Hybrid Lands At U.S. Air Base In Germany

The U.S. Air Force is beginning to use hybrid vehicles at the Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany, a move that inches the service toward ambitious goals to reduce petroleum use and greenhouse-gas emissions while also connecting with the environmentally aware German public.  Like they say – when in Germany, do as the Germans do.

“The 52nd Fighter Wing isn’t something that comes here and visits – we’ve been here between Bitburg and Spangdahlem for 50 years,” Col. Christopher Weggeman said. “This demonstrates we’re culturally competent, and we’re in step with our German host nation. They are a nation that is further along in terms of embracing environmental stewardship.”

U.S. Air Force, hybrids at air base in Germany

image via U.S. Air Force

All the branches of the U.S. military have been stepping up their energy efficiency and renewables programs, often characterizing the issue as one of enhancing combat capability and ensuring mission readiness. An executive order is pushing the services to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 34 percent by 2020, and trim petroleum use by 20 percent by 2015.

In its Spangdahlem announcement the Air Force didn’t say what hybrid had been purchased and deployed at the base, but a picture suggested Ford Fusion was the model.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.