Sunday, July 31, 2011

DoD Energy Developments in June-July 2011

On 8 June 2011, the international standards certifying body ASTM International announced its approval of the use of hydrotreated renewable jet Jet A-1 fuel in commercial aviation.

On 18 June 2011, a biofuel powered business jet Gulfstream G-450 has for the first time flew over the Atlantic Sea (departed from NJ in the US and landed at the Paris Le Bourget Airport, the site of the Paris Air Show). The aircraft used the 50:50 blend of camelina derived petroleum based jet fuel (produced by Honeywell) powering one of the aircraft’s Rolls-Royce engines.
On 20 June 2011, Solazyme announced that the US Navy demonstrated algal-derived jet fuel in an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter test flight in a 50:50 blend of Solajet HRJ-5 with petroleum derived jet fuel. This marked the first military aircraft to fly on an algal based jet fuel in history. The fuel was provided by Solazyme, Inc based in San Francisco.

In a 7 June 2011 memorandum addressed to the service members and civilians of U.S. Forces Afghanistan Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, wrote “By reducing demand for fuel, we will improve operational capability, reduce risk to our forces and, ultimately, strengthen our security.” “A force that makes better use of fuel will have increased agility, improved resilience against disruption, and more capacity for engaging Afghan partners, particularly at the tactical edge,” he wrote.

A week later (on 14 June 2011) Gen. Petraeus called on his commanders and troops to reduce their energy consumption in Afghanistan. He noted that an energy-efficient force is a more agile and resilient force.
On the same day Petraeus was making his remarks (14 June 2001) the Department of Defense (DoD) has published a document Energy for the Warfighter: Operational Energy Strategy,  by the newly established Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs (ASD(OEPP)). In a DOD News Briefing, Deputy Secretary Lynn and Assistant Secretary Burke presented the main points of the DOD Operational Energy Strategy. (my next post will be on this strategy).

On 7 July 2011, Rear Admiral Phil Cullom, Director of the Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division and architect of Task Force Energy, released a video podcast in which he discusses the nation's fight for independence from foreign oil.



Cullom concludes the podcast with "The more we reduce our energy consumption, the more we perfect alternative and sustainable energy sources, and the more we protect our environment, the sooner we will be an energy secure nation".

On 15 July 2011, Lufthansa became the first airline in the world to incorporate biofuel blend into its operations for commercial flights. This has demonstrated the difference between private sector and government. Remember that the US Air Force had first tested the use of alternative fuels on 19 September 2006 when a B-52 Stratofortress flew on a synthetic fuel, made from a 50-50 blend of traditional crude oil-based fuel and a Fischer-Tropsch fuel derived from natural gas.

On 19 July 2011, during his keynote speech at the Army and Air Force Energy Forum, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III stated that advances in energy technology that increase warfighter capability not only help the Defense Department protect the nation, but also boost the competitiveness of American industry, and raise the nation’s overall energy efficiency.
On 20 July 2011, the DOD Bloggers Roundtable focused on the strategic importance and future direction of Army and Air Force energy. Special guests Deputy Assistant Secretary of Air Force for Energy, Dr. Kevin Geiss and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Army Energy & Sustainability, Mr. Richard Kidd discussed the first ever US Army/Air Force Energy Forum. (Listen it  here)

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