News | Aug. 22, 2016

Statement of Cooperation Signing in Australia Aims to Advance Biofuels

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Hendrick Simoes, U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

A statement of cooperation between the U.S. Navy and the northeastern state of Queensland was the culmination of a week of Great Green Fleet events in Australia to promote the Navy's energy efficiency and alternative energy initiatives.  

Queensland's Premiere Annastacia Palaszczuk and U.S. Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy for Management Thomas Hicks signed a Statement of Cooperation to work together in support of projects that advance shared interests in alternative fuel development, Aug 17.  

Both officials signed the Statement of Cooperation shortly after meeting and discussing energy security and the Great Green Fleet initiative.   

The signing "memorializes" several years of progress and "what's to come," Hicks told reporters immediately after the signing at the Parliament House. "That's what's most exciting for us, is how these fuels that are developed here can be used not only for ourselves, but in private industry as well."  

The document spells out a commitment for the U.S. Navy and Queensland to hold discussions on the research, development, supply and sale of alternative fuels, which can improve operational flexibility and increase energy security. The Statement of Cooperation is not a legally binding commitment and does not create a legal relationship between the U.S. Navy and Queensland.   

"We look forward to what the future holds in working together as we go forward," Hicks said.  

Earlier in the week, Hicks called the Great Green Fleet initiative "the new normal" in his remarks to Royal Australian Navy officials and industry representatives at an event aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) Aug. 15, while the ship was conducting a port visit in Sydney to promote the Great Green Fleet initiative. Additionally, Stethem held a roundtable aboard for eight professionals working in the clean energy sector, and sent personnel to speak to roughly 40 high school students at the Powerhouse Museum, a major branch of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney, about how the U.S. Navy is transforming its energy use to increase combat capability. The visit coincided with National Science Week in Australia.  

During Hicks' five-day visit to Australia, he also met with high-ranking Royal Australian Navy officials, the U.S. ambassador, industry leaders, academia, and caucus members at the Queensland Parliament to highlight the U.S. Navy's commitment to alternative energy and energy efficiency measures, learn about new developments in the alternative fuels industry in Australia, and to urge greater research on the benefits of alternative fuel.   

The yearlong Great Green Fleet initiative deployed in early 2016 to highlight how energy efficient technology and procedures and alternative energy can provide increased combat capability and flexibility in an operational environment - essentially enabling U.S. Navy ships to go farther, stay longer and deliver more firepower.   

Many U.S. Navy ships operating in the Pacific Ocean this year have been powered by an alternative fuel blend containing 10 percent advanced biofuel derived from beef tallow provided by Midwest farmers. The blend requires no changes to engine modifications or operational procedures, is cost-competitive with traditional fuel, and was purchased from a California-based producer as part of the Defense Logistics Agency's normal bulk fuel procurement process.

Editor's note: The original story can be viewed on the Commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet website.