PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) — Guided missile-destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) hosted Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Jan. 20, while participating in the Great Green Fleet kickoff celebration.
Mabus and Vilsack embarked an MH-60S helicopter from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14 to rendezvous with the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.
Lawrence, which departed Naval Base San Diego for deployment Jan. 19, was conducting a replenishment at sea with USNS Guadalupe (T-AO-200) using a blend of advanced biofuel and marine diesel.
Mabus emphasized this type of replenishment at sea "is not unique. It is the new normal."
When asked about his first replenishment at sea using alternative fuel, Commanding Officer Cmdr. Walter C. Mainor said, "As a whole, these energy saving measures allow us to be on station longer and to do our job better. The Navy has been at the forefront of energy innovation [for generations]. From coal to steam to oil, this is just another measure that the Navy is taking on and leaning forward for energy innovation."
While aboard, the secretaries also dined with junior members of the crew for Wednesday burger day. Ten Sailors hailing from the secretaries' home states of Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi shared stories and sports rivalries from home.
"It was an outstanding experience," said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Ozzy J. Schiessl. "We talked a lot about college football, and he told us more about the new DDG 1000. I was excited to add his coin to my collection."
Commissioned June 4, 2011, Lawrence is named after Vice Adm. William P. Lawrence, a naval aviator, former Vietnam prisoner of war, and former commander of U.S. 3rd Fleet. Commanded by Mainor, the ship is assigned to the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group and is home ported in San Diego.
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