile combat employment (ACE) strategies. ACE, a pivotal concept in modern warfare, emphasizes the rapid deployment and sustainment of forces in austere and contested environments. The seamless integration of MEEP's principles with ACE strategies amplifies the Air Force's ability to project power and maintain operational tempo in the Pacific theater and beyond.

In the era of Great Power Competition, where strategic prowess and operational efficiency define superiority, MEEP plays a critical role in amplifying our power.

"Fuel is set to become the margin of victory in the Pacific and beyond," said Dr. Ravi I. Chaudhary, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Energy, Installations, and Environment. "MEEP is not just a program; it is a proactive initiative aimed at cultivating a fuel-efficient mindset instead of waiting for a crisis to happen. It is about preparing ourselves for the challenges that lie ahead and ensuring that we utilize every resource to its fullest potential."

Though still in its formative years, MEEP is already catching the attention of various squadrons within the Department of the Air Force. Flying units have taken notice and are enthusiastic about the potential benefits of this program. MEEP held its second annual awards ceremony at the Airlift/Tanker Association Conference on November 10, 2023, to recognize the top three squadrons in this year’s competition. The 3rd Airlift Squadron from the 436th Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base and the 7th Airlift Squadron from the 62nd Airlift Wing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord tied for first place in the competition. The 301st Airlift Squadron from the 349th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base secured third place, closely following the winners.

“The success of MEEP is based on tailored best practices that we identified through a SAF/IEN led program called the ‘Line Operations Energy Audit,’” said Mr. Roberto Guerrero, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Operational Energy.  “We conducted extensive research with Air Force operational flying squadrons in Air Mobility Command and analyzed procedures adopted by commercial airlines to develop these techniques.  These audits served as the foundational bedrock for identifying the most effective operating practices that are now in use at units participating in MEEP.”

The MEEP competition provides monetary awards to units that execute the mission most efficiently throughout the year. Participating teams in the MEEP program are assessed based on multiple metrics, including accurate fuel planning, implementation of best practices, and advancements in operational energy processes. Although not all teams are presented an award, each team is entitled to rebate money for every sortie where they save fuel.

MEEP’s rebate and award incentives are distributed to wings as Operation & Maintenance money that can be executed at the discretion of wing leadership. Unrestricted by stringent guidelines, the units are encouraged to direct these resources toward purchases that yield operational value to the warfighter, to invest in innovative projects at the wing level, or to allocate the funds to initiatives that directly enhance operational energy.