WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG SEAPOWER / MAY 2016
we have only so many units to be
in different places. Stay time, being
there for longer periods of time, is
Energy is a much more valued
commodity than in the past. The
more we make better use of it —
more spartan use of it — the better
we will be in terms of accomplishing more things, to include the
endurance of our ships and planes
on point. Frankly, that is combat
The first deployment of the
Great Green Fleet in 2012
was to demonstrate, test and
experiment. With regard to the
Great Green Fleet on this current deployment, what are the
CULLOM: Any unit can actually be
a part of that Great Green Fleet if
they are using new technologies,
if they’ve come up with an operational concept by which they want
to operate. So if they are able to
use a certain tanking pattern that
is a little bit different and more
efficient, that is one effort that will
lend them toward operations in
the Great Green Fleet. They can
use different technologies — stern
flaps, variable speed fans, LED
lighting, etc. If they have any combination of three different kinds of
energy initiatives — efficiencies,
operational concepts or alternative
fuels — then they can be a member
of the Great Green Fleet.
One of the goals of this is to continue prototyping,
and experimenting and operating with these fuels.
Today, it is no longer just a test. This is the new normal,
and a key piece of the new normal is not just about the
fuel you use, but how efficiently you can use it.
In some measure, that is why the Great Green Fleet
has started to garner an awful lot of interest at the fleet
and the individual unit and ship levels, because it’s not
just the Stennis Strike Group. That was the kickoff to
it, but it’s actually the entire fleet using different kinds
of fuel and energy-efficient technologies and processes, if they can. Frankly, every carrier strike group uses
an alternative fuel in the form of nuclear power, as
opposed to the conventional fuels.
Now, we know the benefit that that provides us;
we’ve been the beneficiaries of that since Adm. [Hyman
G.] Rickover started us down that path in the late ’50s
and early ’60s. But it’s also about what other things we
can do that will give us greater endurance and time on
station with our ships and units. It’s about changing our
operational concepts, so that we can stay on station longer, we can operate and fly further, and stay on station.
Those are pretty essential things to have in this future
world that we’re in.
And what we’re finding is that we’re not the only ones
thinking this way. It isn’t just the United States Navy.
We have partner navies that are also very keen and very
interested in being a part of a global Great Green Fleet.