POINT MUGU, Calif. (NNS) -- Last month, Naval Base Ventura County was honored with the Navy Region Southwest 2015 Installation Excellence Award and will go on to compete at the Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) level.
Commander, Navy Region Southwest (NRSW) named NBVC the winner in the large installation category. Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake was named the small installation winner.
All 10 installations in the region competed.
"All award packages were outstanding, and the competition was tough," said Capt. Christopher Plummer, NRSW chief of staff. "All hands continue to perpetuate NRSW's exceptional reputation for taking care of our fleet, fighter and family, and lead CNIC."
Ventura County and China Lake will each receive $110,000 in Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization funds.
Capt. Larry Vasquez, commanding officer of NBVC, called the award a team effort.
"We've been the Navy's best-kept secret for years, and now that secret is getting out," said Vasquez. "It's great to be recognized for the hard work the team puts in every day."
The award took into account shore operations, facilities management, CNIC strategic guidance, mission support, energy usage, quality of life, unit morale, environment, real property asset management, real property stewardship, competitive activities, communications, safety and health, security, public relations and other honors received.
Part of its recognition stems from its multiple accomplishments throughout the year.
It was the only Navy installation to support the Department of Health and Human Services with children who had crossed into the United States unaccompanied. After Ventura County learned of this mission, base personnel opened a facility that could house the children in 10 days. In the following 10 weeks, 1,555 children passed through the facility, as well as 160 VIPs touring, including members of Congress and the chief of naval operations. There were no legal or runaway incidents during this time.
The base serves as the Navy's hub for unmanned aircraft operations, testing and maintenance. These platforms include the unmanned helicopter MQ-8C Fire Scout, and soon its older-variant the MQ-8B as well the broad area maritime surveillance unmanned aircraft system MQ-4C Triton maintenance detachments. Every year, the base hosts Black Dart, a joint exercise to test countermeasures to protect against enemy unmanned aircraft systems, during which 1,250 interagency, international and industry partners demonstrate 80 systems. Additionally, it serves as the only Department of Defense installation to allow for more in-depth, real-time testing of unmanned systems operations, due its allowable airspace, Class D.
The base continues its conservation efforts, in conjunction with nearby San Clemente Island, to contribute to removing the Island Night Lizard from the endangered list, despite being the busiest approach control in the Navy, with a recorded 96,450 flight operations, including air traffic control service for Oxnard and Camarillo.
In the past decade, the installation has exceeded energy- and water-conservation goals put forth by the Secretary of the Navy with a reduction by 36.3 percent since 2003 for energy and by 35.7 percent for 2007 in water. Future projects include wind turbines and a reverse osmosis plant on San Nicolas Island.
A refurbished plant nursery on San Nicolas Island has produced more than 5,000 native plants used for erosion control.
For more news from Naval Base Ventura County, visit www.navy.mil/local/nbvc/.