US Air Force leverages SAF in new climate-change plan
The Department of the Air Force released its Climate Action Plan Oct. 4, which defines how it will preserve operational capability, increase resiliency, and do its part to help mitigate future climate impacts through specific and measurable objectives and key results.
It lays out its enterprise-wide approach to ensuring policies, technology innovation, and evolving operations remain relevant in a changing climate.
“Make no mistake—the department’s mission remains to fly, fight and win, anytime and anywhere,” said Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall. “We are focused on modernization and improving our operational posture relative to our pacing challenge: China. We remain ready to respond and achieve air and space dominance when and where the nation needs us. Our mission remains unchanged, but we recognize that the world is facing ongoing and accelerating climate change and we must be prepared to respond, fight and win in this constantly changing world.”
The plan outlines three major priorities that ensure the Department of the Air Force maintains the ability to operate under a changing climate, preserves operational capability, protects its systems, and contributes toward enhancing climate-change mitigation.
Maintain air and space dominance in the face of climate risks: Invest in climate-ready and resilient infrastructure and facilities so installations are better able to project air and space combat power
Make climate-informed decisions: Develop a climate-informed workforce, integrate security implications of climate change into department strategy, planning, training and operations, and incorporate climate considerations into department requirements, acquisition, logistics, supply-chain processes and wargaming
Optimize energy use and pursue alternative energy sources: Expand operational capability and power projection to support operations globally while simultaneously reducing greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions and adopting cost-competitive alternative energy sources
Under No. 3, the Air Force stated it intends to complete successful pilot of drop-in compatible sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at two operational Air Force locations by fiscal-year 2026 where 10 percent of all purchased aviation fuels consist of SAF blends at the same or less cost than traditional aviation fuel. The pilot project will validate operational, infrastructure, and logistical requirements for blending and quality control in the use of SAF.
The department said it will provide updates as necessary to address new policies, technology innovation and evolving missions that answer emerging climate concerns.