By Frank Whitman, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas Public Affairs
YIGO, Guam (NNS) -- A Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas environmental specialist helped to educate Air Force junior ROTC cadets about the military's environmental stewardship programs during a recent Cadet Leadership Course in Guam.
The five-day course, from July 15-19, was held on Andersen Air Force Base and organized by the Andersen Top 3 Association, the professional organization comprising the top tier of enlisted Air Force members. Among the course training activities was a one-hour environmental brief by NAVFAC Marianas and Andersen Air Force Base Environmental Department experts.
“We wanted to provide the information about Guam’s environment to our cadets,” said retired Senior Master Sgt. Gerry Lunod, who is an aerospace science and junior ROTC instructor at Tiyan High School. “They live on the island; they are our future leaders so it is important for them to understand what our environment is about and how to protect it.”
In their presentation to the cadets, Natural Resource Specialists Megan Parker and Catherine Brunson provided information about: endangered species and measures being taken to protect them, invasive species and efforts to eradicate or control them, cultural resources and procedures in place to catalog and preserve them, and other environmental issues and mitigation measures.
“Resource management is about conserving, protecting and restoring resources for future generations,” Parker said. “We wanted to help the students get an idea of the planning and hard work that the Department of Defense devotes to managing resources – natural and cultural.”
“The younger generation, like these cadets, need to hear how the military is preserving plants, artifacts and wildlife, especially here in Guam,” said Master Sgt. Carlos Gierlings, a Silver Flag instructor with 554th Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers (RED HORSE) who headed the camp.
The brief was well received and effective, according to Lunod. “I know from talking to some of the cadets that they didn’t know how things happened - why we have all these invasive species and why so many species are endangered,” he said. “Now they have a better understanding.”