WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 12 SEAPOWER / MAY 2016
What about the biofuel being used on this
CULLOM: First-generation biofuels had some potential
issues. We have gone beyond that with a 90/10 blend,
second-generation hydrotreated renewable biofuel. You
can mix it with petroleum fuel to whatever percentage
We operated those biofuels in every engine — every
engine — the Navy operates. Whether it’s on a ship, on
a plane, we’ve tested it out. Even in tactical vehicles.
The advantage we have now is that it can mix seamlessly in with the fuel supply. Those renewable fuels
can be used whenever and wherever. The Navy doesn’t
buy fuel. DLA — Defense Logistics Agency — buys it
What is the plan going forward with regard to
use of biofuels for air assets?
CULLOM: By law, we can buy the biofuels for operation-
al use if they’re at a competitive price with other conven-
tional fuels. That is why we were able to buy the 90/10
blend, because it was at a competitive price — $2.05 per
gallon. As you know, the price of fuel has been dropping,
dropping, dropping. It has leveled off recently, but we
were still able to get to a cost-competitive point with
F76, which is the marine diesel fuel that our surface
ships use. My guess is, at some point, we will certainly
get there with JP- 5 [jet fuel] as well. But that’s up to DLA
to work that.
What kinds of savings or efficiencies have we
realized over the course of the use of these
CULLOM: This is the first tranche of operational biofuel that has been purchased, what is out there for Great
Green Fleet in 2016. I don’t think that [savings] is really
the thing to look at right now. What we really need to
consider are the efficiencies, and not because they save
money. If it saves money, great. Wonderful. It’s a better use
of the resource if we save it. That means you will be able
to use it for more operational training time. In this fiscally
constrained environment, that’s a pretty important thing.
Much more important than that is what extra combat capability do you get? We have a saying that has
kind of rocketed around the Navy, which is a different
variant of Einstein’s formula E=MC2. It is “energy and
it’s efficient, spartan use equals more combat capability.” That’s our goal. That’s the use of energy that we
want to get to and that is what permeates every bit of
our energy plan in the United States Navy.