SECAF, deputy energy secretary visit Arizona base

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ashley N. Steffen
  • 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Deputy Energy Secretary Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall visited Davis-Monthan Air Force Base for the first time March 9 to gain firsthand knowledge about the various operations, priorities and capabilities.

The officials also visited to discuss the base’s significant contributions to efficient energy use.

James and Sherwood-Randall toured the base’s solar array, which is made of 57,000 solar panels and provides for 38 percent of the base’s electricity requirements. The solar array reduces base utility costs and offsets traditional energy consumption by using renewable energy.

“This is an example, for our military and for the entire nation, of the important ways we are transferring to clean energy resources to make us less dependent on foreign energy supply and enables us to hit our climate goals so we can keep our planet safe,” Sherwood-Randall said.

Later, James conducted an all call that provided her a chance to meet directly with the Airmen. James also recognized the local community, saying the Defense Department is fortunate to have a community that supports its Airmen.

She went on to emphasize her three main priorities: taking care of people, balancing the readiness of today with modernization of tomorrow, and making every dollar count.

James also discussed the Airman Powered by Innovation program, which is designed to take an idea from one location and spread it across the Air Force, saving money or Airmen’s time.

“Airmen Powered by Innovation is where we take it out to the whole Air Force and say ‘Bring us your ideas.’ You see different ways of doing your jobs, to either save time or money,” James said.

James highlighted Tech. Sgt. Michael Weis, of the 355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, who submitted a change to the A-10 Thunderbolt II guidance that saves money and prevents maintainers from unintentionally damaging aircraft components for A-10 squadrons across active-duty, Guard and Reserve units.

To conclude the visit, James thanked Airmen for their service and answered their questions.