FORT STEWAR, Ga. - For an unprecedented fifth time, Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield is bringing home gold in this year's Army Community of Excellence awards. The installation was also recognized for a separate best practice award.

Stewart-Hunter has won first place in the ACOE awards four times before in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2009. The latest recognition by the Army showcases the installation's dedication to Soldiers and Families said Garrison Commander Col. Kevin Milton.

"Taking gold in the ACOE competition for a fifth time is proof Stewart- Hunter is the best installation in the U.S. Army to train, deploy, live and raise a military Family," Col. Milton said. "I'm excited about this accomplishment. It is a testament to the hard work and resiliency of the Soldiers, Families and Army Civilians that live and work here."

Stewart-Hunter began its journey toward excellence 14 years ago with the implementation of an installation strategic planning process whose sole focus is to provide a safe, secure and responsive community that enhances the installation's ability to be the nation's premier power projection platform to meet national security objectives.

Simply put, all the planning and strategy translates to making Stewart-Hunter a great place, Col. Milton said.

"We truly are 'The Southern Living Station of Choice,'" he said. "With the support of our neighbors, together we make the word home a warm and welcoming reality for our Soldiers and Families."

The best practice award recognizes the directorates of Logistics and Public Works for implementing a centralized hazardous material management process for petroleum, oil and lubricant liquids and items that tracks their use and disposal from cradle to grave.

Stewart-Hunter leadership and select staff are scheduled to receive the two awards May 1 and 2 at the Pentagon. Following the 2009 win, the installation had to sit out two years in keeping with the Army's procedures on ACOE.