Story by From Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Pacific Public Affairs
Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Ryan Filo, left, and Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Andersen Gardner, assigned to Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 2, tests the density of the metal pylons of a pier in Kwajalein, Marshal Islands, while participating in Valiant Shield on Sept. 15, 2016. Valiant Shield is a biennial U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps exercise held in and around Guam, focusing on real-world proficiency in sustaining joint forces at sea, in the air, on land and in cyberspace. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Rolston/160915-N-CN059-0205)
Underwater Construction Team (UCT-2) Two was awarded the Secretary of the Navy Energy award in the Navy Expeditionary category for their work in energy and water management conservation measures, according to an Oct. 11 naval message.
UCT Two won in the expeditionary category for their work on the Lezeti hybrid air conditioner limited operational evaluation and the renewable energy area lighting demonstration.
Lt. Cmdr. Justin Spinks, commanding officer, UCT-2 discussed the impact of the award for his Sailors.
"As members of the Naval Construction Force, we recognize the large scale logistics required to keep a base running, whether as an established installation or in an expeditionary environment. Reducing our energy footprint allows us to put resources where they are needed most," said Spinks.
Spinks was also proud of his Sailors' accomplishments in obtaining the SECNAV Energy award.
"I am happy to see our efforts have contributed to meeting the Secretary of the Navy's energy goals," said Spinks.
The SECNAV Energy and Water Management Awards began in 2009 to recognize those who have led the way in energy transformation, and includes a $25,000 cash award to be used at the discretion of the commanding officer to improve quality of life, encourage further energy improvements, or for other purposes subject to limitations on the use of operation and maintenance funds.
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
Also in 2009, SECNAV challenged our Navy and Marine Corps team to achieve five aggressive energy goals to transform how we think about and use power. The ingenuity and dedication of our Sailors, Marines, civilian employees, and their families, have assisted in helping the Navy achieve those goals.
"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," according to the Oct. 11 naval message released by the Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "That is why we are transforming our energy culture; to make us more effective, more agile, and a more capable force."
To achieve the award, UCT-2 field tested a hybrid split A/C unit attached to an ISO container to analyze the energy conservation potential of utilizing a commercially available product in support of military operations and found a 33.33 percent reduction in energy consumption during daylight hours when compared to traditional split A/C units currently utilized in the field.
Additionally, UCT-2 field tested a renewable energy area light solar powered LED lighting system for use as underwater lighting beneath piers in Underwater Construction Team operations saving 100 percent energy consumption during daylight hours when compared to traditional generator powered lighting sources.
The Navy's energy efficiency initiatives provide us with a combat advantage -- using energy efficiently enables us to go farther, stay longer and deliver more firepower. It provides us a strategic advantage, because using alternative fuels creates flexibility and brings us closer to energy independence.
UCT-2 is an echelon five command which is assigned to Naval Construction Group One, headquartered in Port Hueneme. Both commands fall under NECC/NECC Pacific. NECC/NECC Pacific is an enduring warfighting force providing sea-to-shore and inland operating environment capabilities across the full range of military operations that is focused on delivering combat effective expeditionary forces ready for worldwide operations now and into the future. In 2015, NECC/NECC Pacific completed 135 missions in 79 countries, across seven continents in support of six geographic and three functional combatant commands.