The Secretary of the Navy, the honorable Ray Mabus, and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, visited the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz for the Navy’s Great Green Fleet demonstration during Rim of the Pacific 2012, July 18.
The Great Green Fleet demonstration is a step towards the Department of the Navy’s goal to reduce consumption of energy, decrease reliance on fossil fuels and significantly increase the use of alternative energy.
Greenert emphasized the importance of the Navy’s biofuel initiative and its importance for the Navy’s future energy plan.
“Biofuel is made with algae, plants and animal fat. We’ll be using a 50-50 mixture of that to show that in fact there is an alternative to petroleum products,” said Greenert. “We’ve got to look for alternative fuels, we’ve got to look for alternative opportunities, and we’ve got to be efficient in energy.”
Nimitz took on more than 180,000 gallons of 50-50 biofuel, a new blend of hydro processed renewable jet (HRJ-5) and aviation (JP-5) fuel July 17, in preparation for the Navy’s Great Green Fleet demonstration.
Mabus spoke about how biofuels are a “drop-in” fuel and will not change operations at all.
“We don’t have to change the operations, and we don’t have to change anything that we are doing,” said Mabus. “The fuel is used in exactly the same way, by the same platforms and by the same engines.”
During an all hands call, Greenert took time to thank the crew of Nimitz and encouraged the crew to continue what they are doing.
“To the crew of the Nimitz I’d like to say thank you very much, you guys are awesome,” said Greenert. “Every time I come aboard a great ship like Nimitz and talk to a great crew, it helps me understand what we’ve got to do and that’s go back to Washington, make sure you are organized, trained and equipped to do the job you need to do.”
For the demonstration, Mabus and Greenert also visited USS Chafee, and USS Princeton to see the biofuel on load and to observe how they will use the fuel on board.
RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise in the series that began in 1971. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 surface ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in the RIMPAC exercise from June 29 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands.
The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans.