By Brandon Bosworth, Assistant Editor, Ho`okele
Task Force Energy and Environment (TFEE), Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, utilized green “energy” renewable to fuel the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) training held last week on Ford Island as part of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014.
Renewable energy sources were the sole source of power for the HA/DR Logistics Support Area (medical, galley, administration and berthing). Eleven different systems were deployed to generate 329 kilowatt hours per day, which offset diesel fuel use by 37 gallons a day. All power requirements for 400 Sailors were met.
Lt. Cmdr. Robert Franklin, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, said the TFEE’s work on the HA/DR training provided the Navy with an opportunity to work with and learn from other organizations and commands.
“We worked with new partners, including United States Army Pacific, 249th Engineer Battalion, 9th Mission Support Command and Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center,” he said.
“We also had Destroyer Squadron 31 set up an experiment at sea to measure energy savings using fuel efficient platforms. This was truly a team effort,” he added.
Franklin said that the exercise provided an opportunity for the Navy to explore possible maritime applications of new green technology. The Navy’s RIMPAC partners have also expressed interest in TFEE’s initiatives.
“Our international partners may have been more conservative than we have been. I think there’s a lot we can learn and achieve together in the years ahead,” said Capt. Chris Bushnell, commodore of Destroyer Squadron 31.
Chilean Lt. j.g. Matias Fisher, serving on the ship CNS Blanco Encalada (FF 15), said, “For us, saving (fuel) is an important matter — we always have it in mind. While on shore we always use shore supply, and after 5 p.m. we shut off our non-essential electrical equipment.”
As part of RIMPAC 2014, TFEE also intends to advance the Secretary of the Navy’s energy conservation efforts contributing to sailing the Great Green Fleet in 2016, reinforce green energy practices and awareness, optimize energy for improved endurance and sustainability, and integrate international partners.
The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC is a multinational maritime exercise that takes place in and around the Hawaiian Islands and southern California. Twenty-two nations, 49 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in the biennial exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1.