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Earth Day: Taking action for a greener tomorrow

Earth Day 2010 logo  (USAF Graphic)

Earth Day 2010 logo (USAF Graphic)

SAN ANTONIO -- Members of the Air Force family, in uniform and out, will join millions of people across the nation and around the world in observing the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, said the service's assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics.

"We are dedicated to the responsibility of finding solutions which support and enhance our operations while protecting our natural resources," said Terry A. Yonkers. "We recommit to this responsibility by taking action today for a greener tomorrow.

The Air Force has taken aggressive strides in conserving energy and reducing waste to preserve the national security and protect Airmen and their families, Mr. Yonkers said.

"As a Green Power Partner, the Air Force leads the way in finding alternative and renewable energy sources such as wind, biomass and solar energy," he said. "Through energy conservation and energy efficiency initiatives, we continue to work toward reducing usage and cost. We also are identifying opportunities for pollution prevention to minimize adverse effects on air, water and land through initiatives such as base recycling programs and the development of less harmful and more efficient services, products and equipment."

The Air Force is trustee of more than 8 million acres of land, water and air assets including more than 234,000 acres of wetlands, 570,000 acres of forested landscape and 200 miles of preserved coastline. Some 70 threatened and endangered species are found on Air Force real property.

Former Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Thomas D. White was an early visionary for the importance according to environmental officials.

"The mission of the Department of Defense is more than aircraft, guns, and missiles," he said. "Part of the defense job is protecting the land, waters, timber and wildlife, the priceless natural resources that make this great nation of ours worth defending."