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ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- A U.S. Army program that yields an improved surface-coating method to reduce air pollution and will save $1 billion over the next 15 years has been recognized by the Department of Defense.

The Sustainable Painting Operations for the Total Army program won the 2011 Secretary of Defense Award for environmental excellence in weapons system acquisition.

Dorothy Robyn, deputy under secretary of defense for installations and environment, presented Erik Hangeland with the award June 8 at the Pentagon. Hangeland is director of the Environmental Acquisition and Logistics Sustainment Program within U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command.

Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installation, energy and environment, praised the team’s work when she presented the Army award April 1.

“There are some wonderful innovative minds here. We have more expectations in the realm of sustainability,” Hammack said. “It's an example for the Army and nation. You have proven your commitment to sustainability.”

Army scientists developed 45 distinct technologies with more than 1,000 products affected because of variations in type, class, color and unit of issue, Hangeland said. The program is expected to eliminate more than 4,000 tons of organic hazardous air pollutants and other pollutant emissions from Army surface coating. About 6 million gallons per year will be affected.

“This was a huge collaborative effort across all of the RDECOM elements involved, and I think that was really a big part of the success of this program,” Hangeland said in April.

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RDECOM program wins SecArmy award

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