USNS Henry J. Kaiser Delivers Biofuel for RIMPAC’s Great Green Fleet Demo
Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187), will deliver 900,000 gallons of a 50-50 blend of advanced biofuels and traditional petroleum-based fuel to the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) strike group.
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.
This will achieve one of the five energy goals established by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus: to demonstrate a Great Green Fleet in local operations by 2012.
Kaiser is scheduled to deliver 700,000 gallons of hydro-treated renewable diesel fuel, or HRD76, to three ships of the strike group. Kaiser will also deliver 200,000 gallons of hydro-treated renewable aviation fuel, or HRJ5, to Nimitz. Both fuels are a 50-50 blend of traditional petroleum-based fuel and biofuel comprised of a mix of waste cooking oil and algae oil.
Using fuel hoses connected to the two ships moving at tandem at approximately 13 knots, Kaiser will transfer the HRJ5 fuel to Nimitz, and the HRD76 fuel to guided-missile destroyers USS Princeton (CG 59) and destroyers USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) and USS Chaffee (DDG 90), during individual underway replenishments, or unreps.
The biofuel delivery is part of Kaiser’s schedule of logistics support to the multinational forces participating in RIMPAC 2012. Kaiser, along with MSC dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Matthew Perry (T-AKE 9) and MSC fleet replenishment oiler USNS Yukon (T-AO 202), will support RIMPAC throughout the nearly five weeks of the exercise that lasts through early August.
The MSC ships will deliver fuel and supplies to participating ships in a scheduled series of approximately 180 replenishments at sea.
“This is a great opportunity for both my crew and me,” said Kaiser’s civil service master, Capt. Joseph Trogdlen. “MSC’s mission is service to the fleet and that is what RIMPAC is all about. Being able to bring a cutting edge technology like the biofuel to the fleet is an exciting part of a very busy schedule of UNREPS that we are conducting in support of this exercise.”
Held every two years, RIMPAC 2012 is a multinational maritime exercise that takes place in and around the Hawaiian Islands. This year’s RIMPAC exercise is the 23rd in the series, which began as an annual exercise in 1971. 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.
Units from Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia, Singapore and the United States will participate in RIMPAC, along with military personnel from Colombia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Republic of Philippines, Thailand, Tonga and the United Kingdom. Participating forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities during RIMPAC, demonstrating the inherent flexibility of maritime forces.
These capabilities range from disaster relief and maritime security operations, to sea control and complex warfighting that includes amphibious operations, gunnery, missile, anti-submarine, and air defense exercises, as well as counter-piracy, explosive ordnance disposal operations, diving and salvage operations.
“This is just another example of the critical role MSC ships play in supporting significant Navy strategic priorities,” said Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby, commander, Military Sealift Command.
MSC operates approximately 110 non-combatant, civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.
USNS Henry J. Kaiser is currently providing logistical support for RIMPAC.
Naval Today Staff, July 18, 2012; Image: US Navy