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20 Jul 12. The Royal Australian Navy has signed an agreement with the US Navy to explore the increased use of environmentally friendly fuels. Australia’s Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, RAN and the US Secretary for Navy, Ray Mabus, have signed a Statement of Cooperation which recognises the potentially significant benefits research into alternative fuels can bring. It acknowledges the importance of the project, both for the environment and for national security. The RAN’s Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Tim Barrett, AM, CSC, RAN delivered the Statement of Cooperation for the signing ceremony on board the US aircraft carrier USS Nimitz with Secretary Mabus on 19 July. Rear Admiral Barrett said the project had enormous potential. The US Navy is moving towards the general use of a 50/50 blended biofuel product by 2020. The RAN will observe the USN as it further develops the use of alternative fuels in time for a joint deployment in 2016. The ‘Great Green Fleet’ initiative aims to replicate the famous ‘Great White Fleet’ deployment when US ships circumnavigated the globe in 1907.

20 Jul 12. NAVAIR’s fuels team is helping the Navy move closer to its goal of deploying a “fleet of ships powered by biofuels.” The fuels team developed a 50/50 blend of camelina oil and JP-5 jet fuel for aircraft and a 50/50 blend of F-76 petroleum and algae-based biofuel to power the ship engines being used during the biennial Rim of the Pacific, or RIMPAC, exercise. The fuel delivery is part of the Navy’s Great Green Fleet demonstration, which allows the Navy to test, evaluate and demonstrate the cross-platform utility and functionality of advanced biofuels in an operational setting. The Green Strike Group demonstration will use 900,000 gallons of the blend during the exercise. The demonstration is a critical component of the Navy’s Test and Qualification process, said NAVAIR fuels team lead Rick Kamin. The exercise is used for approving fuels produced from renewable sources for inclusion in the Navy’s JP-5 (shipboard aviation fuel) and F-76 (marine diesel fuel) specifications, Kamin said. Begun as an annual exercise in 1971, RIMPAC is a multinational maritime exercise that takes place in and around the Hawaiian Islands. RIMPAC 2012 began June 29 and is scheduled to run through Aug. 3. It features 22 nations, 40 surface ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced five energy goals in 2009 to reduce the Department of Navy’s consumption of energy, decrease its reliance on foreign sources of oil, and significantly increase its use of alternative energy. The purpose of these energy goals is to improve the Navy’s combat capability and to increase its energy security by addressing a significant military vulnerability: dependence on foreign oil. (Source: ASD Network)

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