PATUXENT RIVER, Md. (NNS) -- An EA-6B Prowler successfully completed its inaugural biofuel flight here today, continuing the Navy's surge toward energy independence.
The aircraft, from the "Salty Dogs" of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) here, flew on a biofuel blend of JP-5 aviation fuel and camelina oil. The camelina seed contains 30 to 40 percent oil making it a vital component of the Navy's biofuel program.
This mission is the most recent biofuel testing milestone reached at NAS Patuxent River and displays the Navy's resolve in the advancement of an energy source that is self-sustaining. Aircraft already tested include platforms ranging from trainers to fighters. The Prowler is the first aircraft in the electronic warfare category to fly on a biofuel blend.
"Given the EA-6B Prowler's critical role in joint warfare it was important that we complete this qualification to allow carrier air wings and expeditionary sites the operational flexibility to utilize biofuel," said Capt. John Green, program manager for the EA-6B.
The Prowler is capable of flying long-range missions in support of war fighters in the air, at sea, and on the ground. It has the ability to jam and intercept enemy radar, data and communication signals and can also retrieve valuable data in support of tactical mission operations.
Additional aircraft scheduled for biofuel testing include the AV-8B Harrier and the Fire Scout unmanned helicopter.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus laid out five aggressive energy goals in October 2009 to improve our energy security and efficiency, increase our energy independence, and help lead the nation toward a clean energy economy. This initiative assists in achieving the energy goal of increasing alternative energy afloat and ashore where by 2020, the Department of the Navy (DON) will produce at least 50 percent of shore-based energy requirements from alternative sources and 50 percent of DON installations will be net-zero.
View video prime-cuts of today's flight at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7co_STUctU
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