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News | July 26, 2011

Navy Energy and Environmental Leader Tours NAS Jax

By Clark Pierce, Naval Air Station Jacksonville Public Affairs Naval Air Station Jacksonville Public Affairs

Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS Jax) leadership and the station's environmental team welcomed N45 Deputy Director to Jacksonville July 19. 

As the leader of Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division, Mr. John Quinn's visit was packed with briefings and demonstrations that exemplified the station's leading-edge commitment to supporting a vibrant environment.

"In conjunction with its very active airfield and fleet support activities, NAS Jax also maintains a beautiful setting along the St. Johns River. What I'm really impressed with is the attitude of the people; from Rear Adm. Alexander and Capt. Maclay down to pollution prevention and recycling staff," said Quinn. "It seems to me that the culture here, both in terms of energy and environment, is a very savvy, forward-leaning effort that seeks cooperation with civic leaders, regulators and non-governmental organizations."

He continued, "Among the people I've met today, I sense a commitment and an enthusiasm for the jobs they're doing that contribute to the Secretary of the Navy's energy goals. I see people at NAS Jax pulling together at every level toward common, worthwhile objectives."

NAS Jax Commanding Officer Capt. Jeffrey Maclay escorted Quinn to the MH-60R helicopter flight simulator, where they took a virtual flight around the San Diego area. 

"Flight simulation has long been an integral part of naval flight training. It supports combat effectiveness and safety - without putting any petroleum in the fuel tank," said Maclay.

He added, "NAS Jax and the Navy are committed to energy security, energy efficiency and environmental stewardship, including compatible land use. Mr. Quinn's visit exemplifies how leadership support for educating all levels of the Navy is integral to promoting the culture change needed to fully appreciate energy as a strategic resource and an enabler of combat capability."

During the stop at the Air Operations Boat Division, Engineman 1st Class (SW/AW) Jason Nazelrod and Boatswain's Mate 1st Class (SW) Wayne Mayo discussed spill prevention and mediation techniques associated with aircraft fuel, hydraulic fluid and other potential contaminants that could be accidentally discharged into the St. Johns River.

On the flight line at Hangar 1122, Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic (AW) Roy Franklin explained how a new fluid containment pad for Seahawk helicopters makes hot-section engine washes more efficient and environmentally friendly. 

At Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility (FACSFAC) Jacksonville, Quinn was impressed that Right Whale protection was a high priority within its mission to manage airspace, sea space and sub-sea space for America's armed forces, agencies and civilian users. 

"When I asked if tracking whales was a distraction from their mission, the FACSFAC team answered with a resounding 'no, it's an important part of our mission.' That tells me that protecting ocean species as we support warfighters are compatible and sustainable goals," said Quinn.

What is sustainability? Quinn answered that the Environmental Protection Agency defines sustainability as policies and strategies that meet society's present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. He added sustainable development is facilitated by policies that integrate environmental, economic and social values in decision-making.

"People are now thinking in terms of the future and the environmental legacy that we leave to our children and their children," explained Quinn. "It's great to see the synergy of conservation and efficiency projects taking place in the Navy. The new LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified hangars at NAS Jax are great examples of the synergy I'm talking about. LEED buildings realize energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. Again, embracing these types of programs will help achieve the SECNAV's ashore energy goals."

Quinn leads three diverse programs essential to warfighter readiness: (1) the Navy Energy Program promotes energy efficiency in ships, aircraft and shore infrastructure through use of alternative fuels and renewable energy; (2) the Navy Environmental Program ensures protection of the earth's water, land and atmosphere in Navy activities at sea and ashore; and (3) the Navy Encroachment Management Program that preserves access to Navy sea, land and airspace operating areas by promoting compatible land use in proximity to these areas.

Quinn said his office is deeply involved in meeting SECNAV's goal of using a 50-50 blend of biofuel and conventional fuel in the Navy's ships and aircraft by the year 2020. 

"The Navy is moving forward in a big way to encourage new sources of biofuel. The 'Great Green Strike Force' demonstration is scheduled for 2012 and the 'Great Green Fleet' is scheduled to sail in 2016. We're now in the process of certifying every aircraft and ship that currently uses petroleum," stated Quinn.