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Air Force Operational Energy


Winning the fight through logistics

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, Roberto Guerrero, visited Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, May 7, 2023. The visit provided Guerrero a better understanding of the processes and technologies that Airmen use on a day-to-day basis, and helped identify obstacles associated with everyday logistical tasks which are vital to combat mission accomplishment.

“We’re here to understand the processes and technologies to make ourselves more effective in executing the mission,” said Guerrero.

Mobility wings win $1.8 million in mission execution awards and rebates

Active duty C-17 Globemaster III units from Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, and Travis Air Force Base, California, will receive over $1.8 million in rebates and awards as part of the Mission Execution Excellence Program, a new incentive program led by Air Force Operational Energy to enhance mission execution through more frequent use of operational ‘best practices.’

Working directly with aircrew, MEEP helps to streamline sorties and increase aircraft range and capability by incentivizing optimized flying through monetary rebates and awards provided directly to participating wings.

Aerodynamic technologies for mobility aircraft promise high-return on investment

aerodynamic devices on the aft end of the aircraft

As part of its effort to increase readiness and capability, the Air Force is working to introduce aerodynamic technologies on mobility aircraft to improve airflow, reduce maintenance issues, increase payload capability, and decrease fuel demand. Air Mobility Command, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and Air Force Operational Energy have partnered with commercial vendors to research, design, test, and certify a number of these innovations into the mobility fleet, including the KC-135 Stratotanker, C-17 Globemaster III, and C-130 Hercules. Each initiative is at various phases of development and transition, gaining momentum with the influx of funding from the Fiscal Year 2022 Presidential Budget.

Department of the Air Force rolls out plan addressing climate change

Climate Action Plan

The Department of the Air Force released its Climate Action Plan Oct. 4, which defines how it will preserve operational capability, increase resiliency, and do its part to help mitigate future climate impacts through specific and measurable objectives and key results. It lays out its enterprise-wide approach to ensuring policies, technology innovation, and evolving operations remain relevant in a changing climate.

Department of the Air Force recognizes Energy Action Month

Energy Action Month: Powering Possibility

In recognition of Energy Action Month, the Department of the Air Force is showcasing energy’s essential role in assuring combat capability and readiness and the importance of developing energy solutions that bolster resilience in the face of climate change.

This year, the DAF launched a new three-year theme, “Powering Possibility,” which highlights the Department’s forward-looking approach to energy innovation and powering the future force. Complex challenges including a competitive operating environment, accelerating climate change, adversarial cyber threats, and a changing geopolitical landscape all threaten critical DAF infrastructure, energy, and power supplies. As such, the DAF must be proactive in exploring the possible to find safe, reliable, and efficient energy solutions that bolster our ability to fight and win in a changing world.

'Ride-alongs' improve TACC flight manager and aircrew collaboration

mobility aircraft on a flight line

Flight managers from the 618th Air Operations Center, or Tanker Airlift Control Center, at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, are now able to participate in ‘ride-along’ flights on mobility aircraft to observe firsthand how pilots and aircrew conduct operations in the sky.

The program’s goal is to create a feedback loop and a shared perspective to help improve collaboration between flight managers and aircrew, while also streamlining operations and improving mission effectiveness.

Airmen innovation helps optimize cargo loading with simple technology

prototype of vertical pallet stacker with cargo in it

In partnership with Air Mobility Command, Air Force Research Laboratory, and Air Force Operational Energy, Airmen are conducting operational testing on prototypes of the Vertical Pallet Stacker for multiple mobility aircraft to enable more optimized and effective cargo-loading and transport per pound of fuel used.

Originally developed by the now-defunct Air Expeditionary Force Battlelab at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, and currently managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Vertical Pallet Stacker (previously known as the Bi-Level Airlift Loading System) significantly increases the amount of cargo a mobility aircraft can move at one time.

Designed and certified for C-17 Globemaster III, C-5 Galaxy, and C-130 Hercules use, the VPS is an aluminum frame that provides a second level of storage on top of a standard cargo pallet, enabling up to 3,000 pounds of cargo per pallet space to be placed on the top pallet.

Air Force Operational Energy has a breakthrough year

mobility aircraft during aerial refuel

2021 proved to be a pivotal year for Air Force Operational Energy as programs received unprecedented support – enabling many long-hoped-for initiatives to get the greenlight and progress to the next stage of development.

“A tremendous amount of effort has led up to this year when we were able to secure funding for operational energy efficiency programs vital to the future of the Air Force,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Air Force Operational Energy, Roberto Guerrero. “These initiatives make a lot of sense. They improve our capability, reduce our costs, mitigate our fuel logistics supply risks, and increase readiness and lethality. They also support the administration's focus on climate,” he continued. “We hope this spurs even more interest in optimizing the Air Force through operational energy initiatives.”

Incentivizing Optimized Flying

C-17 aircraft on flight line with logo for MEEP

As part of its effort to streamline operations and increase aircraft range and capability, the Department of the Air Force launched the pilot Mission Execution Excellence Program to incentivize optimized flying on aircraft that consume the most fuel across the enterprise.

MEEP will encourage Airmen to increase their use of efficient flying ‘best practices,’ which will not impact their mission and training requirements, through direct and indirect incentives.  

The pilot phase will focus primarily on C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, the largest Air Force fuel consumers, at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, and Travis Air Force Base, California, and will be active now through December 2022. MEEP will mainly work with pilots and operations planners, as well as maintainers and logisticians, and will leverage Airman innovation to integrate improved techniques and best practices into their day-to-day operations.

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DAF Climate Action Plan


photo of Roberto Guerrero
Mr. Roberto Guerrero
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Operational Energy