The tiransition of environmental equipment and systems to existing and new ship can be a complex undertaking, depending on the ship and crew impacts. It has been successfully handled in the past and will continue to be handled efficiently and cost effectively in this new era of acquisition reform and new partnerships between the Navy and industry.
Navy ships and submarines are unique plaiforms, even within the maritime industry. Their military mission and design focus on warfighting have tended in the past to relegate environmental considerations to the background. Euvironmental considerations, in terms of vessel operation, have traditionally taken a backseat to hull design, weapons and combat systems, signatures, habitability, damage control and surivability, aud other military imperatives. This situation has been slowly changing because environmental compliance is crucial for retaining operational freedom of the seas. The Navy's expanded peacetime operations, combined with growing national and international environmental sensitivities, require the Navy to take more activc measures to reduce the impact of Fleet operation on the environment. This is not a one-time investment, because environmental laws and regulations show no sign of reversing their trend toward increasingly restrictive requirements. Furthermore, the Navy's focus on TOC rerluires that shipboard environrnental solutions be optimized across the Fleet to minimize acquisition, manning, and logistics costs.
Nevertheless, it is fair to ask why the Navy still needs its own shipboard environmental RDT&E and why industry cannot be left alone to acquire environmental products for the Fleet. The Navy still has a critical role under the evolving acquisition-reform environment, including:
・Testing COTS environmental products under realistic Navy laboratory and shipboard conditions to ensure that they meet the Navy's unique requirements.
・Developing Navy-specific shipboard environmental solutions where industry does not provide adequate commercial products.
・Determining the ship, crew, and shoreside impacts of potential and proposed environmental equipment systems, and prcedures.
・Working with all cognizant Navy offices to deliver sailor-tested, fully-docuinented, and logistically-supported environmental products.
・Applying TOC philosophies to identify and minimize life-cycle costs from ship design to ship sclapping.
・Analyzirg Fleet-wide environmental requirements for opportunities to reduce costs. ILS complexity, and sailor training through multi-platform commonality (especiauy through OSA and modularity).
New business paradigms for Navy design and acquisition have created a pressing need for a "smart buyer" knowledge base and tools that enable the Navy to know when and how COTS environmental products may be adopted by the Navy Fleet and when ship and submarine requirements demand unique solutions. Continued NAVSEA environmental protection RDT&E is the key to Fleet environmental compliance today and tomorrow and to achieving the CNO's ESS-21 vision for the future Fleet.
Adema, C.M., A.T. Rodriguez and C.H. Crane, "U.S. Navy R&D Vision for Shipboard Thermal Destruction of Solid and Liquid Wastes" Proceedings of the International Conference on Incineration and Thermal Treatment Technologies, 1999.
Koss. L., "Environmentally Sound Ships of the 21st Century" Proceedings of the ASNE Maritime Environmental Symposium, 1992.