The world’s largest international maritime exercise is coming up in June 30: RIMPAC 2016 involves 26 nations, 25,000 people, 45 surface ships, five submarines, and more than 200 aircraft. Rear Admiral John Fuller, Commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific talks about how the Navy implements green technology during this time.
He refers to the Navy initiative as “the Great Green Fleet” and says, “It’s about both energy conservation and use of alternative energy. We will use innovative techniques to demonstrate both how to save energy and how to promote energy security and sustainability.”
Third Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Nora Tyson appointed Rear Admiral Fuller to be Commander of Task Force Energy and Environment during RIMPAC because “we see protecting the environment and exploring renewable energy as critical to our mission,” he adds.
Rear Admiral Fuller describes new innovative weapons systems, such as the joint strike fighter and the rail gun, for example, where energy itself is part of the weapon. “Every gallon of fuel or kilowatt of electricity we save through efficiency is one we can use to go farther, stay longer and deliver more firepower. Better warfighters make better peacekeepers,” he concludes.
Military officials say RIMPAC strengthens partnerships, enhances inter-operability, and improves readiness through realistic training – on, in, and above the sea; and on and over land. They say waters around the Hawaiian Islands provide the most realistic, most relevant, and best training opportunity for the US Navy and other navies.
RIMPAC brings crowds, noise and temporary inconvenience (even sometimes affecting garage door openers) for several weeks, but it also brings prosperity, as well. “There is a $50 million projected economic benefit for the State of Hawaii – with tens of millions of dollars (in the years ahead) in returning visitors. Most importantly, when we train and cooperate and communicate with other nations, we can preserve peace and stability in the Pacific. We thank the people of Hawaii for their understanding and aloha!” says Rear Admiral Fuller.
Rear Admiral Fuller, by the way, recaps his one year anniversary in Hawaii. “It’s been a great year; we have great teams at our two installations: Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands. We also have great teams on each of our surface ships .Our Sailors call this the best homeport in the Navy.”
He alerts us that the USS Chung-Hoon arrives back from deployment in the near future. “Our ships are able to protect the nation because of support we receive here in Hawaii.”
In other Navy news, last year, the world commemorated the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II with Honolulu’s sister city Nagaoka and its spectacular fireworks display. This year, the Navy will participate with the State of Hawaii in commemorating the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.