BY CANDICE VILLARREAL, DIRECTOR , OFFICE OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS, NAVSUP FLEET LOGISTICS CENTER SAN DIEGO
The Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet LogisticsCenter (FLC) San Diego fuels team was recognized as a winner of the prestigious Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Environmental Award for the second year in a row, in a naval message released, Feb. 22.
The award recognized NAVSUP FLC San Diego’s Defense Fuel Support Point, Point Loma facility as one of three winners for the Sustainability - Industrial Installation category.
The fuels team is charged with providing petroleum, oil, and lubricant logistics support to 86 homeported ships, submarines and transient vessels. It is the cornerstone for providing tactical fuel support to Navy command units operating in the Southern California operations area, supporting the largest concentration of naval forces in the world.
“I think this award highlights not only our ability to meet customer demands and mission support, but also the dedication we have to being good stewards of the environment,” said Lt. Cmdr. Brian Madden, regional fuels officer. “Our team is really proud of that. We strive to support the warfighter while also making sure we’re doing what’s right and maintaining the public trust. It’s really an honor to be recognized for it.”
While the NAVSUP FLC San Diego team embraced the fiscal year 2015 award, the staff agreed it came by way of a serious issue presented at the facility’s fuel oil reclamation plant. The plant, which recycles contaminated petroleum products and produces a separate petroleum product to be resold on the open market, plays a pivotal role in reducing waste and environmental burden, while providing a significant cost savings to the Navy.
In 2013, the staff discovered a serious microbiological growth and hydrogen sulfide problem that needed to be combated immediately. The team’s receipt of the award is a direct result of their swift, diligent and tireless efforts in alleviating those issues while maintaining optimal support levels to the warfighter and mitigating impact to the environment.
“The challenge to us in overcoming this was enormous, especially when we’re constantly operating at such a high tempo,” said Regional Fuels Director Stephen Frey. “We’d never encountered anything like this, but we knew we had to be meticulous and active in finding the solution. So, we did.”
NAVSUP FLC San Diego also received the CNO Environmental Award for fiscal year 2014 in the Sustainability - Team category, making the team’s fuel professionals back-to-back winners. During the 2014 award period, the team successfully met all customer requirements on time and on specification, processing more than 162 million gallons of petroleum products in support of the warfighter; all with zero spills. The bulk fuel terminal also underwent a multi-million dollar construction project with zero days lost due to accidents and was the first Department of Defense operation of its kind to receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for its groundbreaking efforts in green initiatives and environmental responsibility.
“Excellence doesn’t happen by accident,” said Commanding Officer Capt. John Palmer. “It is a result of planning, preparation and old fashioned hard work. What the fuels team had to overcome was no small feat, but their incredible synergy and teamwork led them here. I’m very proud to lead such a talented team of star performers.”
NAVSUP FLC San Diego will join the other winners in receiving a command plaque and advancing to the Secretary of the Navy level of competition.
Overall, I just have to say that we really feel blessed,” said Frey. “We’re so humbled by the fact that we were able to win this award for two years in a row; humbled that our submission merited such an award. It’s very prestigious and meaningful to us, so we are very grateful.”