Representatives from Air Force Materiel Command’s five centers and the Air Force Research Laboratory gathered at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Oct. 23-25 for AFMC’s Energy Assurance Working Group Summit.
The command holds these summits every six months rotating between its different bases and the “Center of the Aerospace Testing Universe” was chosen as the latest destination.
Also in attendance were representatives from local energy companies such as Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison.
Attendees discussed AFMC’s energy objectives, which include operating bases and resources in an efficient manner while having a resilient energy plan that will not impact the command’s military mission, both now and in the future. Holding the summits at different bases opens up dialogue and can pass along ideas for energy assurance and efficiency across the command.
“They like to go to the AFMC installations so the AFMC Energy Assurance Working Group can learn about energy programs at each location,” said Dr. Rose Broderson, Air Force Test Center Energy Program manager lead. “The 412th (Civil Engineering Group) at Edwards AFB has many energy savings projects and it was the intent of hosting AFMC to showcase some of the energy projects they have completed.”
Along with briefings at the Airman and Family Readiness Center, the group was given tours of several facilities on base highlighting the base’s energy conservation measures and the test mission.
Not only has Edwards AFB undergone numerous energy-saving projects such as installing LED lighting in facilities and using natural gas powered turbines to heat the Oasis Aquatic Center pool, the base also continually conducts testing on aircraft and equipment in order for the Air Force to be more energy efficient.
Examples of such test programs include the testing of a hybrid generator and the use of alternate fuels for aircraft.
“Edwards AFB also has a rich historical test heritage that has withstood the test of time and continues to be on the cutting edge of technology,” Broderson said. “AFMC Summit attendees were happy to see first-hand the energy savings projects and flightline activities which has made EAFB a historical landmark.”
The AFMC Energy Assurance Working Group is the action arm of the command’s Energy Assurance Steering Group, according the AFMC charter. The U.S. Air Force directs every level of command to have an Energy Governance Structure to carry out energy management objectives. Air Force Materiel Command energy objectives are assured supply, improved resiliency and optimized demand. The purpose of these summits are to capitalize on the strengths of each AFMC center by forging partnerships and collaboration in energy assurance objectives.
“Installation energy is a critical mission resource AFMC depends on every day,” said Randall Parker, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Detachment 6 deputy director. “AFMC’s strategic intent is to better manage the emerging risk to mission by improving the operational agility of installation energy systems to achieve a robust, resilient and ready energy posture. The AFMC energy theme of ‘Doing the Right Things for the Right Reasons’ shifted the command’s energy program from an approach rooted solely in the principles of conservation and opportunity to one centered on doing the right things for the mission.”
Parker said the AFMC commander established the EAWG as a cross-functional construct to direct, guide and oversee energy assurance activities across the AFMC enterprise.
“AFMC must remain agile and inclusive in addressing energy challenges that pose a threat to operations. By recognizing and quickly adopting initiatives that increase mission capability through enhanced energy productivity, AFMC can continue to achieve and sustain its mission,” Parker said.
Both Broderson and Parker had positive takeaways from the summit. Broderson said she appreciates all the AFMC, AFTC and industry energy professionals who are continuing to build an energy mindset culture and the summits enable “strong and collaborative partnerships that foster innovation in AFMC’s approach to energy resilience.”
Parker, of AFIMSC Det. 6, which has a large role in managing the AFMC Energy Assurance Steering Group, said sharing the various ways to improve AFMC’s energy assurance posture was constructive and applauded all the mission owners who provided “cross-feed” for innovative approaches to enhance energy assurance.
Getting to visit Edwards was also a bonus.
“I really enjoyed seeing first-hand various energy accomplishments of the Edwards AFB team,” Parker said. “I was especially impressed with the ideas from representatives of the Edwards AFB energy providers: Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric. I’m confident our team will continue to work together to overcome obstacles and gain energy assurance achievements. On a more personal note, it was truly inspiring and exhilarating to tour the Edwards Flight Test Center, flightline and museum and witness the most powerful Air Force on the planet demonstrating its awesome capability complete with sonic booms and see the test aircraft that changed history.”