Straight Talk: Renewable energy and grass cutting

  • Published
  • By Col. Stacy L. Yike
  • 66th Air Base Group commander
Q: Dear Straight Talk: hello, my name is Nicole and I am 13 years old. My house has solar panels and it makes a lot of energy. Today, I realized that Hanscom does not have any solar panels or wind turbines. Why is that? I know that there are a lot of places on Hanscom that are sunny all day and there are areas that get a lot of wind. If you got solar panels or wind turbines you could make a lot of energy. Why does the bass not have any?

A: Dear Nicole: thanks for your question. Saving precious resources and using renewable energy is a very important responsibility. Sometimes it is hard because solar panels and wind turbines can be expensive, so I must be sure that they can provide enough energy for the base. We are working on it though. An expert in renewable energy sources will visit Hanscom to investigate all the renewable energy sources including wind, geothermal, biomass and solar, and then make specific recommendations on follow-up projects. Once we know the best project, then we will make it happen. Just so you know, the Hanscom Civil Engineering team was recently praised by Air Force Materiel Command for being one of the best energy saving bases in the command. We are still doing pretty good, even without the wind turbines. Thanks for doing your part to help save energy!

Q: When are you going to cut the grass?

A: Finally, I have an answer! We will restart the base services efforts on Oct. 12. When you drive into work on that day, you should see the IAP team back out on their tractors cutting the grass. We expect leaves to be falling by then, too, and we are fully scoped to provide the same quality of leaf removal that you saw last year. There will also be snow removal services, but the weather is too nice to start talking winter. We expect it will take about two weeks to return the base to its normal appearance. This will include getting rid of the weeds, trimming back bushes that have encroached on your walkways, street sweeping to remove the litter and the list goes on. Meanwhile, we have five more weeks to go. If you see a place on base that cannot be utilized because of the long grass, please let Chief Taijeron know. He will help vector our volunteers accordingly. Hang in there; we are almost out of the grass.

I loved today's question from a young adult who was looking to make her world a better place and took the time to raise the issue. We all carry that responsibility but, unfortunately, most adults have also learned the phrase, "not in my job jar." Seeking answers is important to our mission--both here at Hanscom and across the Air Force. We owe that effort to our nation who has entrusted us with her defense. We commemorate the events of Sept. 11 this weekend and honor the victims and their families. In their honor, I will recommit myself to making a difference even when it is not in my job jar. Thanks Nicole for reminding me.