Stennis Carrier Strike Group Carries Out Exercises


By Debbie Gregory.

Just days after arrival its arrival in the South China Sea, the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group had moved on. While the group’s appearance in the region came during a period of rising tensions, Navy officials have maintained that the ships were in the area for standard operations only.

After just five days, the strike group transited into the Philippine Sea on March 8th, via the Luzon Strait. By March 9th, the group was in the waters south of Japan, and by March 22nd they had reached the waters surrounding the Korean Peninsula.

Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, Stennis is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.

The Stennis Strike Group joined the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and the Republic of Korea Air Force and Navy to participate in Maritime Counter Special Operations Force (MCSOF) exercise, which is part of the annual Foal Eagle (FE16) exercise that wrapped up March 24th.

Other ships, including the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser Antietam and amphibious dock landing ship Ashland, also conducted routine operations within the South China Sea, according to official Navy releases.

I had the honor and the privilege to be a guest on the John C. Stennis as part of the distinguished visitor program.  The program places leaders from all sectors of society – (corporate, civic, government, education, non-profit and service) aboard a deployed carrier. While aboard with the other guests, we were given the opportunity to meet and interact with the talented young men and women who bring these ships to life. They are really the best of the best!

We experienced, first-hand, how the Navy is contributing to the security of the United States, and to the stability of the global community. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

First Vessels in Navy’s Great Green Fleet Launch

green fleet

By Debbie Gregory.

The Great Green Fleet (GGF) is a Department of the Navy initiative that demonstrates the sea service’s efforts to transform its energy use. Carrier Strike Group 3 and its flagship, the nuclear-powered supercarrier USS John C. Stennis, are the first vessels to deploy using alternative fuels.

Named after President Theodore Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced the concept of the GGF seven years ago.

“Diversifying our energy sources arms us with operational flexibility and strengthens our ability to provide presence, turning the tables on those who would use energy as a weapon against us,” Mabus said in a written statement.

The Navy is a leader when it comes to decreasing the U.S. armed forces dependence on fossil fuels. President Obama helped push the goal of curtailing fossil fuel dependence with his 2011 national energy strategy called the Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future.

The shift from fossil fuels to alternative fuels includes nuclear power for the carrier, and a blend of advanced biofuel made from beef fat and traditional petroleum for its escort ships. These biofuels are certified as “drop-in” replacements that require no engine modifications or changes to operational procedures, and can be produced from a variety of sources.

The third-generation drop-in fuel contains much less oxygen than in ethanol and biodiesel, but holds the same energy “density” as petroleum fuels. That means the energy released is equal to its fossil counterparts.

Throughout 2016, other Dept. of Navy platforms including ships, aircraft, amphibious and expeditionary forces, as well as shore installations, will participate in the GGF by using energy efficient systems, operational procedures, and/or alternative fuel during the course of planned mission functions worldwide.

The Navy hopes to have one half of its energy from alternative fuels by 2020

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