ENERGY: Clearly a mission-essential resource Published Oct. 1, 2014 By Col. Shawn Fairhurst 45th Space Wing Vice Commander PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- As you are probably aware, October is "Energy Awareness Month," and a time for us to foot-stomp how vital energy is to our national security and to our environmental well-being, now and in the years to come. This year's theme, "I am Air Force Energy," places all Airmen squarely at the center of the annual campaign. The Air Force Civil Engineering Center (AFCEC) explains that this year's goal is "to inspire the total force to be more efficient so they can give the Air Force an assured energy advantage in air, space, and cyberspace." Well, I am proud to say that here at the 45th Space Wing, we are way ahead of the power curve when it comes to finding innovative (one of our three main priorities) - and successful - ways of saving both energy and hard-to-come-by resources. Here are a few examples of our successes of how we are making a difference: - In Fiscal Year 2014, the 45th Space Wing reduced water consumption by more than 67 million gallons over FY 13, which saved $187,000. - We completed a project at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, connecting 22 facilities to our Energy Management Control System, which will save us more than $143,000 annually. - We are replacing generators at Ascension Air Station. These new generators are more efficient, generating more KWh per gallon, than the current generators. We estimate we will save $770,000 in fuel costs annually. - On Ascension we are working to replace four small wind turbine generators. Once complete, we estimate the 45th Space Wing will save $1 million annually. - We identified more than 500 Energy Conservation Opportunities and Water Conservation Opportunities. To bring these conservation opportunities to life, we are investing over $9 million in improvements across Patrick and Cape Canaveral. Once these projects are complete, we will save more than $1.3 million annually in resources. Here at Patrick-Cape, the men and women of the 45th Civil Engineer Squadron are leading the way. From the major projects above, to the energy saving tips they provide at the office level, their "plan of attack" is producing results! It is clear to me, and to leaders in every corner of the Department of Defense, that saving and conserving energy is a mission-essential task. Energy conservation is a team event, where even the smallest of effort can have big results. So look around your work place and help find additional opportunities, and "please hit the lights on your way out the door!" Thanks for all you do for our Nation, our Air Force and Team Patrick-Cape! Stay Focused and "Embrace Your Sharkness!"