Energy Forum showcases environmental achievements

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  • By AFPN
Approximately 500 Air Force, government and industry leaders gathered to discuss current and future energy and environmental programs during the service's second annual Energy Forum March 3 here.

The event was divided up into numerous forums with topics ranging from facility energy management to alternative fuels to the possibility of hosting nuclear power plants at Air Force installations in the future.

Representatives from both military and industry organizations sat on panels, facilitating discussion among the attendees.

"(The forum) is an excellent opportunity for industry to meet and talk with senior government officials about one of the most important issues facing the United States military and our great nation," said Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne. "We are exploring how to capitalize on the knowledge and creativity of the industry to develop new energy projects on our bases."

"We've found that we share many of the same challenges (as major industry businesses do) in maintaining our operational or primary mission edge while balancing investment in infrastructure," said Bill Anderson, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics, as well as the Air Force's senior energy executive.

Such similarities made it easy for all participants to compare lessons learned and exchange ideas as to how to incorporate energy and environmentally-sound changes and processes at all organizational levels.

"We are transforming our business processes, infrastructure and technology to enable us to operate our installations within reduced funding levels," Mr. Anderson said.

Many of the Air Force's recent accomplishments regarding energy and the environment were highlighted at the event, such as completing C-17 Globemaster III and B-52 Stratofortress flights on synthetic fuel and flicking the switch on Nellis Air Force Base's solar panel field in Nevada, which is North America's largest solar photovoltaic power system.

"These efforts are the means by which we are meeting the enormous challenges of today and the foreseeable future, and they ultimately enable us to sustain and modernize the world's best air, space and cyberspace force," Mr. Anderson said. "These transformational changes will help us maintain our focus on our Air Force's three overarching priorities: Winning today's fight, taking care of our people and preparing for tomorrow's challenges."