MCAS Iwakuni celebrates Energy Action Month
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- From training to logistics, on base to the battlefield, energy is vital to the U.S. Marine Corps. On Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, construction of new facilities is in full swing, bringing with it new sources of energy consumption.
The air station is celebrating national Energy Action Month this October to promote energy efficiency and consumption. The Corps is known for forging new paths and using only what they need - energy is no exception.
The goal of Energy Action Month is to raise awareness of energy use, energy ethos and to encourage efficient energy use habits that can be applied throughout the year. Energy ethos is the vision that the efficient use of energy resources is a critical element of mission readiness.
This year, Energy Action Month is aided by new unit energy managers. UEM’s are Marines who act as their units’ points of contact on energy issues. They identify energy waste and engage commanders on energy and water consumption within the unit.
Mark Livengood, engineering technician and UEM for family housing, said his primary responsibility is education and enforcing energy saving actions.
“My duty as the family housing UEM is slightly different than other units with active duty members,” said Livengood. “I deal with station residents in their homes. My challenge is grabbing their attention and convincing them to change habits that they may have never thought twice about.”
As challenging as change may be, Livengood feels he can make a small difference this first year. By encouraging residents to do laundry in the evenings, unplugging cell phone chargers, and keeping A/C units turned up and heaters turned down, residents can develop positive energy and water saving habits.
“Implementing programs that promote energy conservation and installing energy efficient appliances in family housing will take us a long ways towards saving energy and globally reducing our carbon footprint in the long run,” said Livengood.
Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua T. Miller, the facility manager and UEM for the Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department, said AIMD has a large facility with a high energy consumption, but he is making a difference as a UEM.
“I do my best to provide information that promotes ways to save energy and share the Marine Corps energy ethos,” said Miller. “My goal is to make my unit understand how energy conservation translates into money and how that money can be used on materials and equipment to accomplish the air station’s mission.”
The air station adopted the Corps’ “Bases to Battlefield” approach to promote the energy ethos. The ethos directs service members to acquire new energy-saving habits that can be sustained from year to year.
Miller added that his biggest challenge is changing people’s behavior. Energy conservation can only be successful if every individual considers their own responsibility.
Turning off lights, unplugging unused appliances, using window blinds for light and temperature control, shorter showers and turning off computer monitors are all actions station residents can take to develop a more energy efficient lifestyle.
Station officials hope new interests and habits formed during Energy Action Month carry over into long-lasting behaviors, helping accomplish the Marine Corps mission, enhancing energy security and saving utility costs on the air station.