Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Feb. 10, 2022

Alaska Army National Guard Team Wins Environmental Security Award

By Victoria Granado Alaska National Guard Public Affairs

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Last week, the National Guard Bureau officially recognized the Alaska Army National Guard’s Restoration Team for their exceptional accomplishments in restoring unattended armory sites to a clean and sound state for transferring to outside organizations.

The award identified four environmental compliance professionals– Donald Flournoy, Alyssa Murphy, Aaron Acena and Patrick Geary. Each member is tasked with the mission of identifying potential contaminates of disused armory properties, developing a plan of action and collaborating with numerous stakeholders, all completed in accordance with AKNG policy. Ultimately, and most importantly, the team ensures the safety of local residents by cleaning and neutralizing the area of hazards.

“There are a lot of moving parts when beginning the divestiture of a site,” said Murphy, the environmental team lead. “There might be ‘legacy spills’ from previous years we need to clean up. We can’t check off a property unless we’re positive the past presence of the AKNG isn’t making a negative impact on the environment, the cultural resources and that there is no threat to human health.”

Just in the last year, the team administered the overall cleanup and transformation of 15 out of 62 former AKNG properties. Considering the challenges unique to Alaska, this is a benchmark the team reached through no small effort.

“In remote Alaska, it seems like everything you do takes ten times the amount of coordination and planning,” said Flournoy, the environmental branch chief. “There are a number of sites in the Interior that are accessible only by river or aircraft. Similar programs in other states just don’t have those sorts of obstacles limiting them.”

On top of that, Alaska only offers three to four summer months, a short window of ideal weather conditions for travel. Accordingly, the award recognizes the extended efforts of those involved that exceeded what would typically be required for such an undertaking.

“This award shines a light on a great achievement in teamwork,” said Geary, the environmental condition of property program manager. “People in other states sometimes wonder why we can’t just do site visits as soon as we need to. Well, we can’t just drive to do site visits. We have to plan for summer, good weather, lodging and arrange flights. And then there’s the weather.”

However, in the face of these demanding logistics, the team said they agree on how important their work is to Alaska and what it means for the future of similar projects.

“I have a great sense pride in everybody involved,” Flournoy said, voicing his appreciation for his team. “They’re boots on the ground, making everything happen. And, like most Alaskans, they take pride in our natural resources and want to be good stewards of the land. It is an honor to protect those things and make a tangible difference in that regard.”

The award brings national attention to an initiative vital to the mission readiness of the AKNG and validates the commitment and professionalism of the Environment Restoration Team.

“I feel a lot of gratitude being part of this team,” said Murphy. “And it’s extremely rewarding to be recognized for our group efforts to restore properties to their rightful condition.”
CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
322,588
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
Expanding Maritime Partnership: Thailand, U.S. 2022 CARAT Exercise
Expanding Maritime Partnership: Thailand, U.S. 2022 CARAT Exercise
May 23, 2022 - GULF OF THAILAND – Royal Thai and U.S. navies begin maritime training during the 28th annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise, May 23.Taking place in the Gulf of Thailand, the exercise highlights...

Japan-U.S. Joint Leaders’ Statement: Strengthening the Free and Open International Order
May 23, 2022 - THE WHITE HOUSE STATEMENTS AND RELEASES. Today, Japan and the United States affirm a partnership that is stronger and deeper than at any time in its history. Guided by our shared values; anchored by our common commitment to...

Remarks by President Biden and President Yoon Suk Yeol of the Republic of Korea at the Air Operations Center’s Combat Operations Floor on Osan Air Base
May 23, 2022 - THE WHITE HOUSE: Osan Air Base, Pyeongtaek, Republic of Korea. 1:52 P.M. KSTPRESIDENT BIDEN: First of all, I want to say thank you. And I wish you’d work on your biceps a little bit. (Laughter.) And you too, pal. It’s about...

Strong Alliances, Soldier Readiness Key to Deterring Aggression in the Pacific
Lt. Gen. Bill Burleson, Eighth Army commanding general, led a panel discussing
May 23, 2022 - HONOLULU, Hawaii -- With the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and numerous security challenges across the Indo-Pacific region, the stage was set for informative discussions at the 2022 Land Forces of the Pacific symposium, or...

Fort Shafter Soldiers Participate in Marara 22
U.S. and French soldiers take a break after establishing tactical control points in Huahine, French Polynesia during Marara 22. Marara 22 reinforces multinational partnerships by building readiness and interoperability for future contingencies throughout the Indo-Pacific. Through training, skill-sharing, and cultural exchanges, partnerships and allies share common interests in ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific through bilateral military-military engagements.
May 23, 2022 - HAUHINE, French Polynesia - Soldiers from the Headquarters and Headquarters and Charlie Company, 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment, Fort Shafter, Hawaii participated in Marara 22 from May 7 – 20, 2022.As part of the...