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Energy use: Moving in the right direction

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- October is officially designated as Energy Awareness Month by the Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force. This year's theme, "Energy Solutions ... Fueling the Mission," highlights the importance of energy to our overall mission to "Fly, Fight and Win," and supports our Air Force energy strategy to reduce demand, increase supply, and change the culture. 

The need to reduce our energy consumption while diversifying our energy resources is more compelling than ever as continued pressure on the defense budget, along with the continued demand relative to Middle East operations, has put a focus and a sense of urgency on our need to better manage the built environment and our systems, as well as our operations. 

We must focus on eliminating wasteful use and on improving the efficiencies of our systems. Conservation and efficiency helps address the risk that rising commodity costs represent to Air Force missions. For example, the Air Force fuel bill (including aviation) exceeds $10 million per day and every $10 per barrel increase drives up costs $600 million per year. 

We need to free up our resources so that the war fighters in harm' s way have everything they need to conduct operations. 

The 45th Space Wing spent$32 million on facility energy in Fiscal Year 2008. A 30- percent reduction in energy consumption has the potential to save the base more than $9 million annually. We are currently on track to meet this ambitious goal, thanks to you.
Every month is Energy Awareness Month in the Air Force and at the 45th Space Wing. In your squadrons, during mission planning, in the backshops, and in your homes, focus on how you and your team can more efficiently use energy. 

I encourage everyone in the 45th Space Wing and our mission partners to continue the great work you are doing to reduce our energy consumption. We must continue to reduce our energy demand, identify and increase our domestic energy supply, and make energy a consideration in all we do. 

And hit the lights at the door on your way out.