SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - Are your electric consumption habits contributing to the issue of national security'

That may appear to be an extreme question for activities as seemingly benign as running an air conditioner around the clock, or leaving lights, televisions and computers on in an empty room. However, your usage at home may be contributing to the high prices that the Department of Defense (DoD) has to pay in order to enable our Soldiers on the frontlines to do their jobs.

U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are using more fuel daily than any other war effort in our nation's history. According to an article printed in the Los Angeles Times, April 26, 2009, titled "Military embraces green energy, for national security reasons," the DoD spent $20 billion on energy in 2008, approximately a 50-percent increase from the previous two years.

The issue is serious enough to garner attention from a consortium of retired three- and four-star generals and admirals - to the point where they produced a report titled "Powering America's Defense: Energy and Risks to National Security" (<a href="http://www.cna.org/nationalsecurity/energy/">www.cna.org/nationalsecurity/energy/</a>), indicating that DoD must figure out how to consume less energy.

In this report by the Center for Naval Analyses, Military Advisory Board, retired U.S. Army Gen. Paul J. Kern stated, "logistics demands for fuel are so significant." He referred to his brigade command in Baghdad in 1991. He said fuel drives tactical planning; demands "determine how you fight."

Kern's account of how critical fuel is to military missions gained more attention when it was revealed in the same Los Angeles Times article that the Army exceeded its 2008 energy budget.

In these times of economic hardship, if we continue to exceed our energy budgets, will DoD be able to provide all the fuel our military forces need to protect our nation' The question for our residents is, are you doing everything you possibly can at home to keep the price of fuel for our Soldiers down'

By taking personal responsibility to reduce your demand in the home, you can do your part in keeping fuel affordable.

Aca,!AcUse air conditioning sparingly. If you choose to use air conditioning, make sure to keep doors and windows closed to maximize efficiency.
Aca,!AcSet your air conditioners to 72 degrees, never lower.
Aca,!AcTurn off air conditioning when you are not home.
Aca,!AcTurn off lights, televisions, computers, stereos and the like, in unoccupied rooms.

Page last updated Fri September 18th, 2009 at 19:32