The Secretary of the Navy recently announced Navy’s goals for a “green” Fleet and to reduce our fuel consumption by half through 2020. SECNAV Mabus has also made it clear that while our energy initiatives are important, they must not detract from our warfighting ability.
Traditionally, our Navy has consumed large amounts of fuel during workups for deployment. Fleet Synthetic Training (FST) offers Navy a significant opportunity to save fuel and minimize our impact on the environment while we train and ensure we meet our warfighting requirements.
FST is not the “cure-all” for our dependence on foreign oil, but – as we realized with flight simulators – implementing FST on a large scale gives us an opportunity to practice our critical skills in port and then validate them at sea. We now have a few years of experience using FST from which we can assess its effectiveness.
I would like to hear your opinion on Fleet Synthetic Training. Based on your experiences, was FST effective in preparing you for deployment? Where has FST made a positive impact, where do we have gaps, and where are there opportunities to expand?