Lynn: Military Practices Energy, Environmental Stewardship
By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 2, 2010 The winners of the annual Secretary of Defense environmental awards employ conservation and sustainability policies on their installations that support the nation’s environmental and security strategies, Pentagon officials said today.
The federal government “is committed to curbing greenhouse gas emissions, using renewable energy resources and promoting sustainable environmental stewardship,” Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said today at the Pentagon award ceremony.
“At DoD, we are already doing our part,” Lynn said.
This year’s winners include:
- The Michigan Army National Guard’s Fort Custer Training Center for natural resources conservation at a small installation;
- The Wyoming Army National Guard’s Camp Guernsey for cultural resources management at an installation;
- Marine Corps Base Hawaii for environmental quality of a non-industrial installation;
- The Navy’s Fleet Readiness Center Southwest in California for sustainability on an industrial installation;
- Hill Air Force Base, Utah, for environmental restoration on an installation;
- Stephen M. Sieber, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., for natural resources conservation by an individual or team;
- Awni M. Almasri, at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, for environmental quality by an individual or team;
- Regina Dixon Butler, at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., for environmental restoration by an individual or team; and,
- The Air Force’s Aeronautical Systems Center environmental and occupational health team at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
The award recipients manage thousands of acres of government-owned land in an environmentally friendly way. Key projects include identifying new species and decreasing the use of pesticides; identifying and mapping cultural resource sites; managing environmentally friendly construction projects and reducing water and energy usage and the disposal of hazardous waste.
As the country’s largest single energy consumer, Lynn said, the Defense Department “has a responsibility to demand better from ourselves and from those we do business with.”
The department uses 1 percent of the nation’s fuel, at 300,000 barrels of oil per day, Lynn said. Military procurement, storage, transport and usage of large amounts of gasoline, diesel and other fuels poses not only environmental challenges, but also adds to national security concerns, he said, noting that more than 70 percent of military convoys in Afghanistan – which are targets for attack – carry fuel or water to troops.
Reducing fuel use in combat zones “is a matter of life or death; of mission success or failure,” Lynn said. “Crafting a strategic approach to energy is key to our broader national security strategy.”
And the department is doing just that, the deputy secretary said, from Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’ inclusion of climate change and energy challenges to the Quadrennial Defense Review, to the conservation methods underway at the bases recognized for awards. Also, for the first time, the full environmental consequences of military programs are being considered in all facets of procurement, he said. And, the department has tripled investment in energy efficient technology from $400 million to $1.2 billion, he said.
“Through our efforts, the department has become an environmental leader,” Lynn said.
Ashton B. Carter, undersecretary of defense for acquisitions, technology and logistics, also was on hand for the event. Carter recognized broader service initiatives to better the environment, including the Navy’s Great Green Fleet powered by nuclear energy; the Army’s use of environmentally friendly construction; and the Marine Corps’ and Air Forces’ reduced fuel usage.
Especially in procurement, Carter said, “We are putting sustainability into every aspect of the process.” He added, “Today’s winners are central to that effort.”