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Improved Efficiency: Reducing Total Ownership Costs and Supporting an Energy-Secure Fleet

Great Green Fleet is next evolution of the Navy’s historic Great White Fleet  
Great Green Fleet is next evolution of the Navy’s historic Great White Fleet (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy)
Energy has a direct impact on warfighting effectiveness and energy security has become a strategic as well as an operational imperative for the world’s navies. Operating in today’s fiscally constrained environment over the next decade magnifies the impact of the U.S. Navy’s dependence on foreign and non-renewable sources of energy.

The Great Green Fleet is next evolution of the Navy’s historic Great White Fleet, a group of naval vessels that sailed around the world between 1907 and 1909. The purpose of the Great White Fleet was principally to showcase capabilities and U.S. Navy Seapower For every $10 increase in the price of a barrel of oil, U.S. Navy annual fuel costs rise by nearly $300 million/x. While the global financial crisis has driven oil prices from record prices set during the summer of 2008, the U.S. Navy has not lost momentum in its efforts to field an energy-secure Fleet of the future, identifying a set of aggressive goals for the service to meet over the next decade.

In October 2010, the CNO outlined a vision of a Navy that values energy as a strategic resource; a Navy that understands how energy security is fundamental to executing mission objectives; and a Navy that is resilient to any potential energy future.
Projected Navy afloat consumption graph  
Projected Navy afloat consumption
As part of these goals, the U.S. Navy plans to demonstrate and deploy a “Great Green Fleet,” comprised of nuclear vessels and surface combatants equipped with hybrid electric drive systems powered by biofuel/x. An integrated approach will be required by the Surface Warfare community to satisfy increasing shipboard power demands and high operational tempo while improving energy efficiency and expanding the adoption of renewable energy sources. PMS 320 efforts directly support strategic imperatives established by the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) and Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) to achieve greater Navy-wide energy security. One of the ways PMS 320 is leading the drive toward reduced energy reform and capitalizing on further reduction in total ownership costs for the U.S. Navy Fleet is through the development and early adoption of energy efficient enabling technologies that mitigate our reliance on fossil fuels. Plans are underway to field new technologies such as hybrid electric drive and energy storage modules, and Advanced Power Generator Module (APGM) that will increase endurance, enhance operational flexibility, and support forward presence while reducing our vulnerability inherent in a long supply line tether.