October is Air Force Energy Action Month.

  • Published
  • By by Christopher Simpson
  • 21st Space Wing Public Affairs
The Air Force Energy Flight Plan of January 2017 clearly states our energy management priorities. They are: 1) Improve Resiliency, 2) Optimize Demand, and 3) Assure Supply.

This year’s Energy Action Month theme is “Protect the Power,” and is in perfect alignment with Air Force Energy Priority 1 – Improve Resiliency.

The 21st Space Wing provides missile warning and space control to unified commanders and combat forces worldwide. Mission partners supported at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station and Peterson AFB including North American Aerospace Defense Command, United States Northern Command, United States Strategic Command, Air Force Space Command, and the U.S Army Space and Missile Defense Command.

21st Space Wing’s Bases and Stations “protect the power” every day, providing our mission partners with the energy they need 24/7/365. We provide Mission Assurance through Energy Assurance.

Cheyenne Mountain AFS is a great example of how the Air Force “protects the power.” The underground complex is a hardened, high altitude electromagnetic pulse protected facility. Under normal conditions, electrical power is provided by Colorado Springs Utilities. In the event of an electric grid disruption, technicians employ sophisticated control systems to sense the disruption, “island” the Mountain’s electric system from the grid, shed non-critical electric loads, transfer critical loads to back-up diesel power, and continue to provide power to mission partners without interruption across the entire spectrum of threats and contingencies. The resilience of Cheyenne Mountain AFS is regularly exercised by simulating grid disruptions, starting the backup generators, and transferring the electrical loads to backup power. The installation continues to be the most reliable, resilient facility/infrastructure grid along the Front Range.

Cheyenne Mountain AFS continues to work toward improving and enhancing energy resiliency. Efficiency and conservation measures support resiliency efforts by reducing the overall power requirement. In 2016, Cheyenne Mountain AFS consumed almost 20 percent less electricity than it consumed in 2003, which equates to increasing the capacity of the Mountain’s fuel storage cave by 20 percent. The reduced consumption is the result of continuing efforts to upgrade old tunnel lighting to LEDs, the replacement of old electric motors and pumps with new premium efficiency models, constantly improving HVAC control systems, and mission operators and support personnel considering energy in everything they do.

Energy Action Month is a great time to consider the role energy plays in enabling the 21st Space Wing to provide missile warning and space control to unified commanders and combat forces worldwide.