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The US Air Force says it will slash the use of fossil fuels to reduce the military’s massive carbon footprint.

The Department of the Air Force has announced it will reduce its reliance on fossil fuels as both aviation fuel and as an energy source in a newly-released Climate Action Plan.

The carbon footprint of all branches of the US military is similar to entire countries such as Denmark and Portugal, according to research from Boston University.

“Make no mistake – the department’s mission remains to fly, fight, and win, anytime and anywhere,” said Frank Kendall, Secretary of the Air Force.

“Our mission remains unchanged, but we recognise that the world is facing ongoing and accelerating climate change and we must be prepared to respond, fight, and win in this constantly changing world.”

The plan outlines how the Department of the Air Force expects to maintain air and space dominance in the face of climate risks, including strengthening the climate resilience of airbases, optimising energy use and pursuing alternative energy sources.

As well as seeking alternative energy for its bases and sustainable aviation fuel, the Air Force said it plans to educate both air staff and other workers about the risks of climate change.

The Air Force will also complete a pilot scheme using microreactors, or small nuclear devices, that can power an entire base.

Ed Oshiba, the acting assistant secretary of the Air Force for energy, installations and environment, told NBC News: “I think Russia’s invasion of Ukraine kind of showed us just how fragile our energy supply chain can be, and the impact it can have.

“It underscores the need and the impetus to move forward as fast as we can on finding alternative energy sources.”

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