Biden presents DLA, other agencies environmental awards
Vice President Joe Biden and Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn III presented a Secretary of Defense Environmental Award to a former Defense Logistics Agency depot in a Pentagon ceremony June 3.
The former Defense Depot Memphis, Tenn., won in the Installation Environmental Restoration category. The facility, which closed in 1997 under a Base Realignment and Closure program, was cited for applying innovation and forward thinking to speed clean-up operations and successful land reuse.
DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Alan Thompson; DDC Commander Marine Brig. Gen. Peter Talleri; Michael Dobbs, environmental program manager for DDC; DDC Public Affairs Officer Stacy Umstead; and Nanette Werner, environmental restoration team lead for DLA Enterprise Support's Environmental Office, accepted the award for DLA.
Biden praised DLA and the other winners for leading the way in environmental stewardship as they lead the way in the nation's defense.
“This is an outfit that does it all,” Biden said. “When I look at the accomplishments of the teams we honor today, I am genuinely impressed by how our nation's armed forces, while fighting two wars overseas and many other contingencies across the globe, can still lead the fight for effective environmental stewardship.”
Biden noted that the Defense Department, as the United States' largest employer, land owner and energy consumer, is making “a gigantic impact” in committing to environmental protection.
Today's winners have stood above the rest in protecting wetlands, promoting recycling programs and preserving archeological sites through “innovation, improvising as well as simple, plain hard work,” he said. “But they don't stand alone,” he said, pointing to the extensive environmental focus throughout the department.
“You have also demonstrated that in our military, you don't need to wear a green beret to be proud of being green,” he said.
The $4.3 billion proposed for the department's environmental programs in fiscal 2010 will continue this effort, Biden said. “It's a big deal what you are doing, and we have a shot at doing so much more,” he said.
Lynn lauded the commitment this year's awardees have demonstrated to environmental preservation. “They developed and implemented innovative techniques to eliminate waste production, use green alternatives in weapons systems development, reduce pollution and the consumption of energy and natural resources,” he said.
“Since the Department of Defense is the single-largest consumer of energy in United States, it is important that we also be a leader in efficiency and in using renewable fuels,” he said.
Ashton Carter, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, opened today's ceremony noting the lasting impact the awardees' “extraordinary contributions” will have.
“The men and women we honor today are committed to maintaining and restoringour natural resources, not only to address the complex security challenges of today, but to ensure that generations to come will benefit from our nation's unquantifiable richness,” he said.