Conserving Fuel at Sea
By Commander Glenn P. Kuffel, Lieutenant Commander Barry Palmer, and Lieutenant Commander Mary Katey Hays, U.S. Navy
Volatility in the global oil market has resulted in extreme cost fluctuations for F-76 Diesel Marine Fuel (DFM). Over the past year, the quarterly costs for DFM to the U.S. Navy have varied from $70 to $170 per barrel.1 With annual fuel bills routinely in the billons of dollars and cost estimates unpredictable, fuel conservation is no longer an option to be considered; it is an operational imperative. By collectively managing our fuel costs through conservation at the unit level, force and Fleet commanders can have greater flexibility keeping the Fleet at sea and not consider reducing underway-training days. Here we address only Arleigh Burke (DDG-51)-class guided-missile destroyers, but many of the suggestions apply to all ship classes.