KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea --
*Editor’s Note: This is the first article in a series designed to highlight innovative efforts, large and small, that are improving infrastructure at Kunsan Air Base. These both save the Air Force money and improve mission readiness for generations of Airmen to come.
The 8th Civil Engineer Squadron has launched its latest project to help Kunsan Air Base take its first steps in becoming more energy efficient and environmentally conscious by rolling out phase one of an infrastructure refresh plan with assistance from the Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC.)
The ESPC, a Department of Defense-wide initiative to assess energy consumption on military installations and make infrastructure more sustainable, has set the groundwork for the 8th CES to modernize facilities with energy saving technology. The first phase of the plan includes installing new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units, Light Emitting Diode (LED) light fixtures, water conservation components, and performing a building envelope assessment on 363 buildings, or 90% of structures on base.
“Part of our commitment to both our Airmen and the mission is making sure that our infrastructure is not only up to date, but exceeding standards in terms of energy conservation,” said Col. John Bosone, 8th Fighter Wing commander. “The Phase One project is a crucial first step to making this happen and giving Wolf Pack members for years to come the quality installation they need to not only maintain, but improve their lethality.”
Along with saving money in energy costs, reducing energy and resource consumption on base is also critical for personnel due to Kunsan AB’s remote location and the need for good stewardship with resources shared by Gunsan City, like water. According to the project leads, every bit of conservation counts in the event that resources are not readily available or where they are running low.
“I think the Air Force understands the importance of energy resiliency and is taking a holistic approach to sustainability,” said 1st. Lt. William Steers, 8th CES officer in charge of energy management. “From larger energy savings contracts to teaching Airmen the importance of not leaving their dorm lights on during the day are examples of how we’re working towards being more efficient at all levels.”
One of the project’s main benefits is that it will continuously save money over time. The new lighting system will include more effective technology like fluorescent and halogen light bulbs that will not have to be replaced often. Once the updates are complete, Kunsan is projected to save more than $1.5 million in energy costs every year.
Phase one of the energy saving updates began in August of this year and are ongoing. The projected completion is scheduled for late November 2020.
For more information about the Energy Savings Performance Contract, please visit: https://www.energy.gov/eere/slsc/energy-savings-performance-contracting