Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Operational Energy visits Tinker

  • Published
  • By Ron Mullan
  • 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Roberto Guerrero, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for Operational Energy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Energy, visited Tinker Air Force Base Sept. 13.


The Deputy Assistant Secretary was accompanied by two members of his staff, Col. Charles Bulger, director, Energy Analysis Task Force, and Gregory Roberts, chief of Aviation Operations Policy.

The first stop on the tour was the 552nd Air Control Wing to recognize their outstanding support and participation in a Line Oriented Energy Analysis conducted by the Energy Analysis Task Force from April 2015 to March 2016.

“We appreciate the 552nd Air Control Wing’s cooperation and support during our Line Oriented Energy Analysis effort,” said Mr. Guerrero. “Without the support provided by the men and women of the 552nd ACW, who professionally assisted in providing data and background information, the Energy Analysis Task Force could not accomplish its mission of identifying and evaluating energy initiatives across the Air Force to meet Department of Defense and Air Force Strategic Energy goals.”

According to Mr. Guerrero, energy costs consume nearly 8 percent ($8.48 billion) of the Air Force’s annual operating budget. 86 percent of this energy is consumed by aviation (Operational Energy)—a $7.19 billion bill.

“To support the Air Force’s “Optimize Demand” energy priority, we work to enhance operational/combat capabilities while reducing overall demand for aviation fuel by focusing on four Operational Energy Pillars - People, Process, Policy, and Platforms,” said Mr. Guerrero.

The deputy assistant secretary said that the EATF accomplished five scheduled flights, spent one session in the E-3 simulator, and had unrestricted access to Wing leadership, crewmembers, and maintenance personnel during the analysis.

“The EATF identified five operational and sustainment best practices: training range utilization, reduced thrust takeoffs, cruise speed selection, reduced engine taxi-in, and engine compressor wash,”  Mr. Guerrero said.

Also identified were seven implementable primary recommendations that show opportunity for improvements in mission effectiveness as well as costs savings.  These included reducing auxiliary power unit usage, adding a long range cruise data table to the pilot’s aircrew aid, reducing landing fuel weights, refining engine start time procedures, optimizing cruise altitude selection, adding fuel efficiency discussions to the debrief and instituting an efficiency data collection program.

“Our LOEA identified $9.5 million in potential savings due to efficiencies including $4.5 million associated with identified best practices and an additional $5 million from the recommendations,” said Mr. Guerrero. “Although we identified monetary savings, our emphasis rests squarely on the enhanced mission effectiveness associated with operational energy efficiency. The 552nd ACW’s efforts are in line with the Secretary of the Air Force’s “Make Every Dollar Count” campaign. The robust synthetic or distributed mission operations capability sets a high bar for other combat units. Our visit to the Distributed Mission Operations facility further demonstrated the importance of this capability. We applaud the wing’s efforts,” Mr. Guerrero said.

The next stop on the tour was to the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex’s 76th Propulsion Maintenance Group and the Life Cycle Management Center to learn more of how engine upgrades affect performance.

“We’ve been working with various engine system program offices in understanding the impacts of engine upgrades as well as engine overhaul methods on our aircraft. Our hope is to better understand that process and better understand what initiatives they’ve done and look to spread them around the Air Force as well,” said Mr. Guerrero.

“Continuous Process Improvement is vital to the Air Force’s ability to improve operational efficiency,” said Mr. Guerrero. “Improvements in the sustainability, reliability, and capability of our aircraft can have positive OE implications. “My visit to the 76th PMXG was very informative. Their sustainment efforts, across the Air Force’s engine portfolio, not only improves the reliability and capability of the engines but also reduces the fuel consumption of the engines,” Mr. Guerrero said.

To illustrate his point, Mr. Guerrero said that compared to fiscal year 2010, the Air Force has flown six percent fewer flying hours, with 17 percent less fuel, for an improvement of 12 percent fewer gals/hour.

“The Air Force Sustainment Center is a key player in identifying and advancing a wide variety of sustainment initiatives which have positive operational and operational energy impacts,” said Mr. Guerrero. “Small changes in the behavior of our people, the processes they employ, the policies which govern their actions and the performance of the platforms they operate, can generate significant savings to the Air Force.”