SANTA RITA, GUAM (July 05, 2016) – The submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) received the Fiscal Year 2015 Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Environmental Quality Award in recognition for maintaining environmental readiness standards.
With 59 nominations from commands around the world being received in 10 award categories, Emory S. Land won in the Afloat 2015 Military Sealift Command (MSC) category.
“This year, Emory S. Land competed against all MSC ships to include fast-fleet oilers, so this is no small feat” said Lt. Cmdr. Charles R. Wilhite, force safety and environmental compliance officer for commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
The award reflects the way Emory S. Land Sailors and MSC civilian mariners take care of the environment.
“It’s obvious from the way the ship handles hazardous materials (HAZMAT), the attitude toward the environment and especially the cleanliness of the ship, that our people take care of the environment,” said MSC Civilian Mariner Michael S. Flanagan, officer in charge aboard Emory S. Land.
Emory S. Land’s primary mission is to keep submarines maintained and mission ready. To do so, sometimes requires the crew to handle HAZMAT, making the environment and safety a top priority.
Plans are still in motion to make Emory S. Land even more environmentally friendly.
“Even though the ship is 40 years old, we are still adding systems and operating conditions onto the machinery to make sure we are operating as efficiently as we can,” said MSC Civilian Mariner Peter C. Chaggaris, chief engineer aboard Emory S. Land.
Sailors and civilian mariners aboard Emory S. Land work with many compounds and solutions that are considered hazardous materials and must be properly disposed of.
“The success of Emory S. Land’s aggressive environmental readiness program is manifested in the crew’s ability to execute multiple standards required by both Navy and MSC in a hybrid environment,” said Lt. Sherleen Espinosa, safety officer aboard Emory S. Land.
Standards imposed on the ship can vary from port to port.
“The ship has been striving to stay in compliance with all the environmental regulations,” said Chaggaris. “We have a lot of logs to make sure that we are operating within, not just federal environmental regulations, but international as well. If we pull into another port, we have to know what their rules are.”
Even those who didn’t win the award are still moving toward a greener Navy.
“Your efforts not only embody the environmental stewardship ethic, but also aid in fulfilling the Navy’s national security mission,” said Vice Adm. Phil Cullom, deputy chief of naval operations for fleet readiness and logistics. “I applaud all of the nominees for their tireless commitment to preserving resources and bettering the environment.”
Emory S. Land is one of two forward deployed expeditionary submarine tenders home-ported in Guam, conducting maintenance on submarines and surface ships in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operations.