FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Feb. 6, 2013) -- This year's Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards recognize the efforts of Army installations, teams and individuals to sustain and restore the natural and cultural resources found on Army lands throughout the U.S. and in Europe.

The six installations, two teams and one individual selected as this year's winners represent the best of the Army's ongoing commitment to sustain its training lands through sound environmental stewardship. The winners are from Army installations in Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Italy.

The Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center of the Kentucky Army National Guard received the Natural Resources Conservation award for a large Army installation. This year's Cultural Resources Management Installation award went to Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., and Fort Bragg, N.C., captured the Cultural Resources Management Team award. The U.S. Army Garrison at Aberdeen Proving Ground was recognized with the Environmental Restoration Installation award.

Tobyhanna Army Depot, Penn., was recognized for Industrial Installation - Environmental Quality. The U.S. Army Garrison at Vicenza, Italy, won the Overseas Installation - Environmental Quality award. The Sustainability award for a Non-Industrial Installation was secured by Fort Hood, Texas, and for a team or individual was won by Dorenda Coleman of the Arizona Army National Guard.

The small program award for Weapons System Acquisition was won by the Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center's Counterfeit Refrigerant Impact Team, based in Warren, Mich.

NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION - LARGE INSTALLATION

Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center, Kentucky Army National Guard

This Kentucky Army National Guard center partnered with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, or USFWS, and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, KYDFWR, to enable expansion of their prescribed fire program. The installation maintains its own burning unit and fire fighting team to conduct prescribed fires in house. USFWS and KYDFWR staffs who conduct burns on the post for training events further support these experts.

The burn program directly supports both training needs and the NRC program's goal to address the non-native and invasive species introduced by the coal company that previously owned the land. Use of prescribed fire allows the installation to avoid use of herbicides and the installation's native grass restoration program coincides with pest species control. Restoring native vegetation already has had positive impacts on wildlife populations, including recently documenting the first recorded instance of natural pheasant reproduction in the state.

CULTURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT INSTALLATION

Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.

The Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield Cultural Resources Management Team is helping reduce training land encumbrances by integrating large-scale archaeological surveys with installation range planning priorities. They also are evaluating surveyed buildings for eligibility for national register listing, and instituting a comprehensive site monitoring program to rate all protected sites based on natural threat and vandalism potential. This allows them to allocate time and resources to the most threatened sites.

CULTURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT - TEAM

Fort Bragg, N.C.

During the rating period, the Fort Bragg Cultural Resources Management Team completed two Phase I inventory surveys totaling 4,500 acres. This reduced restrictions on training lands while maintaining installation compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act. The team expanded its partnerships with the Department of Defense Education Activity and Army Community Services by participating in events at Fort Bragg schools and by hosting the Youth Leadership Conference for a beautification project at Long Street Presbyterian Church.

In addition, two significant archaeological discoveries were made by Department of Defense personnel -- the Wilmore cache of stone quarry blanks and an ancient Clovis point -- which enhanced the knowledge of the earliest people to inhabit the region.

ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION - INSTALLATION

U.S. Army Garrison - Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.

Once considered an 'environmental disaster,' APG was believed to have some of the most dangerous remediation sites in the U.S. Since then, a complete transformation has taken place and APG's environmental restoration program. Thanks to a strong partnerships with regulators and the public, innovative strategies and dynamic program management, the program now focuses on supporting the APG mission while executing a cost-effective environmental cleanup program that allows the safe return of property for military reuse while protecting human health, public safety and the environment.


ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY - INDUSTRIAL

Tobyhanna Army Depot, Penn.

The depot, one of the Army's Net Zero-Water pilot facilities, is ahead of schedule in meeting their water reduction goals. Their recycling and solid waste diversion rate was more than 60 percent for fiscal year 2011 and fiscal year 2012. Their new command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance refinishing center was constructed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, silver standards. That facility incorporates a number of transferable environmental technologies including heat recovery on the paint booth exhausts, a laser paint removal system and variable frequency drives for blast booth exhaust fans.

ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY - OVERSEAS INSTALLATION

U.S. Army Garrison - Vicenza, Italy

The Vicenza garrison is continuously developing programs to implement environmentally preferable technologies. Pollution prevention opportunity assessments identify areas where innovative technologies can promote more efficient and sustainable use of resources. Some of the latest improvements recognized in this award include compostable waste dehydrators to reduce organic/food waste to produce a reusable by-product. Shop towel recycling is used as an alternative to the single use and disposal of shop towels. Ultrasonic parts cleaning units are replacing low- volatile organic compond solvent machines.

The garrison also has developed and implemented an aggressive education and outreach campaign to promote energy awareness, including "mock" billing to residents of government housing, tours of the facility co-generation (power) plant and commercials in media outlets such as the Armed Forces Network.

SUSTAINABILITY - NON-INDUSTRIAL

Fort Hood, Texas

The Cen-Tex Sustainable Communities Partnership was established to develop and implement sustainability in Central Texas through voluntary programs among Fort Hood, and its neighboring cities, Killeen, Gatesville, Harker Heights, and Copperas Cove. Fort Hood is one of the Net Zero - Waste pilot installations and has the largest, self-sustaining recycling facility in the Army.

SUSTAINABILITY - TEAM OR INDIVIDUAL

Dorenda Coleman, Arizona Army National Guard

Coleman worked closely with Arizona State University to develop and launch the Sustainability Leadership Graduate Certificate program, which is designed to better educate existing Army and Army National Guard Soldiers and employees, as well as prepare the next generation of sustainability professionals. The program began in spring 2012, and is the first program of its kind, custom-developed to feature contemporary examples of sustainability challenges and opportunities relevant to Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve missions and operations.

ENVIRONMENTAL EXCELLENCE IN WEAPONS SYSTEM ACQUISITION - SMALL PROGRAM

Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center.

Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center's Counterfeit Refrigerant Impact Team was tasked as technical lead to develop solutions for identification, containment and mitigation of counterfeit refrigerants, which poses considerable environmental concerns for the DOD's large vehicle fleet.

These Secretary of the Army Award winners will next compete in the Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards competition, which recognizes the top environmental sustainability programs among all military branches. The winners of that competition will receive their awards at a Pentagon ceremony, July 10.