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Commander’s Corner: Save our TDYs, turn down your thermostat

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, New Mexico -- When you turn your thermostat down at work, you wouldn't think the energy that you're saving could translate into more temporary duty assignments for yourself or other Airmen. However, that's exactly the thinking that's taking place at Kirtland and across the Air Force right now.

It's no secret that the Air Force is searching for clever ways to save money, and cutting TDYs is one way we plan on doing it. Conferences for Air Force Materiel Command have already begun to be cut down, and I would suspect that more cuts will be on the way. Even though these conferences could technically be done through teleconferences, nothing is better than face-to-face contact with other Airmen. Does this mean that we are all doomed to never seeing another base while stationed here? That's not likely, but we have to start thinking of ways to save money at Kirtland.

One way we plan on saving money this summer is by simply turning our thermostats a little higher. Chugach will be setting each thermostat one degree higher in each building they control on base. This one degree will save the Air Force $37,000 and translates into big savings for a little change that many of us won't even notice.

We shouldn't stop there. Take a look around your shops and see how many lights you have turned on. How many of these lights are on where nobody is working? How many of these lights remain on all night long? Do these lights really need to be on? If one degree on a thermostat can save $37,000, imagine how much we could save if we simply started to be more conscious about the lights in our buildings.

On top of this, AFMC is also planning on implementing guidance that will put all computer monitors to sleep at 6 p.m. every night. This means even more savings for the Air Force.

Hopefully you have all read the message from Gen. Bruce Carlson, AFMC commander, which I passed through e-mail last week. This message hammered on the point that we have to be on the lookout for any possible way to save money. Saving on energy is a small part of this. Let's keep looking for ways to save the Air Force money, and let's keep our TDYs.