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Contract workers with a company from the state of Illinois drill thermal wells into the ground at the 126th Air Refueling Wing on Scott AFB, Ill.  The Illinois National Guard Wing is expecting to see cost savings in heating and cooling expenses and become more energy efficient when the project is complete. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sergeant Franklin Hayes) (Released)

Contract workers with a company from the state of Illinois drill thermal wells into the ground at the 126th Air Refueling Wing on Scott AFB, Ill. The Illinois National Guard Wing is expecting to see cost savings in heating and cooling expenses and become more energy efficient when the project is complete. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sergeant Franklin Hayes) (Released)

Scott AFB, Ill. -- The 126th Air Refueling Wing (ARW) based at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois Air National Guard, was appropriated a $2.1 million repair project, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to repair its Communications Facility. Federal agencies have been mandated to reduce their green house gas emissions and become more energy efficient.

"This investment will save money and improve energy efficiency at Scott for years to come," said Congressman Jerry Costello (D-IL). "Energy costs are a large expense for our military, and all the services have a great deal of experience in finding ways to reduce energy consumption. Moreover, this fits in well with other regional efforts to improve energy efficiency, create jobs and improve our economy."

The 126th Communications Flight uses this facility for intra-base and inter-base communication efforts. To meet operational demands and specifications, the building has unusual physical feature requirements. One such requirement is an updated heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system. The existing HVAC is 10 years old. A functional change to the facility requires an upgrade. The current HVAC system will be converted to a geothermal system, which will not only upgrade the existing system but will produce an energy savings of approximately 40 percent. The geothermal upgrade will also eliminate the need for a new boiler and chiller for the current system.

"The geothermal system is a valid requirement and a good use of funds for this project," said Maj. Marc Eccher, 126th Civil Engineers Squadron (CES) commander. "The proposal to install this geothermal system coincides with the three pillars of the Air Force Energy Plan 2010 to reduce demand, increase supply and culture change."

The expansion of the geothermal system will help implement the requirements in the Air Force Infrastructure Energy Plan 2010, which calls for reducing facility energy intensity by 3 percent per year based on a 2003 baseline. The target reduction is 30 percent by 2015.

The Air National Guard requires installations that are adequately sized, appropriately configured and energy efficient to support its assigned mission. The 126th CES is required to manage the energy management function of the Illinois Air National guard assets assigned to Scott AFB, including all HVAC systems. This updated geothermal HVAC system will support the 126th's effort to reduce energy intensity as specified in the Air Force Infrastructure Energy Plan 2010.

Please contact Maj. Jennifer Howsare, 126th Public Affairs Office, at 618-222-5761 for further information. For high resolution photographs, please contact the 126th Public Affairs Office via email at 126ARW.PA@ANG.AF.MIL
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