MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- The Department of Defense awarded the Combat Center the 2015 Secretary of Defense Sustainability Award in the non-industrial installation category, at the Combat Center Commanding General’s Conference Room, Oct. 1, 2015.
Members from Natural Resource and Environmental Affairs, and Public Works Department, joined Combat Center Commanding General Maj. Gen. Lewis A. Craparotta and Combat Center Chief of Staff Col. James F. Harp, in the official award ceremony. The DOD selected the Combat Center for the award March 23, 2015.
Achieving the award involved noteworthy accomplishments from Oct. 1, 2012, through Sept. 30, 2014. According to Lt. Col. Timothy Pochop, director, NREA, exceeding DOD goals included working with the Water Conservation Task Force and various organizations within the Combat Center’s Qualified Recycling Program.
“We were able to achieve a 45 percent water intensity reduction since 2007,” Pochop said. “As of this month, we achieved a 48 percent reduction in solid waste diversion.”
Pochop said NREA plans to continue education on water conservation while progressing in storm water treatment and reuse techniques.
“One of our next projects includes installing a wastewater treatment plant to save on evaporative loss and improve use of recycled water,” Pochop said.
The Combat Center also installed additional solar photovoltaic systems to surpass DOD standards in energy reduction. Lt. Cmdr. James Stewart, public works officer, said installing an additional co-generation plant in 2014 increased self-sustainability.
“We now have about nine megawatts of energy installed through our PV systems,” said Stewart.
Gary Morrissett, base energy manager, added, “We’re up to the point where we generate over 90 percent of our own power.”
This year, along with receiving the Secretary of Defense Sustainability Award, the Combat Center also received the Secretary of the Navy Environmental Award, which recognized the Combat Center for its efforts in environmental awareness efforts in natural resources and sustainability throughout 2014.