SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) was awarded the fiscal year 2016 Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Energy and Water Management Award for large amphibious ship, Oct. 19, for superior energy efficiency management.
Nearly 110 Navy and Marine Corps commands were recognized as overall winners or received Blue-, Gold-, or Platinum-level achievement in energy efficiency in a Oct. 11 All-Navy (ALNAV) message.
"Energy is critical to the Department of the Navy's ability to provide the global presence necessary to ensure stability, deter potential adversaries, and provide the country options in times of crisis wherever and whenever they might arise," wrote SECNAV Ray Mabus. "That is why we are transforming our energy culture; to make us more effective, more agile, and a more capable force."
During the ceremony aboard amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6), Mabus recognized Boxer and other overall category winners.
"Boxer Sailors did a superb job of effectively completing every mission throughout our recent deployment," said Capt. Mike Ruth, commanding officer. "That includes using our energy resources smartly and efficiently, while maintaining our warfighting readiness no matter the theater."
Throughout deployment Engineering Department, under the leadership of Cmdr. Terrance Patterson, chief engineer, made a aggressive push to improve energy efficiency.
"You can't even dream about conserving fuel, maintaining standards, technical or procedural compliance unless you properly train your people," said Patterson. "Training is paramount and important, and was absolutely essential for a successful deployment."
Boxer set the standard for engineering and fleet excellence, and made important strides in fuel conservation. During a rigorous training, warfare certification, inspection and work-up schedule, Boxer's leadership aggressively promoted energy conservation awareness and stewardship, using a focused approach in proper propulsion plant and electrical systems operation in accordance with Naval Sea Systems Command Engineering Operational Sequencing System standard assumptions and economy steaming. These efforts comply with prescribed biofuel requirements.
"There is a lot of pride in what people in the Engineering Department did; there is a lot of pride in what the ship did as a whole," said Patterson. "Is not just about Engineering Department; everybody aboard the ship has contributed to the team effort. Everybody was involved from the commanding officer down to the crew, including Amphibious Squadron 1 and the Marine Expeditionary Unit commander and his team."
Through continuous system maintenance and self-sufficiency, Boxer earned substantial fuel and electrical energy savings through several initiatives, including maximizing fuel curves based on speed demands steaming at minimum burners, minimizing course and speed changes during transits, and minimizing the time required to transition the engineering plant from underway to cold iron, and vice versa.
The overall success of Boxer's energy conservation program can be attributed to the all-hands approach undertaken by each member of the Boxer team.
The SECNAV Award winners are authorized to fly the SECNAV Energy Flag for one year and will be recognized at a series of award ceremonies over the course of the year.
Boxer is currently underway off of the coast of Southern California conducting routine operations.
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