Trying to keep the environment ‘Green’
“We’re testing dozens of ways to take better advantage of energy”
Alongside protecting the skies, the IAF also protects the environment Aside from defending the country’s skies, the IAF also faces another defense front: protecting the environment. After a year dense with activity, IAF environmental official predicts: “One day, the blue force will turn ‘green’”
In our daily lives, it’s quite easy to push environmental issues out of our minds. To waste ‘just a little’ more water in the bath, to cut corners when recycling and to drive our private car instead of utilizing public transportation. “Sometimes we forget that we’re harming ourselves. We’ll have to sleep in this bed we’re making”, smiles Major David Nahlieli, Head of the Environmental Division in the Force. “That same bed whose ozone ‘blanket’ is thickening, and like every thick blanket, it will eventually become hot and stifling”.
Major Nahlieli puts all the cards on the table: The IAF is aware of the environmental damage that its widespread activity creates, and yet is still doing all it can to protect the environment. “It’s not a lie that the engines create air pollution and that fuel can damage ground water”, admits Major Nahlieli. “The question is how to avoid the damage in the first place and how to ensure that what we’re doing won’t hurt future generations”.
Saving Tens of Thousands of Shekels
And how shall we look forward? First and foremost we take care of what is happening here and now, at least on ground. “In the air and in the planes themselves we can’t really change too much in order to help the environment. Like in ground vehicles, the type of fuel is predetermined by the manufacturer. As long as the manufacturer hasn’t chosen to make the move to ‘greener’ and more efficient fuel, we can’t either”.
But lest despair, Major Nahlieli promises that on-ground there are no limits to creative ideas. “Beginning with solutions to purifying sewage water to electronic solutions to saving electricity, we’re testing dozens of ways to take better advantage of energy”. Recycling efforts are also relevant: Throughout the last year, the IAF has saved tens of thousands of shekels just by selling used products. “We’re recycling oils and selling engines and generators that we don’t need. In the past we would’ve sent them for burial in the south, but these days we sell them and even make money from protecting the environment”.
Noise between Two and Four
Like many others, Major Nahlieli is aware of one of the long-term struggles the IAF has been facing for decades: the war on noise. “There’s no doubt that the need to defend the country sometimes exceeds matters of convenience, but even in the noise department we’re beginning to discover solutions and are looking forward”.
The resume of the Environmental Division includes bases and aerial defense batteries that are armed with acoustic walls, and appliances that had been altered to minimize the noise. “In the future, we will replace generators in temporary bases with electric networking”, discloses Major Nahlieli. “That way we will avoid extra noise and bothering the neighbors who sometimes lives a few mere meters away from the gates”.
Major Nahlieli explains that the changes in the environmental sector take time and demand a little patience from all of us. After all-it’s not easy to color a naturally blue force ‘green’.