Posted by: arbeam | March 16, 2018

NAS Whidbey Island Earns 2018 Navy Installation Excellence Award

OAK HARBOR, Wash. (March 15, 2018) From left to right, Commander, Navy Region Northwest Rear Adm. Gary Mayes presents the 2018 Navy Installation Excellence Award pennant to Command Master Chief Shane Cardon and Capt. Geoffrey Moore, commanding officer of Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island, during an all hands call at the base chapel on Whidbey Island.

OAK HARBOR, Wash. (NNS) – Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island recently earned distinguished recognition with the 2018 Commander-In-Chief’s Installation Excellence Award for large naval installation.

The Navy’s installation excellence award program recognizes the top three large and top three small installations based upon performance within the command’s strategic goals and also fitting the criteria established by the Office of the Secretary of Defense in regards to the award.

Among this criteria, NAS Whidbey Island’s capacity for mission support managed to complete 87,300 radar operations and 9,800 flight plans in the largest airspace controlled by a naval air station. NAS Whidbey Island Search and Rescue (SAR) notably completed more Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) missions than any unit with 23% of total DoD and Coast Guard missions. “NAS Whidbey Island SAR is an elite group of military professionals that love doing search and rescue. We pride ourselves on the level of knowledge and professional level of care that we provide to those in need and we train hard and realistically so that when we are actually faced with the mission of rescuing someone, we are able to confidently and safely do that.” Stated Lt. Mark Hlousek, public affairs representative and pilot for the SAR team.

Hlousek commented that what enables the SAR team to perform successful rescue missions with such reliability and safety comes down to their dedication to training. “We train like we fight and we treat every flight like it is a real mission, that way, when we are faced with a real mission we will perform safely and professionally.” NAS Whidbey Island’s mission support capabilities, however, are not its only shining endeavor as the base clearly ensures all the avenues of managing an effective air station, especially in relation to energy conservation and the surrounding environment.

NAS Whidbey Island was recognized as the 2016 Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Energy and Water Management Award winner, received the 8th SECNAV Gold Award for energy and water programs and reduced 37% in energy intensity and 41% in water intensity.

The base was awarded the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Environmental Award for natural resources conservation, the Navy Community Service Award for environmental stewardship and Navy Whidbey Recycle earned the Solid Waste Association of North America’s Gold Excellence Award for composting systems.

Quality of life for the Sailors and civilians stationed on base is also addressed with the MWR program earning its second consecutive 5-star accreditation, scoring in the top five for the Navy. MWR opened additional recreational activities such as a new 18-hole disc golf course and an 18-hole foot golf course.

Community health and public communications is also nationally recognized with the base receiving the Suicide Prevention Award and being chosen to film its state-of-the-art suicide prevention awareness training conducted by the Chaplain Religious Enrichment Development Operation (CREDO) detachment on base.

“The CREDO detachment at Whidbey developed a 2017 Suicide Prevention and Awareness Program that was recognized by the DoD Suicide Prevention Office as the best in the fleet, which includes training, classes, awareness events and led to four known interventions.” Explained Lt. Zachary Juniper, chaplain and officer in charge for the CREDO detachment on Whidbey Island.

Commander, Navy Region Northwest (NRNW) Rear Adm. Gary Mayes came out to NAS Whidbey Island and presented the award, handing Capt. Geoffrey Moore, commanding officer of NAS Whidbey Island, the 2018 Installation Excellence Award pennant.

“It’s truly an honor to be recognized. Our Sailors and civilians work hard every day to ensure we support our operational tenant’s operational and training needs while striving to provide the best possible services for our military families.” Capt. Moore stated.

When asked how the award represents the base and personnel on the base as a whole, Moore emphasized, “This award truly is a ‘team’ award, representing all the hard work of our assigned personnel, tenant commands, community, NAVFAC Northwest, and NRNW staff. I couldn’t be more proud of our Sailors and government civilians that sustain success through continuous procedural compliance and a desire to constantly improve every day.”

Navy News article yy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Wood, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Whidbey Island

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