402nd Energy Assurance Office leads energy saving efforts at Robins

  • Published
  • By Joseph Mather
  • 78 Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex is investing resources to increase energy awareness and resiliency at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.

Through the implementation International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, 50001 Energy Management Systems, the 402nd Maintenance Support Group Energy Assurance Office supports continuous energy improvement efforts across the complex.

Designed to support organizations in all sectors, the ISO 50001 standard provides a practical way to improve energy use through an energy management system methodology that structures the continuous improvement process and ensures measurable progress. Like other ISO management system standards, it uses the “Plan-Do-Check-Act” process for continual improvement.

Damon West, 402nd MXSG Energy Assurance Office acting supervisor, said the main goal is to change the cultural mind set at the complex.

“It is a culture change for WR-ALC’s mission,” he said. “Energy is a critical resource for the operations and sustainment of our mission and should be considered on every decision."

The 402nd Energy Assurance Office was established in 2019 to support WR-ALC energy infrastructure upgrades and resiliency, in addition to promoting energy management and efficiency through ISO 50001 implementation.

According to West, when it comes to the WR-ALC ISO 50001: Energy Management System successful implementation, the support and collaboration from the different maintenance groups play a critical role.

“The WR-ALC is composed of many different facilities, processes and equipment that we can only impact with the support of the individual production shops within the maintenance groups,” he said. “They are the custodians of the knowledge and authorization required to enable our continuous improvement efforts. With ISO 50001 policies and procedures, we will initially focus on low cost/no cost energy inefficiencies that will drive the certification in September.”

West said there are greater opportunities that require funds or performance contracts that will support the effort.

“The 402nd Energy Assurance Office also coordinates third-party energy projects between the WR-ALC and the 78th Civil Engineering Group to assist with unity of effort,” he said. “We have developed third-party financing energy contracts for the WR-ALC based on the 2011 Energy Analysis Final Report provided by the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, and the Robins Industrial Energy Plans.”

West said ISO 50001 is only the start.

“We plan to build on our success and implement any other standard that would support our mission and ensure our path to success,” he said. “It’s a WR-ALC effort that imposes a disciplined and rigorous approach to improve energy performance through an energy management system methodology. In addition to driving energy performance improvement, ISO 50001 requires the consideration of energy in everything we do.”

West said his team tries to find ways to save energy across the complex.

“We look for ways to allow the WR-ALC depot maintenance operations to have efficient, effective and reliable energy sources, as well as energy demands/points of use to allow for resilient and energy efficient mission capabilities,” he said. “Energy considerations are made in procurement activities and design activities. Processes are being revised to consider energy as part of the decision making.”

According to West, ISO 50001 is about continuous improvement, and it does that through focal points called Significant Energy Users, which are energy users identified by the organization as having substantial energy consumption and/or considerable potential for improvement.

“The long-term goal is for energy considerations to be integrated into the culture and business processes of the WR-ALC,” he said “We think the Radome and Plastic Shop here at Robins is ideal for energy performance improvements since it creates its own compressed air, chilled water, and operates several ovens that can directly impact the facility’s energy performance.”

West said ISO 50001 is the mechanism we will use to integrate energy awareness and continuous monitoring practices to ensure the success of our mission.

“Reducing energy demand is the first step in creating energy resiliency,” he said. “The more efficient we are with our energy uses the less energy we need, which ultimately makes us more resilient. Continuous energy improvement is a WR-ALC effort, and everyone should be involved.”

According to West, the WR-ALC effort that enables active communication and coordination between process, equipment and facility level personnel will be better able to support depot maintenance efforts when the complex’s workload increases.

“As we make more energy efficient decisions on equipment and designs, and on how we use energy, the investments that are made in the infrastructure and facilities now will show even greater dividends in resiliency and efficiency than we anticipate,” he said.