Nellis AFB goes green for Earth Day

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Kenia Predoi
  • 99th Civil Engineer Squadron
The first Earth Day occurred April 22, 1970, and was introduced by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. More than 20 million people and thousands of local schools and communities participated in the first Earth Day in the U.S.

Across the Air Force today, installations are taking aggressive strides for a common goal: pollution prevention, enhanced sustainability, waste reduction, innovative "greener" technologies, strategic reuse and recycling of products and materials, and emphasis on renewable energy.

Energy conservation and efficiency programs, as well as the use of alternative and renewable energy sources, are also helping pave the way for a sustainable, "greener" Air Force.

There are many strategies for increasing sustainability: reducing energy consumption, limiting the use of hazardous chemicals and conserving water resources are just a few. While much progress has been made in these areas, Air Force officials emphasize there is always more that can be done, and it takes a concerted effort from all members of the Air Force team.

All Airmen are urged to join in support of Earth Day 2015 and recommit to the Air Force's broader environmental efforts. Nellis Air Force Base has been a leader and an active environmental steward in the Las Vegas valley, implementing water resource management, pollution prevention, and energy saving measures such as:

Heat destratification fans
· A common winter problem is that hot air tends to rise up to the ceiling requiring the heating system to work harder. This problem was solved in a mission critical hanger by installing heat destratification fans which assures hot air is efficiently circulated throughout the space. The project is saving $64,000 per year and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 374 tons per year.

Photo Voltaic Array
· Operation of the 140-acre PV Array produces over 14.2 Megawatts of power, supplying approximately 25 percent of Nellis AFB's annual electrical requirements. A phase II is scheduled for 2015 construction which will produce 17 megawatts. Upon completion Nellis AFB's electrical power will come entirely from solar power when the sun is shining.

Nellis AFB Recycling Center
· Processes 3,400 tons of recyclable material annually.

Retro Commissioning Program
· Adjusts and alters heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and other systems in existing facilities to meet current building requirements in an optimum and efficient manner. Benefits of RCx include: energy savings, increased occupant comfort, improved indoor air quality, and reduced maintenance time. RCx was completed on five facilities reducing greenhouse gasses by 426 tons per year.

High-efficiency boilers
·  Cast aluminum boilers reduce natural gas usage by 30 percent over cast iron boilers and are 95 percent efficient. Boilers saves Nellis AFB a staggering $208,000 annually and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 3,795 tons per year.

Since 1992, Nellis AFB has conducted and participated in an array of activities during Earth Week. In addition, this year will mark the 20th year that Nellis AFB has been designated as a Tree City USA by the Nevada Department of Forestry in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation. The Tree City USA program is a national program that provides the framework for community forestry management and meets four core standards of sound urban management.

The 99th Civil Engineer Squadron invited the Nellis community to participate and attend the following activities in support of Earth Day/Arbor Day:

The Arbor Day proclamation and tree planting ceremony
· Nellis AFB will celebrate the Arbor Day tree planting ceremony at 10 a.m. at the Hunt Housing Community Center April 20.

NDF presentation of Nellis AFB designation as Tree City USA
· Nellis AFB will be recognized for its 21 years in the Tree City USA community. NDF will present the award to Nellis at 10 a.m. on April 20 at the Housing Community Center.

Major General Billy McCoy environmental grove clean up
· The 99th CES coordinated efforts to conduct clean-up and beautification of the environmental grove in recognition of the Master Gardeners. Volunteers worked side-by-side with Master Gardeners, learning about desert gardening from the experts. Clean up efforts are scheduled to take place from 8 to 11 a.m. on April 23.

To capture and highlight the impact of individual efforts across the Air Force, officials will continue to collect and promote personal posts on the "Blue Acts of Green" Facebook page, which was launched in 2012. Airmen and their families are encouraged to commit to perform an act of "green" at home or work to better conserve and manage natural resources and assist the Air Force with its sustainability efforts. Visit the web page at

For additional information on any of the events above, please contact 1st Lt. Kenia Predoi, at 702-679-0433 or by email at