Working under the extreme fiscal constraints imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011, two Hawaii bases earned top recognition in installation management and conservation of natural resources.

First, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii on Schofield Barracks in Wahiawa was selected as the Gold Medal winner of the Army Community of Excellence Award for 2014, making it the best managed installation in the entire Army. This marks the culmination of an 18-month process where each Army installation submits their strategic plan, improvements and innovations, which are the evaluated and scored by teams of trained experts at the offices of the Army’s Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management in Washington, D.C. and Headquarters, Army Installation Command in San Antonio, Texas.

The Army program is designed to improve installation and readiness with effective business transformation processes. “Your concepts, visionary and supportive leadership, core values, learning and innovation, and organizational performance combined with your ability to focus on results and creating value plus customer driven excellence have put you ahead of other installations,” said Lt General David Halverson, Assistant Chief of the Staff of the Army for Installations Management and Commanding General of Installation Management Command.

This was quite a feat for Colonel Whitney as the garrison has responsibility for all Army installations and training areas in Hawaii, including Schofield Barracks, Helemano Reservation, Fort Shafter and Makua Military Reservation on O`ahu and  the Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawaii Island.

“This was a team effort throughout U.S. Army Hawaii,” said Colonel Daniel Whitney, Commander of the garrison. “Our dedicated garrison staff has worked with all of our commands and partners on our installations here in Hawaii to ensure best practices and plans are in place to support our military community.”

Second, Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) in Kaneohe received the U.S. Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for excellence in Natural Resources Conservation in the Small Installation category. The award recognizes exceptional efforts to promote the conservation of natural resources, including the identification, protection, and restoration of biological resources and habitats; the sound management and use of land and its resources; and the promotion of conservation ethic.

The base encompasses 4,500 acres of land and shoreline on Oahu and a 12-acre parcel on Molokai. Supporting more than 25,000 military and civilian employees and their family members, and 10,000 military retirees using base service facilities, the base received top recognition within the U.S. Department of Defense in balancing the sustainability of natural resources and supporting the military mission, while simultaneously meeting requirements for conservation enforcement, hazard waste control, environmental and cultural resources management and other requirements outlined in the National Environmental Protection Act.

Accomplishments include the backbreaking and exhaustive effort to clear tons of accumulated debris from 100-300 feet off the base shoreline to protect the survivability of the endangered Hawaiian stilt; dredging 30,000 cubic yards of sediment soil and removing heavy vegetative growth and debris from the Waimanalo Stream on Bellows; completed a coastal and marine resources qualitative investigation of the waters surrounding the base; and initiating work to complete a project to delineate the three remaining undocumented potential wetlands on the base.

MCBH Commander Colonel Brain Annicharicao and the base Environmental Compliance and Protection Department and the resources staff within its Conservation Division are to be congratulated for the outstanding accomplishments in resource management that resulted in earning this high honor.