Energy Conservation, A Personal Commitment

Col. Gregory Lengyel, 1st Special Operations Wing commander, signs a proclamation declaring October Energy Awareness Month. President George H.W. Bush officially established October as Energy Awareness Month in 1991. Hurlburt Field will be hosting a series of events throughout the month to highlight energy-saving initiatives. (photo courtesy of Marc Barrett)

Col. Gregory Lengyel, 1st Special Operations Wing commander, signs a proclamation declaring October Energy Awareness Month. President George H.W. Bush officially established October as Energy Awareness Month in 1991. Hurlburt Field will be hosting a series of events throughout the month to highlight energy-saving initiatives. (Photo courtesy of Marc Barrett)

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- Energy independence has become a top national priority for the United States. Our national strategy calls for reducing demand and improving efficiency of current energy consumption while increasing development of sustainable domestic energy production. 

Every American consumes energy and, therefore, has a role to play in supporting this national priority. Just as we recognize our individual responsibilities in supporting our varied military missions at Hurlburt Field, so must we also recognize our personal responsibilities to conserve energy. 

Looking back, there have been many opportunities where I could have used energy smarter. As a pilot, I have been personally responsible for burning over 1.1 million gallons of aviation fuel over my career. As a typical American consumer, I have contributed to the estimated 91,000 kilowatt-hours in annual per capita energy consumption that sustains our standard of living. Had our culture driven me to habitually consider energy consumption, I would have undoubtedly made some different choices. 

Looking forward, I have adopted an energy conscious perspective in both my work and personal life. The decisions I make for the Air Force and in my personal life are now made with a purposeful consideration of associated energy impacts. As the Hurlburt Field installation commander, I am challenging every person on base to do the same. 

I have signed an energy proclamation that places renewed emphasis on our personal commitment to energy conservation. The proclamation announces robust changes to our base-wide energy management governance strategy and establishes an energy day to allow us time to deliberately consider how we can improve energy efficiency in our work environment. 

I encourage every member of the Hurlburt Field community to take opportunities to improve individual awareness, assess professional and personal energy needs and identify areas for improved energy management. To help build this new culture of energy consciousness, we have developed an ambitious energy awareness campaign plan that we will implement over the next year. 

Additionally, I have chartered an Energy Management Working Group and have directed the establishment of an energy information network that will reach out to everyone on base. This network will allow us to leverage the ingenuity of our workforce to find new ways to become more energy efficient. The new working group will provide guidance and support to implement new initiatives in unique work place settings and across the entire base. We will highlight the best energy initiatives identified and we will reward the originators through a new energy awareness recognition program. 

Energy is strategic to our mission, our economy and our way of life. In making energy a top national priority, our leaders have initiated an energy declaration of independence for the United States. Every American has the power to make a positive contribution to energy independence. Let us each make a personal commitment to help achieve this national priority.