New Air Force plan targets energy

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Air Force officials here released its new energy plan Dec. 9 to serve 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."

Debra Walker, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, logistics and environment, said "the case for action to reduce our energy consumption and diversify our energy sources is more compelling than ever.

"Military forces will always be dependent on energy, but we must dramatically reduce the risk to national security associated with our current energy posture," she said.

The Air Force is the largest user of energy in the federal government, Ms. Walker said. 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," Ms. Walker said. "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 an easy-to-read style to explain installation energy requirements, goals and targets, Ms. Walker said. "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," she added. "It also strongly considers aviation operations."

Col. Suzanne Johnson, the chief of policy and planning, worked on the plan for more than two years. The final product is laid out in four sections: core document with an overview, and three appendices: aviation operations, infrastructure and acquisition.

The plan calls for a three-part strategy, Colonel Johnson said. The plan provides guidance to Airmen to help reduce demand, increase supply -- through a variety of alternative and renewable types of energy -- and 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."