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Air Force doubles awards earned for energy savings

WASHINGTON -- Leading the pack, team-driven excellence and noteworthy individual efforts from Air Force people earned recognition by the U.S. Department of Energy through its annual Federal Energy and Water Management Awards program.

The Air Force captured almost half of the 2011 awards earned by Department of Defense entities, and a quarter of awards overall. In addition, the Air Force more than doubled the combined total it earned for the past two years, three each for 2009 and 2010.

The Air Force took four team and three individual awards this year.

The awards spotlight federal organizations and individuals who make significant contributions to improve energy efficiency and water conservation.

A primary goal of the program is to "recognize and encourage agency staff who are implementing game changing energy and water management practices that support meeting federal energy management goals," according to the DOE.

Air Force team program award winners are:

Air Force Space Command's Vandenberg Energy Conservation Program, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Group members include 2nd Lt. Julian Vaiana, Scott Bly, Bradley King and Pernell Rush. The team saved more than 144 million British thermal units in energy and 336,000 kilo gallons of water through awareness and training programs, building retrofits, and innovative energy management and control systems.

Headquarters Air Combat Command Energy Program, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. Group members include Steve Dumont, Mark Hunt, John McDuffie, William Turnbull and Steven White. The HQ ACC team used a power purchase agreement to acquire a 14.5 megawatt photovoltaic array at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., and installed smaller PV arrays at 14 bases by reusing excess solar panel equipment, expected to yield an estimated 582,536 megawatt hours in renewable energy over their life cycles.

Air Mobility Command Aviation Fuel Efficiency Program, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. Team members include Col. Kevin Trayer, Lt. Col. Michael Lepchenske, Maj. Philip Morrison, Tony Hart and Rick Turcotte. The AMC team saved almost 48 million gallons of fuel in fiscal 2010 through policy changes, innovative data collection methods, and focused culture change across the full spectrum of their operations.

The Energy Efficiency Program, 171st Air Refueling Wing, Pittsburgh International Airport, Pa. 171st ARW team members include Brig. Gen. Roy Uptegraff, Col. David MacMillan and Lt. Col. Jeffrey Jones. The wing saved more than 1.5 million gallons of fuel in fiscal 2010 through leadership involvement, application of innovative tools and focused culture change.

Individual award winners are:

Rose Forbes, Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment, Massachusetts Military Reservation, Cape Cod, Mass. As the lead environmental engineer for AFCEE's Installation Restoration Program at the Massachusetts Military Reservation, Forbes is responsible for planning and initial implementation of an initiative that will result in "100 percent on-site renewable" status for the installation. One of three planned wind turbine generators is online now, and once the additional two go live more than 6,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide greenhouse gas emissions will be eliminated per year. Lifetime cost savings exceeding $68 million are also expected.

Michael Miller, 92nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. As the Energy Management Control System lead operator at Fairchild AFB since 1991, Miller has managed installation and operation of three energy management control systems on 110 buildings, accounting for 12 percent of Fairchild's total decrease in energy intensity between fiscal 2003 and 2010.

Clifford Richardson, 377th Civil Engineer Squadron, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. Mr. Richardson spearheaded implementation of more than $22 million in energy saving performance contracts at Kirtland AFB, saving more than 202 billion Btu per year and reducing energy consumption by almost 10 percent. Richardson also developed a water management plan that will save 62 mega gallons in groundwater annually.

A luncheon to honor awardees is scheduled for Oct. 13 in Washington.

The program is cosponsored by DOE and the Federal Interagency Energy Policy Committee. The awards were created in 1981.