JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations & Environment) visited the Jacksonville tri-base installations Dec. 13-15 as part of her inspection tour of construction and natural resources programs at bases in Navy Region Southeast.
Jackalyne Pfannenstiel was welcomed aboard by Rear Adm. Tim Alexander, commander, Navy Region Southeast, for a region overview and energy council brief, Dec. 13
"As you'll see during your visit, our Northeast Florida installations have developed robust environmental protection and energy conservation programs," said Alexander. "We are focused on doing our part to achieve Secretary Mabus' five energy goals. Our commitment to environmental stewardship and innovation will no doubt help lead the way to new energy strategies that benefit both our warfighters and our local communities."
Pfannenstiel expressed her agreement with Alexander.
"Secretary Mabus has raised the bar for the Navy by committing that we will be leaders among the services, the federal government and the nation in achieving aggressive goals for energy efficiency," Pfannenstiel. "His initiatives are tied directly to our national security interests - and achieving them will bring other benefits, including better use of limited resources and healthier communities."
Pfannenstiel accompanied Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville Commanding Officer Capt. Jeffrey Maclay to the City of Jacksonville Environmental Protection Board meeting where Mayor John Peyton presented them a plaque recognizing the installation's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) awards for two new energy and water-efficient aircraft hangars recently constructed at NAS Jacksonville.
Maclay said he was proud to escort Pfannenstiel to the event.
"This recognition epitomizes the types of environmental partnerships that NAS Jacksonville engages in with municipal, state and federal authorities. Yet, LEED-certified facilities are just one part of the public and private initiatives we support in order to conserve natural resources, reduce greenhouse emissions and lessen dependence on fossil fuels," said Maclay. "Our base vehicle fleet now includes 60 battery and solar-electric vehicles. Every time we add a zero emissions, low-speed vehicle - a gas-guzzling car or truck is taken off the road."
Maclay hosted a breakfast brief Dec. 14, where Pfannenstiel interacted with department heads as they presented achievements in environmentally sensitive engineering and construction. She was particularly interested in the training facilities that will support the Navy's transition from the P-3 Orion to the P-8 Poseidon Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft.
After the brief, Pfannenstiel and Maclay joined NAS Jacksonville Public Works Officer Cmdr. Bill Siemer and others for an installation tour. At the Black Point Watchable Wildlife Center, NAS Jacksonville Natural Resources Manager Christine Bauer explained various initiatives affecting endangered species, as well as natural and cultural resources programs available to schools and civic groups.
Kevin Gartland, the station's environmental director, said, "Environmental compliance is clearly a part of daily operations at NAS Jacksonville and its areas of responsibility -including Outlying Field Whitehouse and the Pinecastle Range. Our most valuable asset is knowledgeable people who work with military and civilian employees on a continuous basis to assure that standards and regulations are met or exceeded."
Gartland's staff manages 5,000 acres of forest and 2,000 acres of wetlands that are hospitable to threatened and endangered species.
Public Works Department Resource Efficiency Manager Cliff Plante described the Building Energy Monitor (BEM) program aboard NAS Jax.
"It's a vital part of complying with Department of the Navy (DoN) and region instructions to develop energy management activities that result in lower energy and operating costs," said Plante. "Our BEM program is two years old and, so far, more than 125 military and civilian personnel have completed BEM training. That translates to 96 percent of our base facilities that are currently audited and monitored by a BEM."
"Our BEM program provides valuable tools and techniques that help every command and facility to operate more efficiently," said Maclay. "It's an integrated process that identifies practical ways to manage electricity, natural gas, compressed air and water to reduce operating costs while improving the environment."
The tour ended with a working lunch at the Flight Line Cafe, where Pfannenstiel sat with a group of BEMs to discuss successes and future steps.
"I like how the BEM program brings efficiencies to the deckplate level. It makes people aware that they can truly make a real difference -whether they work in an office, in a warehouse, in a hangar or on the flight line," said Pfannenstiel.
For more news from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, visit www.navy.mil/local/nasjax/.