USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- Aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) received the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Environmental Quality Award June 5, in recognition of the carrier's environmental protection programs and initiatives during fiscal year 2011.
Lt. Caity Bourgoine received the award on behalf of Enterprise at a ceremony held at the United States Navy Memorial in Washington D. C.
Lt. Robin M. Schubauer, Enterprise's assistant safety officer and afloat environmental protection coordinator, said the CNO Environmental Quality Award is given every year and it alternates between "big decks" and "small decks."
"This year two carriers won," said Schubauer. "The Reagan won it for the west coast and Enterprise won it for the east coast."
Enterprise submitted a package in November 2011, highlighting all of its environmental along with an endorsement letter from USS Enterprise Commanding Officer Capt. William C. Hamilton Jr., stating Enterprise Sailors are "committed to the reduction of harmful environmental emissions and discharges through sound management practices while continuing to meet every operational challenge placed before them."
The nomination package included accomplishments such as partnering with Naval Facilities Environmental to plan and organize a "pier environmental compliance training DVD." The DVD is now mandatory training for all Norfolk-based ships. Other accomplishments included the refurbishing of the ship's solid waste incinerator, which ensured proper and safe disposal of thousands of tons of hazardous trash and classified material, and air pollution control through the reduction of volatile organic content vapor and the use of closed-loop refrigerant charging and evacuation systems.
Enterprise was notified it had won the award via a letter from the deputy director, Energy and Environmental Readiness Division of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.
The letter noted "Enterprise is being recognized for its efforts to protect the environment while ensuring mission readiness."
It was also mentioned that Enterprise had won an award in this category in the fiscal year 2007 competition.
"We make sure the ship is complying with EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) laws," said Damage Controlman 1st Class Jay C. Colston, USS Enterprise assistant safety leading petty officer and assistant afloat environmental protection coordinator. "The most basic step to ensuring environmental protection is making sure all of our people are properly trained and qualified to run the equipment and do their jobs."
Schubauer and Colston agreed that environmental protection is everyone's responsibility.
"The thing about environmental protection is that it often involves the little things we do everyday," said Colston.
"From separating your trash," said Schubauer.
"To putting a lid back on you can of paint," said Colston.
The two also agreed that winning the award is a huge honor for Enterprise. Colston said it means the people and equipment aboard Enterprise are all working properly and the crew is consciously trying not to harm the environment.
Enterprise is a 50-year-old ship with greater challenges than some of the newer carriers when it comes to environmental protection. Colston said that this sets the Enterprise apart and makes it a real honor to have won the award.
"Environmental protection is an all-hands effort," said Colston. "From the newest deck seaman to the admiral, everyone plays a part."
"The Environmental Award is everyone's award" said Schubauer.
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