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McChord does its part to conserve energy, fuel

MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --

Because energy costs are significantly impacting the Air Force's bottom line, Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne stressed energy conservation and his desire to make the Air Force more energy efficient in a recent letter.

"The Air Force has developed a two-pronged energy strategy to attack this problem," Secretary Wynne said. "This strategy of assured domestic supply and aggressive energy conservation will benefit our entire Air Force, but we need all Airmen to do their part."

McChord is doing it's part to help conserve energy, reducing fuel costs by keeping a close eye on each squadron's vehicle fleet, said Henry Eplett, a vehicle control and safety office manager with the 62nd Civil Engineer Squadron.

Mr. Eplett said he makes sure each shop in his squadron gets the correct size truck for the job it is doing.

"The Air Force has a set standard of what they can have," Mr. Eplett said.

By ensuring each organization has the adequate size vehicle for the job, gas isn't being wasted by using a large vehicle to do a small job.

Mr. Eplett said the office is also entertaining the idea of using more golf cart-sized maintenance trucks powered by three cylinder motors. He said the vehicles work well for carting tools around from shop to shop.

Secretary Wynne also said he supports the testing and development of innovative methods of powering ground vehicles with alternative fuels, such as E-85 ethanol, hydrogen and hybrid fuel- cell, electric-power systems.

McChord is ahead of the curve in that area also. Fifteen percent of 62nd CES's vehicle fleet is powered by E-85 and 32 percent is powered by bio-diesel, Mr. Eplett said.

To read Secretary Wynne's letter visit Air Force Link at http://www.af.mil.