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Vandenberg earns top environmental awards

Release Number: 030609

Vandenberg was recognized June 3 as a winner in the 2009 Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards for leading the way in environmental stewardship as well as the nation's defense.

Vandenberg won in the Installation Cultural Resources Management category. The base was honored for implementing an integrated cultural resources management plan that protects and preserves more than 1,600 irreplaceable archeological resources and historic properties, 14 rock art sites and other cultural assets.

Vice President Joe Biden joined Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III in the Pentagon auditorium to recognize installations and teams he said are excelling in an area most people in the general public would never expect.

"This is an outfit that does it all," Vice President Biden said. "When I look at the accomplishments of the teams we honor today, I am genuinely impressed by how our nation's armed forces, while fighting two wars overseas and many other contingencies across the globe, can still lead the fight for effective environmental stewardship."

Vice President Biden noted that the Defense Department, as the United States' largest employer, land owner and energy consumer, is making "a gigantic impact" in committing to environmental protection.

Secretary Lynn lauded the commitment this year's awardees have demonstrated to environmental preservation. "They developed and implemented innovative techniques to eliminate waste production, use green alternatives in weapons systems development, reduce pollution and the consumption of energy and natural resources," he said.

The secretary of defense has been recognizing installations, teams and individuals for outstanding achievement in environmental management each year since 1962. A panel of experts representing federal and state agencies, academia, and the public selected this year's winners.