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Schriever leader earns FEMP award


Shown is the new commercial power substation (left), and the outdated Coal Handling Processing Plant (now decommissioned, center), at Clear Air Force Station, Alaska. Replacing the CHPP with an updated and more cost-effective energy source was one of the main focuses for the energy conservation investment project. (Courtesy Photo)


Lt. Col. Jason Burch earned the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program’s Federal Energy and Water Management award for helping with the energy conservation investment project during his time as the 13th Space Warning Squadron commander at Clear Air Force Station, Alaska. (Courtesy Photo)



Lt. Col. Jason Burch, 13th Space Warning Squadron commander, along with other members of the Clear Air Force Station, Alaska, energy conservation investment project team, recently earned the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program’s Federal Energy and Water Management award.

The FEMP award is designated for individuals and installations that provided outstanding contributions to energy efficiency, water conservation and the use of renewable energy technology.

Burch, currently the 50th Network Operations Group deputy commander, and other ECIP team members earned the award for project of the year – one of six FEMP awards the Air Force received.

“I am humbled and honored to have won the award alongside a tremendous civil engineering team,” Burch said. “I am excited that the team was recognized for their tremendous efforts.”

The ECIP project was a joint effort to deliver energy assurance for the station, adding a local grid powered heat plant and a newly constructed power station. The team replaced a 53-year old coal-powered plant on site; saving the station and the Air Force from the archaic plant’s high operational costs.

"The plant's operational costs were unsustainable," said Col. Scott Warner, Pacific division chief for the Air Force Civil Engineer Center Facility Engineering directorate, in an Energy Express article – a publication of AFCEC. "We worked with the base to find a cost-effective solution to enhance base resiliency through energy assurance."


The ECIP provided critical backup capabilities to the remote station, assuring mission continuity and infrastructure preservation.


The project, which began in June 2014, involved a myriad of agencies.


“It was a team effort,” Burch said. “Including numerous AFSPC (Air Force Space Command) offices and 21st Space Wing units, the Air Force Civil Engineering Center, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and last but not least, Clear AFS military, DoD civilian personnel and contractors.”

The massive effort saved the Air Force an estimated $2.6 million in fiscal year 2016 and is projected to save an additional $1.9 million each year after – the $23.5 million project will pay for itself in savings within years.

The project faced many difficulties - most attributed to Clear AFS’s remote location which did not provide optimal climate for construction.

“The construction window in Alaska is narrow,” said Maj. James Fitzgerald, project engineer for USACE- Alaska District, in the AFCEC article. "Digging through snow and frozen ground isn't feasible, and delays drive up project costs. We banded together to tackle obstacles and stay on schedule."


Burch’s and numerous ECIP member’s efforts will be formally recognized during an award ceremony in Washington D.C.


“The ECIP military construction and CHPP decommissioning was an overwhelming success marking a historic installation transformation,” he said.

The link to the sourced article can be found here

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