Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187), which is currently providing logistical support for U.S. Pacific Fleet's biennial Rim of the Pacific exercise off Hawaii, will deliver 900,000 gallons of a 50-50 blend of advanced biofuels and traditional petroleum-based fuel July 17 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."
"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.