Greening the Fleets

By Mike Bryan | August 06, 2012

The greening of the U.S. Navy fleet has had ramifications Down Under as well. In 2014, the U.S. Navy will shore up its presence in Australia by moving ships into the Australian naval base at Darwin. As a result, the Australian navy announced that it would join the green fleet effort and issued the following press release:


Navy Signs Biofuels Pact with US

Friday, 20 July, 2012—The Royal Australian Navy has taken a major step towards “greening” its warships and aircraft with a new agreement that will give it access to technology being developed in the U.S. to enable the massive American fleets to run on biofuels by 2020.

The U.S. has set the target to ensure it can continue to use its armed forces globally as future fuel shortages start to bite and to reduce the military’s environmental footprint. Australian forces have acknowledged they will have to adapt quickly to use the same fuels as the U.S. military so they can continue to work with the Americans on joint operations.

A joint approach on fuels will also be vital as plans progress for increased visits to Australian bases by U.S. warships and aircraft.

The cooperation agreement was signed yesterday aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, off Hawaii, by the RAN’s fleet commander, Rear Admiral Tim Barrett, who is responsible for all navy surface ships, submarines and aircraft. The rear admiral is both a sailor and a pilot.

Rear Admiral Barrett said technological advances would flow from the navy and the Australian Defence Force generally to industry in Australia and the U.S., and Australian forces could benefit from advances made, for example, in Australia’s aviation industry. “That is a critical part. It may well be that the aviation industry allows us to share information on how they do it,” he said. “The U.S. is doing it for all the same reasons that Qantas is doing it. Rear Admiral Barrett flew out to the U.S. carrier on an Australian navy helicopter, which was refuelled aboard the vessel with a biofuel blend. The aircraft was checked out and certified to use the green fuel.

The U.S. wants its forces to be using at least a 50-50 blended biofuel by 2020. Rear Admiral Barrett said the agreement was about being responsible into the future and being able to secure other, sustainable forms of fuel.

“We’re about research, learning what’s being done.” Ideally, Australia could be in the same position on biofuels as the U.S. in 2020, he said. “We are here to learn what we need to do to remain interoperable with them. We’d be mad not to be involved.”



Good on ya Australia!
That’s the way I see it.

Author: Mike Bryan
Chairman, BBI International