US Fleet Forces Command to Host Energy Training Event

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Story Number: NNS140326-15Release Date: 3/26/2014 3:53:00 PM

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist James Davis, U.S. Fleet Forces Command Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) hosted a one-day Fleet Energy Training Forum for more than 400 operational unit-level leaders, March 25, on Naval Station Norfolk.

Featured speakers included Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations and Environment), Dennis McGinn; Commander, USFF, Adm. Bill Gortney; and Rear Adm. Kevin Slates, OPNAV N45 Energy and Environmental Readiness.

The goal of this training was to increase awareness of the need to reduce energy consumption throughout the fleet. Because energy efficiency enhances combat capability, one of the key messages of the event was that the Navy is transitioning from a philosophy of "saving energy if you can" to "saving energy unless you can't."

According to a message from Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, "Energy reform must inform and shape every decision we make during research, development, and procurement of our systems, during training operations, and during daily life aboard ship, on base, and in our homes. It requires the efforts of every Sailor and Marine from the newest seaman recruits and privates to our admirals and generals."

McGinn said it's important that the Navy employ its energy resources in the most efficient manner possible.

"We have to squeeze the most mission readiness out of every gallon, or barrel of fuel," said McGinn. "That doesn't mean we sacrifice quality of life or mission readiness, but we have to get every bit of value out of the liquid fuel we use to power the fleet."

Gortney said one of the challenges for the Navy is projecting what fuel will cost three, five or 10 years in future.

"We've driven our energy use down over the past five or six years. The challenge is, even though we've been able to drive our consumption down and keep our readiness up, the cost of fuel has continued climbing," said Gortney. "We need to get as much readiness as we can for the least cost so that we can stay out in front of the cost of energy."

Gortney said that every Sailor is vital to a successful energy management program.

"We need to change our mindsets ... make a cultural shift and do the same things we do at home, like turning out the lights when we're not using them, so that we're not consuming more energy than we need to."

Other sessions during the event included presentations by representatives of the aviation, surface and submarine type commands, Military Sealift Command, and Naval Expeditionary Combat Command, as well as Naval Air Systems Command and Naval Sea Systems Command.

As part of this event, McGinn presented Secretary of the Navy Energy Awards to six ships.

In the Military Sealift Command category, USNS Robert E. Peary and USNS Grapple were recognized. In the small ship category, the recently decommissioned USS Nicholas was recognized as a "Platinum" award winner. USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Gravely were recognized in the medium ship category, and USS Kearsarge accepted an award for the large ship category. All of these ships are based in Hampton Roads, with the exception of USS Roosevelt which is based at Naval Station Mayport.

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