WASHINGTON (Army News Service, May 29, 2013) -- Recipients of the Army's 2012 environmental awards were selected for their positive impact on the Army mission, saving resources, restoring the environment, and protecting Soldiers and civilians.

Katherine Hammack, the assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, hosted a video teleconference at the Pentagon, May 28, 2013, for the 2012 Army Environmental Awards. Recipients joined into the event remotely.

During the conference, Hammack said the Army and individuals have a responsibility to be good stewards of financial and natural resources.

"Training, equipping, and supporting Army operations requires land, resources, and people," she said. "By incorporating sustainability principles and practices, the Army will reduce future mission constraints, increase flexibility and resilience, safeguard human health, and improve Army quality of life, all while enhancing the natural environment."

Hammack acknowledged there are challenges in meeting the demands placed on the forces with limited resources. But she also said the Army is such a large organization, that by each person doing just one more thing, the service can make an impact.

The recipients of this year's environmental awards represent the best of the Army's ongoing commitment to sustain its training lands through sound environmental stewardship and excellence in weapon system acquisition, Hammack said.

-- The recipient of the "2012 Natural Resources Conservation - Large Installation" award is the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center, Kentucky Army National Guard.

This Kentucky Army National Guard center partnered with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to enable expansion of their prescribed fire program. The installation maintains its own burning unit and firefighting team to conduct prescribed fires in-house.

The burn program directly supports both training needs and the NRC program's goal to address the non-native and invasive species introduced by the previous owner of the land. Use of prescribed fire allows the installation to avoid the use of herbicides. Additionally, the installation's native grass restoration program coincides with pest species control. Restoring native vegetation has already had positive impacts on wildlife populations, including recently documenting the first recorded instance of natural pheasant reproduction in the state.

-- The recipient of the "2012 Cultural Resources Management Installation" award is Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.

The Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield Cultural Resources Management Team is helping reduce training land encumbrances by integrating large-scale archaeological surveys with installation range-planning priorities.

The team in Georgia negotiated a new agreement with the Georgia State Historic Preservation Office, saving a cumulative $4.5 million in cost and time savings over five years by eliminating certain archaeological survey requirements and mitigation of 235 acres of historic railroads and tramlines.

The team there also evaluated surveyed buildings for eligibility for national register listing, and instituted a comprehensive site-monitoring program to rate all protected sites based on natural threat and vandalism potential.

-- The recipient of the "2012 Cultural Resources Management -- Team" award is Fort Bragg, N.C.

During the rating period, the Fort Bragg Cultural Resources Management Team completed two "Phase I" inventory surveys totaling 4,500 acres. This reduced restrictions on training lands while maintaining installation compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act.

The team also expanded its partnerships with the Department of Defense Education Activity and Army Community Services by participating in events at Fort Bragg schools and by hosting the Youth Leadership Conference for a beautification project at a local church.

In addition, two significant archaeological discoveries were made by Department of Defense personnel. Included among those are the Wilmore cache of stone quarry blanks and an ancient Clovis point, which enhanced the knowledge of the earliest people to inhabit the region.

-- The recipient of the "2012 Environmental Restoration -- Installation" award is U.S. Army Garrison - Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.

Once considered an "environmental disaster," Aberdeen Proving Ground was believed to have some of the most dangerous remediation sites in the U.S. Today, a complete transformation has taken place at APG.

That transformation comes from strong partnerships with regulators and the public, innovative strategies and dynamic program management. Today, APG's environmental restoration program focuses on supporting the installation mission, while at the same time executing a cost-effective environmental cleanup program that allows the safe return of property for military reuse while protecting human health, public safety and the environment.

Accomplishments there include saving $3.8 million by closely collaborating with federal and state regulators to find an innovative solutions for the treatment of white phosphorous; and saving $800,000 by reusing excess soil from BRAC construction for remedial cover and fill material.

-- The recipient of the "2012 Environmental Quality - Industrial" award is Tobyhanna Army Depot, Penn.

The depot, one of the Army's Net Zero-Water pilot facilities, is ahead of schedule in meeting their water reduction goals. Additionally, their recycling and solid waste diversion rate was more than 60 percent for fiscal years 2011 and 2012.

Their new command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance refinishing center was constructed to "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design" silver standards.

The depot achieved a recycling and solid waste diversion rate of more than 60 percent, with recycling generating sales of nearly $1 million per fiscal year.

-- The recipient of the "2012 Environmental Quality - Overseas Installation" award is U.S. Army Garrison, Vicenza, Italy.

The Vicenza garrison is continuously developing programs to implement environmentally preferable technologies. Pollution prevention opportunity assessments identify areas where innovative technologies can promote more efficient and sustainable use of resources.

Some of the latest improvements recognized in this award include compostable waste dehydrators to reduce organic and food waste to produce a reusable by-product. Shop towel recycling is used as an alternative to the single use and disposal of towels. Ultrasonic parts cleaning units are replacing low-volatile organic compound solvent machines.

The garrison also has developed and implemented an aggressive education and outreach campaign to promote energy awareness, including "mock" billing to residents of government housing, tours of the facility power plant and commercials in media outlets such as the Armed Forces Network.

-- The recipient of the "2012 Sustainability - Non-Industrial" award is Fort Hood, Texas.

The Cen-Tex Sustainable Communities Partnership was established to develop and implement sustainability in Central Texas through voluntary programs among Fort Hood, and its neighboring cities, including Killeen, Gatesville, Harker Heights, and Copperas Cove.

Fort Hood is one of the Army's Net Zero-Waste pilot installations and has the largest, self-sustaining recycling facility in the Army. Its recycling program has generated approximately $2.89 million that is helping to pay for capital improvements and community outreach events.

-- The recipient of the "2012 Sustainability - Team or Individual" award is Dorenda Coleman, Arizona Army National Guard.

Coleman worked closely with Arizona State University to develop and launch the Sustainability Leadership Graduate Certificate program, which is designed to better educate existing Army and Army National Guard Soldiers and employees, as well as prepare the next generation of sustainability professionals.

The program began in spring 2012, and is the first program of its kind, custom-developed to feature contemporary examples of sustainability challenges and opportunities relevant to Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve missions and operations.

-- The recipient of the "2012 Environmental Excellence In Weapons System Acquisition - Small Program" award is the Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center, Mich.

The Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center's Counterfeit Refrigerant Impact Team was tasked as technical lead to develop solutions for identification, containment and mitigation of counterfeit refrigerants, which pose considerable safety, health and environmental concerns.

Page last updated Wed May 29th, 2013 at 00:00