Unit Hits Environmental Home-run
February 20, 2014
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea -- Everyone can participate in organizations that support protecting the environment. Some people in the 2nd Infantry Division are passionate in doing so.
Soldiers of 602nd Aviation Support Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, seem to know how to do just that. They won the garrison commander's Environmental Sustainment Award for the third year in a row.
Dennis Polaski, the United States Army Garrison Humphreys director of public works, along with Onsemus K. Smith, acting chief of USAG Humphreys Department of Public Works Environmental Division, presented the award to representatives of 602nd ASB, Jan. 21, 2014.
"The 602nd has had extremely good continuity, if and when, their environmental officers rotated out." said Smith. "Therefore, they are able to sustain record keeping requirements, training programs and regulatory compliance. Leader involvement has proven to be an invaluable asset as well."
The USAG Humphreys environmental policy states they are committed to reducing the adverse environmental impacts resulting from daily operations and to taking a leading role in being conscientious stewards of the Korean land, historic buildings, species at risk, and sacred and archeological sites entrusted to the garrison.
Undoubtedly, the work of many contributes to the accomplishment of those goals and to the overall success of the "Warhorse" battalion's environmental program. One Soldier in particular, understood what it takes to accomplish that mission, ultimately leading her battalion to the third victory.
Spc. Elizabeth Walker-Horne, a company environmental compliance specialist with Headquarters Support Company, 602 ASB, and native of Springfield, Va., is in charge of her unit's environmental program. Influenced by her mother, who worked for many years at the Environmental Protection Agency, Walker-Horne has become environmentally focused.
"I remember once when I was six years old, I threw a gum wrapper out the window of our car on Interstate H-1 in Hawaii," said Walker-Horne. "I remember my mother stopping on the highway and yelling at me saying, 'go pick it up right now,' right there on the highway. She raised me to be very conscience of our environment which has helped me to be successful at what I'm doing today."
Being an environmentally focused unit requires a team effort though.
"This is not just a one person award," said 1st Lt. John P. Darrenkamp, a native of Wilmington, N.C., and the executive officer with HSC, 602nd ASB. "It's everyone doing their part to make things happen. We are lucky to have good continuity in the environmental department. Korea has a high turnover rate and we have maintained that continuity during those transitions. We continue to stay on top of our game and we have dedicated, trained Soldiers who are doing the right thing."