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Ken King, manager, Western Area Research Test and Evaluation Center, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, shows communication components to Maj. Jamisen Fox, operations and plans officer, Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command, during the Combat Center’s Sustainability Expo at the Frontline Restaurant April 26, 2016. (Official Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Connor Hancock/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Connor Hancock

NREA hosts Sustainability Expo

4 May 2016 | Cpl. Connor Hancock Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

In support of the Department of Defense’s Sustainable Procurement Program, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs hosted the Combat Center’s first Sustainability Expo at the Frontline Restaurant April 26, 2016.

The DoD’s Sustainable Procurement Program aims to purchase environmentally preferable products and services in accordance with federally-mandated "green" procurement preference programs. Twenty-eight vendors attended the expo to present energy- and water-efficient products to Combat Center Marines, leaders and patrons.

“Our goal was to bring together a variety of vendors who had relevant materials to our base’s practices and processes,” said Lt. Col. Timothy Pochop, director, NREA. “Using biological-based materials helps reduce our chemical footprint and can expand our capabilities in the future.”

DoD members working under the Secretary of Defense for Energy Installations and Environment were also present at the expo and expressed appreciation for working with the Combat Center’s efforts in sustainability and environmental conservation.

“Twentynine Palms has been referred to as the leader in sustainability and environmental programs in the Marine Corps,” said George Handy, program manager, DoD Sustainable Products Center. “Residents are really lucky to have this staff here. They are true supporters of the movement.”

Vendors demonstrated various environmentally-efficient products, including tactical light emitting diode lights, designed to be a more efficient replacement of chemical light sticks used for signaling. Apart from product demonstration, the expo included three 20-minute workshops on Green Procurement led by Beth Martin of the U.S. Army Public Health Center.

“The expo is a very important portion of sustainability awareness, outreach and education,” Handy said. “It’s helping us with our mission.”
The Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Defense Logistics Agency inspected each product prior to the expo, ensuring they complied with the U.S. government’s sustainability standards.

“We vet the products upfront, allowing Marines to take these products to the field and make sure they meet the military’s requirements,” Handy said.

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