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U.S. Navy Shifts from Blue to “Green”

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The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Ford (FFG 54) and the U.S. Coast Guard high endurance cutter USCG Rush (WHEC 723) transit the Pacific Ocean as part the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2010 combined task force. Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joseph M. Buliavac

In the Navy, yes – you can sail the seven seas. In the Navy, yes – you can put your mind at ease. And in the Navy, yes – going green is the way to be, at least that’s what Navy officials announced recently.

No, the Village People did not sing about going green in their popular 1979 song “In the Navy,” but going green definitely is on the mind of officials who recently announced the biggest government purchase of “drop-in” biofuel. This substance will be used to replace diesel in jets and ships that are slated to be put to use next summer during the Rim of the Pacific exercise, or RIMPAC.

RIMPAC is the biggest maritime exercise to take place in the world and occurs biennially. A total of 450,000 gallons of biofuel, purchased at $12 million, will be used for ships and jets during the exercise.

The Navy aims to help America to become more independent of foreign oil, which further creates green jobs in the biofuel industry in the United States, thus sparking economic growth. The use of the “drop-in” biofuel is part of a “Green Fleet” demonstration to show that using a 50-50 blend of biofuels is possible.

“The use of fossil fuels is a real threat to national security and the Navy’s ability to protect the nation,” Navy Secretary Ray Maybus said.

The Navy’s goal is to use a similar type of green fuel to give power to a carrier strike group on a deployment of several months by the year 2016. The Navy uses more than 1.26 billion gallons of fuel yearly, so the 450,000 gallons of biofuel essentially is a small percentage of what it actually uses annually.

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