Archives for category: Environmental

Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Justin Johndro
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Abbate

Though Stennis is underway and Sailors are working hard for Composite Training Unit Exercise, the proper management of trash created while out to sea is very important.

Stennis’ sustainable solid waste management goes far beyond the traditional recycling of cans, bottles, plastics and cardboard. It calls on the entire crew to play an active role in sorting trash so Stennis can operate without wasting money or harming the environment.

“Waste management is a work center to help recycle aboard Stennis,” said Machinist’s Mate Fireman Patricia Quick, a waste management technician.

“Recycling protects the environment and it saves the government thousands of dollars by utilizing our own equipment.”

According to Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class (SW) Leo Wright, Waste Management’s leading petty officer, Stennis processes approximately 100,000 lbs of plastic, 300,000 lbs of processed metal and glass, and 200,000 lbs of cardboard per month while out to sea. All of this combined is enough to equal to the weight of approximately 100 elephants.

“I think our Sailors do a great job at doing something that they’re not normally accustomed to in their rate,” said Wright. “It’s not the cleanest job in the Navy nor is it the most desired, but our Sailors work hard to keep Stennis trash free.”

Stennis’ waste management is a work center in Engineering Department’s A-Division. It is made up of six machinist’s mates who act as equipment technicians and leadership, and 20 temporarily assigned duty (TAD) Sailors who act as trash processors in each of the ship’s four waste processing rooms.

“The Sailors that are assigned to waste management work center are solely there to process the ship’s trash,” said Wright. “We post two or three TAD Sailors at each waste room. They stand their trash watch and then are relieved by an incoming watch team. Someone is always at a trash room 24 hours a day.”

Each waste room is designed to accept certain types of trash. Waste room three, located at 1-118-3-Q outboard from the treadmills in hangar bay one, it accepts all metal and glass. Food (also known as pulpables) and plastic can be processed in waste room four located at 2-152-2-Q near the aft mess decks. Waste rooms five and six are located at 1-220-1-Q near the E-5 and above smoke pit.

Waste rooms four and six each have a plastic shredder and three compressed melting units.

“In waste room three there’s a pulper,” said Cruz. “The pulper is like a big garbage disposal, which helps process and break down trash. Metals and glass are shredded, put into a burlap sack and thrown overboard.”

Although it may seem the Navy is polluting, they’re not. What is being thrown overboard is considered biodegradable.

Stennis’ plastics are melted down into plastic discs, similar to a hockey puck but 20 times as large, and are stocked in a tri-wall, a deep, heavy duty box, in hangar bay three. The “pucks” are craned off when Stennis pulls into port and shipped off to be recycled. Food is also processed by a pulper. It is shredded and discharged into the sea.

The incinerator, located in waste room five burns up to 1,200 degrees Celsius and operates with JP-5 fuel to burn paper, rags and small pieces of wood into ash in mere seconds.

“After 16 hours of burning, we secure the incinerator so we can clean out all of the ashes and throw them overboard,” said Cruz.

Cardboard from all departments aboard Stennis is smashed down into a bail located in hangar bay three, banded up and craned off onto the pier to be recycled.

Stennis’ waste management only accepts trash while underway. Sailors should be aware of what is being thrown away so waste management can continue their main focus of processing and recycling ship’s trash without wasting money or harming the environment. For more information, contact waste management at J-6204.


Story and photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Lex T. Wenberg

The Fuel Quality Control Lab of Air Department V-4 Division has a unique and important mission: to ensure that aircraft and utility vehicles have good clean fuel so both the ship and its crew can continue running at peak performance, keeping Stennis in the fight.

“Without the Quality Control Lab, we simply can’t fly,” said Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuel) (AW/ SW) James Reynolds, V-4’s Division Leading Chief Petty Officer.

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuel) 2nd Class David Landivittori, the lab’s work-center supervisor, says the fueling process is not simply a matter of pumping the fuel around the ship. The fuel has to be tested at each stage of the process to ensure proper mixture and to check for unacceptable levels of contaminants such as water.
“There’s always some amount of water in the fuel,” said Landivittori. “But we want to keep the ratio very low. None if possible. Ten parts-per-million is the maximum amount we allow. Any higher and there is risk of ice damage to jet engines because water freezes at high elevations.”

Ice and other contaminants can endanger the mission, personnel and millions of dollars worth of equipment.

“To prevent engine damage, we check that there is the proper amount of Fuel System Icing Inhibitor (FCII) in the fuel,” said Landivittori. FCII is an additive that reduces the likelihood of water remnants freezing and is held at 3 percent minimum.

Water isn’t the only contaminant that can get into the fuel. The lab is the front line defense against minerals from gas lines and tanks.

Another risk the lab helps limit is the danger of early combustion of fuel. They do this by monitoring the flashpoint of the fuel and maintaining it above a certain level.

“We have to ensure that the fuel only burns at a temperature of 140 degrees or higher,” said Landivittori. “It’s actually our biggest concern. We need to make sure that everyone from below decks up to the flight deck is safe.”

Even without an embarked air wing, the Fuels Quality Control Lab sometimes tests hundreds of fuel samples per day.

“Our guys are the best, and I mean that exactly,” said Reynolds. “We received the highest scores ever given on our inspections during this last INSURV. Everyone in fuels is deployment-ready to go.”

In preparation for the arrival of the air wing in a few days, the fuel testing lab will frequently test all the fuel on the ship called “flushing the deck.”

“We have 18 stations and we test samples from each every 24 hours,” said Landivittori. “We also do random tests at all times to ensure purity. We have to put in a lot of effort to make sure everything is ready to go for the air wing. But when the day ends, we go to bed and then we get up the next day and do it all again.”

The Fuels Quality Control Lab always plays an important role in daily operations, but will be crucial to Stennis’ duty of launching mission essential aircraft as a forward deployed carrier during the upcoming deployment.

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kathleen O’Keefe
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Josue Escobosa
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN – The greatest maritime force in the world is gearing up to go green.

The Department of the Navy (DoN) is making plans to significantly reduce its energy dependence on fossil fuels by the year 2020.

“It’s a matter of making sure that when we need those ships at sea, when we need those aircraft in the air, when we need the Marines on the ground, we have the energy produced right here in the United States to do that,” said secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus.

The DoN started making great strides to achieve energy independence last year, testing an F-18 Hornet deemed “The Green Hornet” by Mabus. The supersonic jet performed flight operations on a mixture of gasoline and biofuel derived from camelina, a small mustard seed that can be grown in rotation with wheat in every state.

The Navy’s first hybrid ship, USS Makin Island (LHD 8 ) sailed from Pascagoula, Miss. to San Diego using an electric drive while traveling at speeds of 10 knots or less. This measure saved almost $2 million in fuel costs.

“Over the lifetime of that ship, if fuel prices remain absolutely the same, we will save about a quarter of a billion dollars in fuel,” said Mabus. “We’re prototyping that engine to be retrofitted onto our guided-missile destroyers so that we can begin to move that further out into the fleet.”

The Navy has outlined a series of goals and deadlines in order to make a serious change in energy consumption. The DoN plans for half of the total energy consumption for ships, aircraft, tanks vehicles and shore installation to come from alternative sources.

In addition to the monetary benefits, these new initiatives also provide tactical advantages for Sailors and Marines serving overseas.

“The example I like to use is getting a gallon of gasoline to a Marine front line unit in Afghanistan,” said Mabus. “You have to put that gallon of gasoline on a tanker. You’ve got to take it across the Pacific. You have to put it into a truck and truck it over the Hindu Kush and down through Afghanistan. Now, as you do this, you’ve got to guard it.”

By using alternative energy, Mabus explained that Marines can go back to “what Marines should be doing: fighting, engaging, and helping to rebuild that country.”

Beyond the sea, the DoN is also making an effort to utilize solar energy by awarding contracts to construct solar photovoltaic plants on Navy and Marine Corps installations in the southwestern region of the United States.

SECNAV realizes that these ambitious goals are likely to be met with some degree of hesitance.

“We changed from sail to coal in the 1850s. We changed from coal to oil n the early part of the 20th century. We went to nuclear for our subs and our aircraft carriers in the 1950s,” said Mabus. “Every single time that we made one of those changes, there were people that said you are abandoning one source of proven energy for one that you do not know will work, and by the way, it’s too expensive.”

Mabus believes alternative energy will once again be evidence that progressive thoughts and actions will prove beneficial in the end.

The United States has an abundance of natural resources, including wind, water and solar energy that can prove a valuable asset to military operations. With a lot of hard work and a little faith the DoN hopes to send a Great Green Fleet out to sea and with it a message of power and independence.

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