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Energy Action Month: AF Academy cadets optimize the future

Members of the cadet Air Force Academy Energy Action Team pose at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo., October 04, 2019.

Members of the cadet Air Force Academy Energy Action Team pose at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo., October 04, 2019. Energy Action Month is recognized every October to highlight the critical role energy plays in Air Force operations, and to encourage smart energy use and management for installations, ground vehicles, and aircraft.

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. --

With Energy Action Month in full swing, cadets at the Air Force Academy are taking the initiative to learn how energy impacts the mission, and what Airmen can do to improve combat capability through optimized operations. Every October, the Air Force recognizes the national campaign as a way to highlight the importance energy plays in daily operations, and showcases ways to build an energy-smart force through innovative technologies, policies, best practices and data solutions.

Eight cadets stepped forward to collaborate with Air Force Operational Energy (SAF/IEN) and launch their own energy action initiatives at the Academy. Their first goal was to better understand defense energy challenges and research solutions currently underway in the Air Force, and actions they could implement at the Academy.

Col. Anne Johnson, SAF/IEN Liaison and an assistant professor of mathematical sciences, is guiding the cadets and informing their initiatives.

“The cadets have been really excited about getting involved in such a critical issue for the Air Force,” she said. “They love the opportunity to make an impact locally and globally, and explore ways to increase capability through energy efficiency.”

The cadet Air Force Academy Energy Action Team has organized several initiatives across campus to promote awareness of Air Force energy initiatives and promote a culture of efficiency and environmental responsibility. Through October, the team will host a number of competitions challenging squadrons to collect recycling, reduce energy consumption in dorms and prevent unnecessary waste in Mitchell Hall, the cadet dining facility. They have also scheduled a visit to the waste management recycling plant in Denver to better understand how cadets can reduce their environmental footprint. .

On the operational energy front, cadets are meeting with Academy professors and subject matter experts to learn how aerodynamics, lift and propulsion, combustion processes and turbine blade sustainment have an impact on aviation fuel efficiency to better inform other cadets of its significance for the global mission. Additionally, they’ve visited the Academy Airfield to learn the fundamentals of optimized operations for combat readiness. 

“We’re working really hard to improve the culture of energy efficiency and sustainability at the Academy and teach cadets better practices for the future,” said Energy Action Month team member Cadet 1st Class Santiago Garcia. “We plan on continuing to work on these initiatives throughout the year.”

For more information about Energy Action Month, visit www.safie.hq.af.mil/EnergyActionMonth for resources and follow the hashtag #EnergyAbleMissionCapable at www.facebook.com/AirForceEnergy and www.twitter.com/AFEnergy.