Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif. -- As the largest combined arms live-fire training facility in the Marine Corps, the Combat Center has the responsibility of ensuring Marines remain a force in readiness. The mission of the Navy and Marine Corps is to provide the global presence necessary to ensure stability and to deter potential adversaries. Ensuring access to secure, reliable energy and water is critical to the Marine Corps’ ability to provide that presence.
The Assistant Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Dennis V. McGinn, awarded the Combat Center’s Exercise Support Division the 2015 Secretary of the Navy Energy and Water Management Award in the United States Marine Corps Expeditionary category, Jan. 21, 2016 at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field. McGinn also recognized the Combat Center as an installation, for a Gold Level of Achievement under the awards program, which indicates a very good to outstanding energy or water program.
“The Combat Center is a tough environment for water and energy conservation,” McGinn said. “The installation’s mission, to be able to prepare Marine units to go forward in peace and in war, is absolutely critical. The fact that the team here at the Combat Center has been able to win these awards tells me a lot about the leadership, the hard work, and the team work that goes on here.”
Lt. Col. Randal Pape, officer in charge, ESD, accepted ESD’s award on behalf of the unit and Col. Jay Wylie, assistant chief of staff, G-4 Installations and Logistics, accepted the Combat Center’s recognition on behalf of the installation.
The Department of the Navy's Energy and Water Management Awards Program is designed to promote and reward excellence in areas of energy efficiency, energy management, new technology, renewable energy, energy training innovation and energy awareness. Each year, the Secretary of the Navy recognizes the accomplishments of Navy and Marine Corps operational units and installations.
“We in the Department of the Navy have come a long way in the past six or seven years,” McGinn said. “Whether it’s new energy technology like solar panels or new procedures, we’re finding out how much progress we’re capable of making.”
The Marines of ESD earned the award for their ability to record information with regard to energy usage in an expeditionary environment.
“ESD’s role is to allow the equipment in the enhanced exercise allowance pool to be utilized for data capture,” Pape said. “The Combat Center is the only place in the Marine Corps, in a training environment, where we can get accurate data on the amount of energy that our ground equipment is using during operations.”
Divisions such as ESD, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs, and Public Works Department are responsible in part for the installation’s success in their conservation efforts. Due to the programs put in place by the installation and executed by each division, the base has not only met but exceeded expectations with regard to protecting the Combat Center’s natural resources.
“ESD is a tenant aboard this installation,” Pape said. “It’s important to ensure that we participate in all the Combat Center energy programs and ensuring that we are being good stewards with government resources, not only to save money, but to protect the environment.” In honor of their accomplishments, ESD received a certificate of achievement, a monetary award, and are authorized to display the Secretary of the Navy Energy Conservation Award flag for one year.
“Our energy and water initiatives across the board are all about creating an even more effective combat force,” McGinn said. “We want to have better mission effectiveness, and operational efficiency. Because the Combat Center is the source of excellence for so many war fighting capabilities, they’re setting the standard.”