MILTON — In an announcement earlier this month, Naval Air Station Whiting Field received the Chief of Naval Operations Environmental award for Environmental Quality, Non-Industrial Installation.  

The annual Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Awards Program recognizes Navy ships, installations, and people for outstanding performance in promoting environmental stewardship. The program showcases accomplishments in Natural Resources Conservation, Cultural Resources Management, Environment Quality, Sustainability, Environmental Restoration, Environmental Excellence in Weapon System Acquisition, and Environmental Planning, according to the website for the Office of the Secretary of the Navy in Washington, DC.  

"I am very proud of the great work our Environmental team does every day to ensure we're good stewards and partners in the local area.  NAS Whiting Field strives for excellence in promoting best practices in safeguarding our natural resources.  Congratulations to the entire team!" NAS Whiting Field Commanding Officer, Capt. Paul Bowdich said.

The CNO Environmental Awards are the first of three levels within the DoD competition. All CNO winners advance to the Secretary of the Navy Environmental Awards competition.  Following that level, is the Secretary of Defense level Environmental Award.

"The Whiting Field environmental program is large and complex for an installation this size. It is great to see the environmental team being recognized for their hard work," said Wes Hamill, NAVFAC, NAS Whiting Field Deputy Public Works Officer.

A total of 61 nominations from commands around the world were received in nine award categories.  Environmental subject matter experts reviewed the submissions and selected winners for each of the categories.

In a released statement earlier this week, Vice Adm. D. R. Smith relayed, "Our Navy Sailors and civilians work in diverse ecosystems worldwide while performing our national security mission. I commend the winners of the CNO environmental awards program for maintaining mission excellence while protecting the natural environment in which we operate. Congratulations and Bravo Zulu!"

Naval Air Station Whiting Field, home of Training Air Wing FIVE, is the backbone of Naval Aviation Training, supporting approximately 60 percent of all primary fixed-wing flight training and 100 percent of all initial helicopter training for the Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps.  NAS Whiting Field is the busiest aviation complex in the world with more than 1.2 million flight operations flown at the installation annually.  It is comprised of two main airfields and 12 Navy Outlying Landing Fields across five counties in Southeast Alabama and Northwest Florida.