By Sue Brink, NAVFAC Southeast Public Affairs Officer
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) for Fleet Readiness and Logistics (N4) Vice Adm. Phil Cullom announced 30 winners of the fiscal year 2016 CNO Environmental Awards competition in a naval message released March 15. Three North Florida installations were recognized.
The three installations named winners include Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, one of three worldwide installations receiving the Environmental Quality, Industrial Award; NAS Whiting Field, one of three installations awarded the Sustainability, Non-Industrial Award; and NAS Pensacola, which received both the Cultural Resources Management, Small Installation and the Cultural Resources Management, Individual/Team Awards (Carrie Williams).
The CNO Environmental Awards honor exceptional achievements in environmental stewardship among nominated ships, installations and individuals, on an annual basis.
NAS Jacksonville Executive Officer Capt. Michael Connor said that he and NAS Jacksonville Commanding Officer Capt. Sean Haley are extremely proud of this special recognition earned by the base environmental team.
"Our Public Works Environmental Division implements wide-ranging programs to ensure environmental compliance with local, state and federal regulations, as well as sustaining natural and cultural resources," said Connor. "Our environmental professionals are unsung heroes, quietly working in the background day in and day out to ensure strong environmental initiatives and outreach. Overall, the NAS Jacksonville environmental team enhances our mission to sustain warfighter readiness.
"It is vital that we be good stewards of the land we work on, the air we breathe, and the waters of the St. Johns River that is home to numerous species and used by thousands of people for work and recreation," continued Conner. "Rain or shine, our environmental professionals are out in the field checking fuel tanks, tracking hazardous waste, evaluating air emissions, protecting wildlife that live on the station, responding to spills, and performing many more tasks too numerous to name."
NAS Jacksonville Environmental Program Director Mike Pattison was quick to credit this achievement to the dedication and hard work of the entire NAS Jacksonville environmental team, as well as the support provided by base leadership and other departments and tenants throughout the base.
"Our folks are tremendously proud of our base and the work that we do to help maintain environmental compliance and conserve our natural resources," said Pattison.
NAS Whiting Field Public Works Officer Lt. Cmdr. Tim Gleason praised his environmental team.
"This is a great recognition for the environmental staff at NAS Whiting Field," said Gleason. "They pour their heart out each day to improve the environmental posture of the installation through tenant partnership and training, compliance oversight, project design input and a myriad of other functions. I couldn't be prouder of them and I know that this award was well-earned."
NAS Pensacola earned two awards, a team award and an individual award for cultural resources management.
"This is a tremendous honor being selected for these cultural resource awards," said NAS Pensacola Public Works Officer Cmdr. Brent Paul. "NAS Pensacola has a history dating back to the Spanish occupation of 1559, to the beginning of the Navy Yard in 1825, Fort Barrancas and the Civil War, and the Naval Air Station in 1914. Carrie Williams is an exceptional steward of our history and for protecting those resources for generations."
Vice Adm. Cullom lauded the honorees in his message announcing the winners.
"Congratulations to all our accomplished winners for their impressive achievements in protecting environmental assets while maintaining mission readiness. The Navy commends you for your innovative and tireless efforts to demonstrate environmental stewardship and ensure national security. Bravo Zulu!"
In the next tier of competition, the 30 winners will compete along with Marine Corps nominees for the Secretary of the Navy Environmental Awards and then the Department of Defense level of the environmental awards program.