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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 253-13
April 19, 2013

DOD Announces Winners of the Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards

            The Department of Defense has announced the winners of the 2013 Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards. 

            Each year the department honors individuals, teams, and installations for their outstanding achievements and innovative environmental practices and partnerships that promote quality of life and increase efficiencies without compromising mission success. 

            Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall is pleased to name the winners of the 2013 Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards: 

            Sustainability, Non-industrial Installation:  673rd Air Base Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska 

            Sustainability, Individual/Team:  Dorenda Coleman, Arizona Army National Guard, Ariz. 

            Environmental Quality, Industrial Installation:  78th Civil Engineer Group, Robins Air Force Base, Ga. 

            Environmental Quality, Overseas Installation: Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Japan 

            Environmental Excellence in Weapon System Acquisition, Small Program:  Counterfeit Refrigerant Impact Team, Tank Automotive RD&E Center, Mich.  

            Natural Resources Conservation, Large Installation:  Naval Base Coronado, Calif. 

            Environmental Restoration, Installation:  U.S. Army Garrison Aberdeen Proving Ground, Directorate of Public Works, Md. 

            Cultural Resources Management, Installation:  Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C. 

            Cultural Resources Management, Individual/Team:  June Noelani Cleghorn, Marine Corps Base Hawaii 

            The department has long made it a priority to protect the environment on and around its installations, not only to preserve irreplaceable resources for future generations, but to ensure the availability of land, water, and airspace needed to sustain military readiness.  In 1962, the Department of Defense established the annual Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards to honor those individuals and installations whose accomplishments demonstrate ways to protect our environment while serving our country.  The accomplishments of the awardees exemplify the goals and objectives of the department’s environmental programs to integrate the environment with the military mission by reducing costs and improving mission performance. 

            For more information about the department’s environmental programs, please visit:  www.denix.osd.mil

            The department celebrates individuals and installations for their commitments to protect human health and the environment for future generations while addressing complex national security challenges.  Every year, each military service and defense agency has the opportunity to submit one nomination in each of the nine award categories that cover six subject areas:  sustainability; environmental quality; environmental excellence in weapon system acquisition; natural resources conservation; environmental restoration; and cultural resources management.  A panel of judges with expertise, education, and/or experience in those subjects from federal and state agencies, academia, and the public then evaluate and score the nominees to select winners in each category.  For more information about the Environmental Awards Program, please visit:  www.denix.osd.mil/awards/FY12SECDEF.cfm

            Although only recognized once a year, military service members and civilians continue their exceptional efforts in protecting the environment and human health, as well as preserving the resources at our installations to support training and operations.  Their efforts exemplify the Department of Defense’s environmental leadership, both in the United States and overseas.  The nine winners were chosen from a total of 37 nominees for the 2013 Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards: 

            Sustainability, Non-industrial Installation: 673rd Air Base Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska 

            At Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), Alaska, sustainability is a primary mission support platform taking advantage of the environmental programs that have been in place for many years.  Environmental management system and asset optimization form the backbone for management of all base resources with focused goals to minimize the generation of hazardous waste, reduce the use of hazardous materials, develop recycling programs, and implement energy conservation initiatives.  By constructing the JBER landfill gas waste-to-energy plant, the base was able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 13,944 tons of methane and save $73.6 million.  In addition, JBER partnered with the National Marine Fisheries Service to conduct acoustic and visual behavior studies of the endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale.  Their efforts were critical to maintaining Air Force and Army missions at JBER and to the recovery of this species.  These programs serve as a foundation for a sustainable base where less funding is spent on waste and energy, and more on training our soldiers and airmen to carry out their missions. 

            For more information about this award and 673rd Air Base Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, please visit:  www.denix.osd.mil/awards/FY12SECDEF.cfm.     

            Sustainability, Individual/Team:  Dorenda Coleman, Arizona Army National Guard 

            Dorenda Coleman, the sustainability manager for the Arizona Army National Guard (AZARNG), is at the core of all sustainability undertakings across the AZARNG’s training sites, readiness centers, and mission facilities.  Coleman’s leadership and management of many facets of sustainability including encroachment protection, green construction, recycling, and energy and resource conservation, have been key to integrating sustainable practices and awareness into the AZARNG culture.  Over the past two years, she has achieved several important new milestones, including establishing four interdepartmental sustainability teams to comprehensively manage and pursue sustainability initiatives throughout the state.  One of the major outcomes of this effort has been an agreement with the Tonto National Forest in making over three million acres of land available for military training and protecting Camp Navajo from encroachment.  Other achievements include playing a key role in the certification of AZARNG’s first two leadership in energy and environmental design buildings and establishing a solar-power parking lot pilot test, which creates over one million kilowatts of energy each year, and offsets the cost to light the lot.  Through her advancements in community partnerships, resource use, and waste reduction, Coleman successfully integrated sustainability with the nation’s military mission. 

            For more information about this award and Dorenda Coleman, Arizona Army National Guard, please visit:  www.denix.osd.mil/awards/FY12SECDEF.cfm

            Environmental Quality, Industrial Installation:  78th Civil Engineer Group, Robins Air Force Base (AFB), Ga. 

            Robins Air Force Base is the largest industrial facility in the state of Georgia, with an annual $4.5 billion economic impact across the state.  The environmental management branch efforts center on air quality, community relations, hazardous materials and waste management, pollution prevention, green procurement, natural resources, restoration, and water quality.  In fiscal 2012, the base’s qualified recycling program (QRP) recycled over 2,000 tons of recyclables, diverted 53 percent of solid waste from the landfill, and generated over $960,000 in total revenue.  Robins AFB also formed the Robins transportation improvement program to expand and increase participation in commuter options, reducing the number of vehicle miles traveled by two million between fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2012, and saving over $1.1 million in fuel and maintenance costs.  Robins AFB continues to lead the way with one of the most wide-ranging and proactive installation environmental programs in the nation. 

            For more information about this award and 78th Civil Engineer Group, Robins AFB, Ga., please visit:  http://www.denix.osd.mil/awards/FY12SECDEF.cfm

            Environmental Quality, Overseas Installation: Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Japan 

            Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Japan (MCB Butler), is a leader in enhancing environmental quality while sustaining the Marine Corps’ ability to effectively train and maintain readiness in Okinawa, Japan.  MCB Butler’s environmental program proactively supports mission readiness by providing the most extensive environmental training program within the Department of Defense in Asia, completing plans and environmental analyses using in-house staff to save time and money, and effectively managing the land entrusted to the Marine Corps.  MCB Butler completed more than 20 erosion control projects, allowing Marines to continue to use training areas for live fire and jungle warfare training.  In addition, environmental staff was successful in capturing cane toads, one of the world’s most invasive animals because of its poisonous glands and large appetite and by the end of 2011, staff and volunteers captured a total of 589 cane toads.  After monitoring potential breeding sites, staff did not find any signs of breeding, indicating that the cane toad capture was effective.  In fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2012, MCB Butler staff collected 4.5 million kilograms of recyclables from nearly 700 locations throughout Okinawa, Japan, generating nearly $2 million in proceeds.  MCB Butler continues to be a leader in enhancing environmental quality while sustaining the Marine Corps’ ability to effectively train and maintain readiness.

            For more information about this award and Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Japan, please visit:  http://www.denix.osd.mil/awards/FY12SECDEF.cfm

            Environmental Excellence in Weapon System Acquisition, Small Program: Counterfeit Refrigerant Impact Team, Tank Automotive RD&E Center, Mich.  

            The U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command and Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center’s counterfeit refrigerant impact team not only improved safety for soldiers and vehicle maintenance personnel, but also reduced harm to the environment, improved force readiness, and lowered vehicle maintenance costs across the Army.  The refrigeration industry identified the widespread introduction of counterfeit refrigerants containing mixtures of discontinued chemical compounds that are flammable, explosive, toxic to humans, and harmful to the environment.  In response, a core integrated product team was formed to study and resolve these environmental risks.  The team’s accomplishments led to a highly-effective, quick-response, collaborative effort that protects the safety and occupational health of soldier and service personnel, reduces waste and harmful discharges and emissions, and enables significant cost savings and performance improvements. 

            For more information about this category and the Counterfeit Refrigerant Impact Team, please visit:  http://www.denix.osd.mil/awards/FY12SECDEF.cfm.

            Natural Resources Conservation, Large Installation:  Naval Base Coronado, Calif. 

            Naval Base Coronado (NBC), consists of eight geographically separate installations in southern California.  NBC’s primary mission is to provide the highest quality logistical support and quality of life services for the U.S. Navy’s operating forces, assigned activities, and other commands, as needed, to enable the operating forces to produce the highest level of combat readiness.  The NBC natural resources program has had remarkable success supporting the military readiness mission while sustaining natural resources.  Under this program, NBC implemented a monitoring and management program for the San Clemente Island fox, a species that was once considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act but has now rebounded to the highest numbers ever recorded on the island.  NBC also completed a sensitive plant status report for more than 20 rare species on San Clemente Island, including six listed plant species.  This survey indicated a more than ten-fold increase for five of the six listed plants since the time of listing.  NBC was also successful in signing a record of decision for the Silver Strand Training Center environmental impact statement to increase training tempo and expanded access to training areas, and signing a new Silver Strand Training Center biological opinion with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to re-open beach training lanes during nesting season.  These expanded and formerly off-limits areas provide more than 50 additional acres of enhanced training lands. 

            For more information about this award and Naval Base Coronado, Calif., please visit:  http://www.denix.osd.mil/awards/FY12SECDEF.cfm

            Environmental Restoration, Installation:  U.S. Army Garrison Aberdeen Proving Ground, Directorate of Public Works, Md. 

            Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) employs innovative strategies, forges strong stakeholder relationships, and implements dynamic management techniques that focus on land use and cost effectiveness, while always being cognizant of the APG and Army missions.  A dedicated, talented, and experienced team within the Directorate of Public Works manages the APG environmental restoration program.  This team was effective in protecting, enhancing, and restoring the environment, including reusing excess soil from base realignment and closure construction at APG for remedial cover and fill material, resulting in a cost savings of $800,000; making available 57 acres of previously restricted land for mission training and mitigation areas.  In addition, the APG environmental restoration staff developed a solution that used the sun’s energy to facilitate the oxidation of white phosphorus, saving the Army $3.8 million in costs.  Employing accelerated and innovative strategies, forging strong partnerships with regulators and the public, reducing risks to human health and the environment, implementing green solutions through dynamic program management techniques, and focusing on cost effectiveness guides the environmental restoration efforts on APG. 

            For more information about this award and U.S. Army Garrison Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., please visit: http://www.denix.osd.mil/awards/FY12SECDEF.cfm

            Cultural Resources Management, Installation:  Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C. 

            Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort serves as a home and base of operations for Fleet Marine Force units of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing and the Second Force Service Support Group.  Cultural resource management is a key element in project planning at the Air Station.  The MCAS Beaufort cultural resource management program continues its outstanding activities both on the installation and for Townsend Bombing Range in McIntosh County, Ga., with support from a variety of partners.  Program activities include maintaining its integrated cultural resource management plan, and furthering programs and relationships with regulatory groups with streamlined project planning and execution.  MCAS Beaufort was also successful in engaging with private land owners to conduct archeological studies of properties around Townsend Bombing Range to expand the current 5,183 acre range by 28,630 acres.  The Lowcountry of South Carolina where MCAS Beaufort is located has a rich history with some of the earliest settlements in the eastern United States, including family cemeteries and cemeteries associated with plantations.  To ensure proper management of these cemeteries and burial plots within the installation, MCAS Beaufort completed a survey and history of eight cemeteries using techniques such as geographical information systems and ground penetrating radar to identify a total of 386 graves that can now be properly protected.  Cultural resources awareness and community relations remain important aspect to furthering the understanding of the heritage of the installation and its place in the community. 

            For more information about this award and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C., please visit: http://www.denix.osd.mil/awards/FY12SECDEF.cfm

            Cultural Resources Management, Individual/Team:  June Noelani Cleghorn, Marine Corps Base Hawaii 

            June Noelani Cleghorn, senior cultural resources manager for Marine Corps Base (MCB) Hawaii, has played an integral role in establishing the MCB Hawaii cultural resources management program as one of the leading Department of Defense environmental programs in Hawaii.  The cultural resources management program at MCB Hawaii ensures the protection of the many diverse cultural resources on the installation, as well as rigorous compliance with historic preservation laws to ensure the continued success of the military mission.  During the past two years, Cleghorn has managed several projects critical to the combat readiness and training mission of MCB Hawaii, including successfully executing a programmatic agreement that enables the execution of eight military construction projects in support of the basing of MV-22 Osprey and H-1 tactical helicopter squadrons, educating Department of Defense Hawaii personnel about meaningful consultations with native Hawaiian organizations, and achieving formal eligibility determinations from the Hawaii State Historic Preservation Office for the inventory of nearly 200 World War II era historic buildings on base.  Cleghorn also developed a program for cultural resources management staff to teach curation and field survey techniques to Wounded Warrior and Fleet Assistance Program Marines.  This program enabled the needed curation of archaeological collections and documentation of previously unrecorded World War II era bunkers at no cost, while provided Marines with valuable experience in a non-military profession.  Through her achievements, Cleghorn continually strives to reduce conflicts between the military mission and successful management of cultural resources. 

            For more information about this award and June Noelani Cleghorn, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, please visit: http://www.denix.osd.mil/awards/FY12SECDEF.cfm.

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