What would you do for $1.5 million?

  • Published
  • By Col. Chris Nowland
  • 71st Flying Training Wing commander
What would you do for $1.5 million? If you watch any of the reality TV shows, you've seen people eat live animals, scheme alliances, sing, dance and cook under pressure. They face bizarre fears and they showcase interesting talents.

Team Vance, we have a chance to win some money, not on a TV show, but in a flat-out competition. It's Vance against 11 other bases. There are three prizes on the table -- $1.5 million, $1 million and $500,000 for the bases that can cut the most energy consumption in the twelve months until July.

It's the Air Education and Training Command Energy Management Incentive Award program, and every Team Vance player counts. We have until June 30 this year to show just how energy-pinching we can be.

Our Civil Engineering folks are seeking ways to make existing thermostat systems more efficient, keep natural gas consumption in check, and design new projects with energy conservation in mind.

But every watt adds up in a hurry. If each of us keeps a careful eye on turning off unused lighting, unused printers, monitors and other equipment and keeping doors shut to the outside temperatures, we could see a huge impact.

History teaches us that big projects take many small, organized efforts. The Egyptian pyramids were not built by a single machine, but by thousands of human hands -- brick by brick, layer by layer.

We're currently in seventh place, but we can do more. Start with your own behavior. Look around your work place and home. What are you using, what are you not? Do this every day. If you are the last person to leave the room, turn off the lights. What about that fan? Your digital picture frame?

Not only can you save energy, but life on your electronics. Then look at the bigger picture. What are the biggest energy hogs in your unit, your flight, your squadron? Leaders, think about all of the behavior and equipment for which you are responsible. What can you change?

Although I know there are some great competitors among us, we are ultimately doing the right thing. Making our Air Force less energy-dependent helps us put money towards other important projects. Team Vance, we have the opportunity to collect $1.5 million to help our base create solutions and meet needs.

Join us. Flicking a switch is much easier than juggling flamethrowers or embarrassing yourself on national television. Besides, I know you have the itch to compete.