Naval Power and Force Projection

Summer 2017

Military magazines in the United States and Canada, covering Armor and Mobility, focuses on tactical vehicles, C4ISR, Special Operations Forces, latest soldier equipment, shelters, and key DoD programs

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Bogdanowicz: There is a fundamental difference between the Navy's requirements and the rest of the services. We're maritime so our fuel has to meet requirements to be used at sea, which, without getting too technical, means our fuel has to have a higher flash point or the temperature at which you can ignite the fuel with an open flame. Normal jet fuel is 100 degrees; our jet fuel is 140. Normal jet fuel is called JP-8, ours is called JP-5. Nobody else needs JP-5 in the commercial world. So we have a requirement that makes our fuel unique. Contrast that with Air Force jet fuel; they buy Jet-A in Konas, and Jet A-1, the standard stuff that all the airlines use. So the supply chains have evolved to be much more resilient and flexible on the land-based side. Another thing worth mentioning is that in Secretary Mabus's eight years as Secretary of the Navy, his primary emphasis has been on environmental stewardship and strategically moving towards alternative fuel. This line of thought culminated with 2016's Great Green Fleet Initiative, a culmination of work to develop standards for alternative fuels, such as F-76, a new ship propulsion fuel that the Navy has approved as a 50/50 blend, with a 10 percent blend made from alternative feedstock. In this case it was beef tallow. The proof of concept challenge is to take this up to commercial scale and make this work operationally. The other thing that's happened since then is the whole alternative fuel business is reliant upon a relatively high price of crude oil. So, if the crude price goes down globally, it becomes harder and harder economically for companies to make alternatives and make a profit. And so, the hope is that industry gets better over time and the cost curve continues to go down, and then we can make this part of our normal business going forward. The strategic intent is now you've got another way to get petroleum; refined petroleum products besides crude oil. If I have long time scale disruptions in the crude oil market, and I'm a net importer, I've still got a way to operate my military over a period of years even if I'm not getting reliable imports. We're a long way from that, but I think the long term goal is to have a more resilient national security strategy that doesn't leave us reliant upon importing from countries that we may not be able to reliably count on through all the dif- ferent possibilities of conflict. DoD P&E: What are the primary test areas for the F-76 fuel variant? Bogdanowicz: We're testing for a lot of different types of trace metals. The intent is to slowly have a greater and greater percentage of alternative fuel be part of our normal business. The challenging part is, if you're going to spend R&D money to try to increase productivity, it has to be likely enough to produce profitability so that the cost curve comes down quickly or expenditures can make any further investment unviable. I think the point that the Navy's Great Green Fleet effort made is that we can take an alternative fuel and use it for military missions without mission impact. DoD P&E: How is NAVSUP Energy helping Navy facilities better streamline energy usage and movement to accommodate fuel supply needs of the joint DOD? The amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) conducts a refueling at sea with the Henry J. Kaiser-class replenishment oiler USNS Pecos (T-AO 197). Bonhomme Richard is the flagship of it's expeditionary strike group, which is on a routine patrol, operating in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to enhance warfighting readiness and posture forward as a ready-response force for any type of contingency. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Diana Quinlan/Released) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) receives a refueling probe during a replenishment-at-sea with the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198). Ross is forward- deployed to Rota, Spain, conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Released) MEETING FLEET DEMAND MAXIMIZING FUEL EXPEDIENCE www.tacticaldefensemedia.com 24 | NP&FP and DoD P&E | Summer 2017

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