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NEWS | March 5, 2012

USFFC, USPACFLT Establish Environmental Protection, Energy Conservation Award

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Rafael Martie, U.S. Fleet Forces Command U.S. Fleet Forces Command

U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC) and U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) announced the establishment of the Environmental Protection and Energy Conservation (EPEC) Award Feb. 9. 

The new award will advance Navy energy conservation and environmental protection objectives by recognizing those ships and submarines consistently meeting established goals for achieving energy efficiency and protecting the maritime environment.

The establishment of the EPEC award supports five energy goals outlined by Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus; goals include: (1) increase alternative energy use throughout the Department of Navy, (2) sail "The Green Fleet," (3) reduce non-tactical petroleum, (4) increase alternative energy ashore, and (5) energy efficient acquisition. These goals seek to enhance and better enable our combat capabilities, sustain the environment for future generations, and promote a clean energy environment.

"Using alternative energy and changing the way we use and produce energy will allow us to remain the most formidable expeditionary force the world has ever known. It is the Navy and the Marine Corps' ethos to innovate, adapt, and ultimately - come out of the other side victorious," said Mabus.

To date, crews have made significant strides in energy conservation through improved understanding of linkages between unit tasking, shipboard equipment, and the marine environment.

"The Navy spent $4.7 billion on liquid fuels in 2011. A $10 a barrel increase would add about $1.3 billion in fuel costs for the department," said Lt. Cmdr. Allen Maxwell, Jr., the USFFC Navy energy program coordinator. "The EPEC award is a great tool for fostering a culture change to help the Navy curb its usage for oil. We cannot continue to spend what we have been spending on oil."

The EPEC award includes an environmental stewardship component. Environmental stewardship enables Sailors to carry out their missions while minimizing impacts on the environment. Navy personnel have been trained in many facets of environmental law ranging from marine mammal protection, discharge restrictions, and ordnance expenditures. The EPEC award will recognize the achievements of those units exhibiting consistent commitment to these vital aspects of fleet training and operations.

The EPEC award will be included in the calendar year 2012 competitive award cycle. Type commanders and immediate superiors in command will use the EPEC award, like other mission area excellence awards, as a factor in determining the winners of their respective battle efficiency competitions.