US Navy promotes alternative fuel during “world’s largest naval drill”

This year’s participants of the international maritime exercise RIMPAC will use about 11.2 million gallons of a 10 percent alternative fuel blend during the exercise, the U.S. Navy said.

USS John C. Stennis Strike Group (JCSSG), also called the Great Green Fleet and the U.S. Navy’s pioneer in fuel efficiency measures, arrived in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii June 28 and 29 to take part in the exercise.

In 2012, the exercise met one of Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus’ five energy goals, to demonstrate a Green Strike Group operating on alternative fuel. U.S. Navy ships and aircraft used 900,000 gallons of a 50-50 blend of renewable diesel and traditional petroleum as a proof of concept.

This year, participating countries will be using the same fuel the John C. Stennis CSG used during the first operational deployment of a GGF strike group.

The alternative fuel that will be used during RIMPAC is derived from waste beef fat from the Midwest. Alternative fuels can be made from animal waste oil, algae, or non-food crops. The fuel must be “drop-in,” requiring no modifications to engines or procedures. Having alternative fuel in the supply chain increases operational flexibility by allowing forces to obtain fuel from more sources worldwide.

JCSSG, also known as the Navy’s first Great Green Fleet (GGF) strike group, consists of USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21 embarked, guided-missile destroyers USS Stockdale (DDG 106), USS ChungHoon (DDG 93), and USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53).

“The strike group has accomplished our mission in 7th Fleet, fulfilling a vital role in a region the U.S. Navy has operated in for a century and a half,” said Rear Adm. Marcus A. Hitchcock, JCSSG commander.

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