JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Every year, members of the U.S. armed forces celebrate Earth Day at installations, major commands and organizations throughout the continental United States and around the world.
The first Earth Day, established April 22, 1970 by Sen. Gaylord Nelson, rallied over 20 million Americans to take a stand for a clean environment. Today, Earth Day is observed worldwide and has moved beyond environmental stewardship to include sustainability.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord has an extensive environmental program that goes beyond compliance to address situations that could constrain its ability to be a premier training platform. JBLM gets ahead of potential environmental and community problems before they become critical issues that affect the mission.
“Environmental stewardship is a mission enhancer," said Eric Waehling, JBLM Environmental Sustainability Branch chief. “By maintaining a compliant environmental posture and sustaining resources, we can simultaneously meet current as well as future mission requirements worldwide, safeguard human health, improve quality of life and enhance the natural environment.”
The Army’s official statement on the environment goes further:
“Environmental sustainability is now part of every installation and every unit operations, from military treatment facilities to forward operating bases and from munitions production to live-fire training. Given the threats to energy and water supply requirements both at home and abroad that the armed forces are facing, addressing sustainability is operationally necessary, financially prudent and essential to mission accomplishment.”
On Earth Day, the JBLM community is reminded that environmental sustainability is everyone’s responsibility. Service members should consider their “boot print” — their impact on resources, whether on an installation, deployed or at home.
By sustaining the environment, JBLM ensures the viability and strength of the armed forces for generations to come.
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