Energy Savings Means Better Readiness

Speaking at her first public event following her confirmation as the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment, and Energy, Miranda Ballentine declared energy efficiency has a direct impact on two of the three priorities Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James has outlined. Ballentine, the former director of sustainability and renewable energy initiatives at Walmart, told a crowd at Wednesday’s AFA-sponsored, Air Force breakfast in Arlington, Va., that improving service readiness, modernizing the force, and making every dollar count all are directly affected by USAF energy initiatives. “Energy’s role in mission readiness is best looked at through examples,” she said, highlighting USAF’s wind farm initiative at Cape Cod AFS, Mass. Thanks to the installation of wind turbines, the Pave PAWS radars at the station are now powered 50 percent by renewable energy, she noted. Each ground-based early warning radar consumes a massive amount of energy, costing $1.6 million in power each year, but thanks to the now operational turbines some $600,000 a year can now go back into hard-hit readiness accounts, which directly impacts training and flight hour availability across the force.