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Teaching Schriever to "Protect the Power"


October is Energy Action Month, a national campaign the Air Force participates in to focus on energy savings and promote Airmen to be innovative and aware for the sake of positive energy stewardship. (U.S. Air Force graphic by 2nd Lt. Scarlett Rodriguez)


Each year in October, the Air Force participates in Energy Action Month; a national campaign focusing on energy and water-saving activities.

This year’s theme is “Protecting the Power,” and for the second year of the three-year-program the Air Force has prioritized protecting resources, including its largest user, Airmen.

The Air Force “Protect the Power” campaign serves as a call to action for Schriever Airmen to protect the resources at hand, so the force can sustain power projection.

“When Team Schriever saves on energy and water, the cost decreases,” said Abe Irshid, 50th Civil Engineering Squadron energy manager. “When all Air Force bases do the same, then that savings combined will be invested in innovation and infrastructure.”

The Air Force can evolve into a more sustainable force by building a stronger foundation of energy operational awareness.

The road to a stronger foundation, defined by the Air Force’s four primary energy goals are: reduced demand, increased supply, fostering a culture of awareness and improved resiliency.

Achieving all or one of these goals, can be as simple as being aware when energy savings can occur, and when there is no demand, cutting off unnecessary use.

“For energy and water waste, I look for things like lights being left on in areas where natural light is a suitable substitute, allowing me to shut the overhead lights off in common areas during the day.” said Stephen Cooper, 50th Contracting Squadron quality assurance manage, and Building 210 facility manager. “I check our restrooms for leaking faucets, urinals and commodes.  I also look for manually operated faucets that haven't been shut off completely in an effort to reduce water waste.”

Increasing supply is accomplished by developing renewable and alternative energy sources, a task which requires innovation, while developing an energy-conscious culture stems from consistent training and expectation management.

However, Irshid explained how despite the four primary goals, in the current fiscal climate, any energy savings the Air Force can realize is crucial to the nation and its security.

“Schriever needs energy and water to power mission-critical facilities despite bad planning, bad guys and bad weather,” he said. “Improved resiliency means the ability for Schriever to identify vulnerabilities, such as physical and cyber attacks, or natural disasters; taking steps to address them allows Schriever to anticipate, prepare for and adapt to changing conditions and withstand, respond to and recover rapidly from any energy disruption in the event of a grid outage, natural disaster, or attack.”

These operations and savings only happen when Air Force members are aware of how they consume energy, and take action to use it wisely.  Members can contribute by providing suggestions and by accounting for their personal and their organizations’ use of resources.  

Irshid highlighted the need for everyone to look past the paradigm of how things have operated in the past and create new opportunities to save resources; referencing how Schriever spent more than $7 million last year to power its facilities alone.

“Although October is the official Energy Action Month for the Air Force, our goal is for every Schriever employee, Airman, civilian or contractor, to incorporate energy awareness into his or her daily activities and adopt energy saving habits and work practices that will enable Schriever Air Force Base and the entire Air Force to continue to reduce energy and water consumption,” Irshid said.

All base employees have a role in ensuring the Air Force meets its energy goals in order to fly, fight, and win in air, space and cyberspace.  While efforts to save energy may appear small, when combined with the whole of the base populace, it can make a large impact throughout the Air Force and Department of Defense.  

Everything Airmen do requires energy to sustain; the paper printed or written on, the computers utilized, any increased efficiencies that can be realized can ultimately make an impact.

“Be mindful of your work area, turn lights off when leaving for the day, ensure you turn off faucets after using them and please report any leaks you observe to your facility manager so that individual can either correct the issue, or open a work request for 50 CES to do so,” Cooper said. “Not all things can be viewed as an infinite quantity resource these days, and waste most definitely equates to higher cost for all.”

Over the coming weeks, Irshid advised Airmen to keep an eye out for emails and around base for easy energy-saving tips and tricks everyone can apply to both work and home environments. For example: Did you know the to-go boxes from the Dining Facility can be recycled?

As Airmen, the energy team challenges everyone to make energy a consideration in all they do.  

If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, contact the Energy Team at

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