Fort Knox, Nolin RECC receive 2021 Army Partnership Awards during virtual ceremony
(from left) Fort Knox Garrison Commander Col. Lance O’Bryan and Nolin RECC-Fort Knox operations manager Dustin Ward hold awards Fort Knox and Nolin RECC received at the 2021 Army Partnership Awards virtual ceremony May 19, 2022, as O’Bryan thanks Army officials for the honors. Nolin RECC President and CEO Greg Lee (right) also thanked the Army officials for the recognition. (Photo Credit: Kyle Hodges, Fort Knox Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT KNOX, Ky. — Fort Knox Garrison and Nolin RECC leaders joined six other installations across the Army May 19 to receive their 2021 Army Partnership Awards, albeit in an unusual fashion.

Garrison Commander Col. Lance O’Bryan stood sideways in front of a camera in the Garrison Headquarters conference room here, waiting to receive the first of two awards from an Army official standing in the Pentagon. As she passed an award to hands just off camera, O’Bryan received the award, making it appear that the Pentagon official had passed the award through the internet.

Dustin Ward, Nolin RECC-Fort Knox operations manager, said the energy resilience successes that Fort Knox enjoys are due in part to their 21-year partnership and great working relationship with the installation.

“This is the culmination of a lot of hard work over the past seven or eight years, from a lot of different parties,” said Ward. “But we couldn’t have done it without the support of Fort Knox, and them pushing us to do better and greater things.”

Since 2015, Fort Knox’s energy resilience program has earned numerous awards and received tremendous praise from the highest echelons of the Army and departments of Defense and Energy. The most recent award highlighted the effectiveness of Nolin RECC and Fort Knox’s joint efforts.

“This partnership allows Fort Knox to achieve energy resiliency, independence and save money. By working with Nolan Electric Fort Knox reduced its power costs by 50% over the last six years,” reads the award. “This program also cut Fort Knox electric bills by more than half over the last decade and provides Fort Knox a micro grid distribution system for ‘zero’ system wide power outages.”

Fort Knox, Nolin RECC receive 2021 Army Partnership Awards during virtual ceremony
Prior to the start of the 2021 Army Partnership Awards virtual ceremony, RJ Dyrdek, energy program manager at the Fort Knox Directorate of Public Works, explained how successful the Fort Knox / Nolin RECC partnership has been over the years. (Photo Credit: Eric Pilgrim, Fort Knox News) VIEW ORIGINAL

Army officials in 2021 said the intent of the awards is to recognize those on-post/off-post partnerships that “improve quality of life, enhance Army readiness and modernize Army processes, while building stronger community relationships.” The awards were announced Nov. 23, 2021 with plans to award the winners in mid-January, but several issues delayed the process until May.

Ward said since Fort Knox officials commissioned the project in May 2015, Fort Knox has saved U.S. taxpayers approximately $35 million to date in energy costs.

O’Bryan said the award is a recognition of what the partnership has accomplished so far, and what leaders intend to accomplish going forward.

“The award is a reinforcement that what we’re doing is the right thing to do,” said O’Bryan. “I’m a firm believer that partnerships with our local community and local organizations adds to the strength of Fort Knox. This is one of those partnerships that allows us to further enable readiness, it provides us energy resilience, provides cost savings, and furthers our energy program.”

Command Sgt. Maj. William Fogle, Garrison senior enlisted advisor, agreed.

“This is an absolute team effort,” said Fogle, “and we could be more proud.”

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Editor's Note: For a short video of the event, click on the Fort Knox official YouTube link HERE.