How far would you go to save money at the gas pump? Would you calculate the precise amount of fuel required for the daily commute? Would you remove the air conditioning system, extra seats and other unnecessary weight from your car that lowers MPG? If your gas bill were $4.7 billion per year and rising, you might.
This is exactly what the Air Force is doing to save on staggering fuel costs. Fighter jets aren’t modeled after the Toyota Prius. An F-16 can consume up to 28 gallons per minute, so it’s no surprise that aviation fuel composes 82% of the Air Force’s total energy bill.
Fortunately, the measures taken to reduce military fuel consumption are not yet compromising U.S. national security. A projected savings of up to $58 million annually shows that these immediate efforts are valuable in terms of both cost and environmental efficiency. However, long-term solutions to the underlying issue of foreign oil dependency remain to be determined.
For now, the Air Force is experimenting with a synthetic blend of oil-based fuel and natural gases in order to further reduce oil consumption.
Other nations are affected by global price increase and have responded differently. South Korea’s new policy is particularly concerning. High energy costs may compromise South Korea’s strength by trading in gas-consuming military exercises for the less effective but less expensive simulated version. In an ever-constant position to respond to conflict with North Korea, a weakened military in the South could encourage aggression in the North.