USAF Must Strive to Be More Fuel Efficient

The Air Force must continue to be more aware of the ever-growing demand for energy and its fuel efficient methods, said a panel of Air Force energy experts at ASC15. The service spends nearly “$9 billion [a year] on energy,” said Miranda Ballentine, the assistant secretary for installations, environment, and energy on Monday. Of the $9 billion, about $8 billion are spent on jet fuel, she said. Fuel efficiency must be emphasized early on in pilots’ training and schooling, the panelists agreed, to shift a previous generation’s cultural mindset that would encourage jettisoning fuel when in excess. Airmen are already finding ways to save by redesigning air refueling tracts, according to Capt. W. Austin Street, the executive officer to the commander of 9th Air Mobility Wing. By thinking outside the box and cutting back inefficiencies, the wing was able to save $26 million in “long-term savings” a year, said Street. “This isn’t rocket science,” said Ballentine. “That’s just ingenuity as airmen.”