U.S. Air Force

Brochure that illustrates how environmental sustainability is integrated into the principles of the Air Force



“Part of the Defense job is protecting the land, water, timber, and wildlife—the priceless natural resources that make this great nation of ours worth defending.”

Although former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Thomas D. White spoke those words more than thirty years ago, the U.S. Air Force remains committed to his vision, and is building one of the most highly regarded conservation programs in the Federal government.

Activities such as weapons system development, testing, and training require large tracts of open ranges. The proper management of endangered plants and animals on those lands ensures access for military purposes. Cooperative agreements with Federal, state, and private organizations address stakeholder concerns by including them in the decision process from the beginning, so that sustained military readiness is achieved while the environment is protected.

The conservation program enhances operational readiness by ensuring compliance with Federal and state laws protecting wetlands, endangered species, historic properties, and archeological sites. Base comprehensive planning activities are also part of the conservation effort. The U.S. Air Force recently enhanced the contribution of its conservation program to military readiness using an ecosystem management approach and emphasizing the conservation of biological diversity.