Air Force blue goes green on energy, environment

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Julie Weckerlein
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
Air Force blue wants to leave a greener footprint with more environmentally-sound energy resources, said the service's senior energy executive during testimony to the House of Representative's Armed Services Committee and Readiness Subcommittee Feb. 29 on Capitol Hill.

"The Air Force recognizes that energy and the environment are tightly linked," said William C. "Bill" Anderson, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics.

"Not only have we committed to purchase only alternative energy sources, the Air Force has committed to be a leader in establishing a global consortium to tackle the reduction, capture and reuse of greenhouse gas emissions," Mr. Anderson said.

Rising gas and oil prices have forced Air Force officials to evaluate the service's needs and budget to find ways to save money while maintaining the high-ops tempo of today's war on terrorism, he said. One way Air Force officials have done this is to use synthetic fuel alternatives.

"The Air Force is Defense Department's leading consumer of jet fuel, and 10 percent of the total U.S. jet fuel market," he said. "To meet our jet fuel needs of the future, the Air Force is evaluating domestically-sourced synthetic fuel alternatives. We've certified the B-52 (Stratofortress) to fly on a synthetic fuel blend, and are on track to test and certify the C-17 (Globemaster III), B-1B (Lancer) and F-22 (Raptor) in this fiscal year, with the entire Air Force fleet certified by early 2011."

Mr. Anderson also addressed DOD's goal for environmental restoration in all federal facilities by 2014.

"The Air Force has established an aggressive internal goal to have all clean up remedies in place at all active installations by the end of 2012, two years ahead of current DOD goals," he said. "We are proactively working with the (Environmental Protection Agency) to break the paradigm of the inefficiencies of federal facilities agreements."

These are just a few examples of an over-all change across the service to accept more environmentally-sound resources and practices, Mr. Anderson said.

""The increasing costs of energy and the nation's commitment to reducing its dependence on foreign oil have lead to the development of the Air Force energy strategy -- to reduce demand, increase supply and change the culture within the Air Force so that energy is a consideration in everything we do," he said.