WASHINGTON – The Minnesota National Guard is among the winners of the 2014 Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards. The announcement coincides with the worldwide observance of Earth Day, a celebration to raise environmental awareness.
Each year since 1962, the Defense Department has honored individuals, teams and installations for their outstanding achievements in environmental performance, officials said, noting that over the past 10 years, DOD has invested about $42 billion to ensure the success of its environmental programs.
In fiscal 2012, DOD spent about $4.1 billion for its environmental programs -- $2 billion for environmental restoration activities, $1.9 billion for environmental quality activities, and $213.6 million for environmental technology.
These investments protect and sustain the environment while strengthening operational capacity, reducing operational costs and enhancing the well-being of military members, civilians, and their families and communities, officials said.
Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, praised this year’s award winners.
“Their remarkable achievements exemplify the department’s continued commitment to sustain mission readiness while cost-effectively addressing environmental issues, thereby increasing efficiencies and supporting the quality of life for service members, their families and local communities,” he said.
The nine winners chosen from 33 nominations are:
- Environmental Quality, Individual/Team: Environmental Quality Team, Minnesota National Guard, which employed cross-functional expertise in resource protection and conservation, with special attention to informational training and stakeholder involvement
- Natural Resources Conservation, Small Installation: Marine Corps Base Hawaii, which demonstrated the innovative use of limited funding to protect the environment while accomplishing the base’s mission
- Natural Resources Conservation, Individual/Team: The Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Natural Resources Team, which offered long-range solutions that ensured regulatory compliance while maximizing the use of land and water ranges to maintain mission readiness
- Environmental Quality, Non-Industrial Installation: Fort Hood, Texas, which led the way in environmental quality innovation and proactive community interaction, partnerships and training
- Sustainability, Industrial Installation: Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Calif., which exceeded goals in energy reduction, water conservation, recycling, eliminating hazardous waste, and implementing low-impact development projects demonstrating innovative approaches to sustainability in the face of economic challenges
- Environmental Restoration, Installation: Marine Corps Installation East-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., which demonstrated cost-effective sustainable efforts to protect human health and the environment in cleaning up contamination from past activities
- Environmental Restoration, Individual/Team: The Base Realignment and Closure Cleanup Team, Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Fla., which achieved environmental excellence through its quick, innovative and timely responses to environmental restoration efforts
- Cultural Resources Management, Installation: Fort Wainwright, Alaska, which successfully ensured that its lands remain available and in good condition, not only to support its mission, but also to preserve the cultural history that is inherent to Fort Wainwright's heritage
- Environmental Excellence in Weapon System Acquisition, Large Program Individual/Team: Air Force Life Cycle Management Center F-35 Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health Support Team, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, which increased efficiencies in aircraft development, project prioritization, resource access, and other critical mission areas that contribute to their environmental and overall excellence in weapon system acquisition.