We've reported a number of times on efforts by the US military to lower the environmental footprint of its operations, most recently how the Navy is researching aviation biofuels in its fighter jets. One step further down that path comes via the Des Moines Register which reports that a memorandum of understanding between the USDA and the Navy has been signed which promises to help it reach its greener fighting goals:Great Green Fleet to Sail by 2016
The first of those is demonstrating a so-called Green Strike Group by 2012 composed of "biofuel-powered nuclear vessels and ships," and then, by 2016 sail it as a "Great Green Fleet" made up of nuclear ships and "surface combatants equipped with hybrid electric alternative power systems running on biofuel." By this point aircraft will be running on biofuels as well.
Half of Navy to Use Alternative Energy Sources by 2020
By 2015, the Navy has established a target of halving its petroleum use in its non-tactical commercial fleet (some 50,000 vehicles) by using hybrid, flex-fuel, and electric vehicles.
By 2020, half of shore-based installation energy requirements from alternative sources of energy, with half also having net-zero energy consumption.
Furthermore by 2020, half of the Navy's energy consumption for ships, aircraft and other vehicles will come from alternative sources.
Kudos For the Effort, Not the Marketing
I have to give the Navy credit where credit is due for embracing alternative energy sources, but perhaps it needs to rethinking the "Great Green Fleet" moniker. It's just so corny I almost can't bear it. Think of just one unintended double entendre: Green, seasickness. Somehow the double meaning of Operation Enduring Freedom comes to mind. Again, great goals, awful name. I suppose the Algae Armada isn't any better...
Here's the MoU should you want to read it: USDA
Look, It's the Green Hornet! Navy to Test Biofuels in F-18 Fighter Jet
Cutting the Fat from the US Defense Budget is Green: Obama Scraps the F-22
Who Uses the Most Energy in the US? The Military.