MILTON — In an announcement Aug. 3, the Secretary of the Navy named Naval Air Station Whiting Field the recipient of the Department of the Navy Energy Excellence Award for 2018 in the Navy Small Shore category.

The annual Department of the Navy’s Energy Excellence Awards program promotes excellence in the areas of energy security, new technology, innovation, program management and efficiency across the department.

The Honorable Richard V. Spencer, secretary of the Navy said in a message Friday, "this year’s submissions reflect the hard work and dedication of leaders across the Department that recognize the importance of energy security and its influence on readiness, lethality, and modernization. Improving the energy resiliency and security of our operating forces and our installations remains a top priority, and I look forward to all your future accomplishments in support of this critical program. Bravo Zulu!"

The annual Secretary of the Navy energy awards recognize outstanding leadership in energy management, innovations in energy efficiency and energy conserving approaches to training, daily operations and maintenance.

Points for the awards are given based on operational efficiency, including fuel consumption, as well as awareness and training to increase commitment to the Navy’s energy conservation best practices. Additionally, innovation and new methods in managing energy conservation are considered.

NAS Whiting Field’s recognition was achieved through successful implementation of several initiatives resulting in a 19.95 percent energy intensity reduction, already exceeding the 2020 energy goals established by the Secretary of the Navy. This feat was made possible through completion of a year-long Utility Energy Service Contract in partnership with Gulf Power, establishing a culture of conservation onboard the installation through outreach projects, 5K runs, power demonstrations, and diligent oversight of daily utility consumption.

Additionally, as part of these savings, NAS Whiting Field interconnected several large-scale HVAC plants into a ‘Virtual Chiller Plant,’ which now provides triple redundancy to some of the most critical buildings onboard the installation, significantly enhancing the energy resiliency of the base while gaining efficiencies.

"We always strive to incorporate operational needs into our energy projects to ensure we enhance our ability to support the mission, while at the same time providing energy savings to the Navy and the taxpayer," said Jason Poe, NAS Whiting Field Energy Manager.

"Everyone onboard NAS Whiting Field has contributed to this accomplishment. You should all be very proud of yourselves and the installation. Congratulations on a job well done!" NAS Whiting Field Executive Officer, Cmdr. Jim Brownlee said.

Among the commands that competed for the energy excellence recognition, 115 were recognized in categories such as Platinum, Gold and Blue levels of achievement, with NAS Whiting Field selected as the Navy Small Shore category overall winner.

"The Secretary of the Navy Energy Excellence Award is a tremendous honor that goes to only one small installation across the Navy every year. This award is an acknowledgment of the hard work and efforts at NAS Whiting Field to foster the energy program for the Navy, focusing on reliability and resilience, as well as energy efficiency. We're very proud of the team at NAS Whiting for this richly deserved award!" Navy Region Southeast Regional Energy Program Manager Steve Webster said.