NORFOLK, Va. , May 1, 2020 —
The Environmental Information Management System (EIMS) team from U.S. Fleet Forces Command has been awarded both the 2020 Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) and Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Environmental Awards for environmental quality in the individual/team category, April 22.
EIMS is a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based toolset designed to provide the U.S. Navy with a more effective and efficient means of fulfilling its regulatory compliance obligations by leveraging existing data and technologies. EIMS supports environmental planning, natural resources management and encroachment issues for Navy range and operating area events.
The team, consisting of 19 people, are among nine winners from a total of 30 Secretary of Defense award nominees.
“I am very proud of our EIMS team, and am pleased that they have been recognized as winners of both the SECNAV and SECDEF environmental awards,” said Tracy Riker, acting director, for the U.S. Fleet Forces Installations and Environment directorate. “EIMS has become an indispensable component of fleet readiness in its support of both U.S. Fleet Forces and Pacific Fleet environmental, natural resources, and range sustainment missions.”
For 20 years, the EIMS program team has worked to compile environmental data for air, surface, subsurface and land range boundaries, and streamlined processes to aid Navy leadership in decision-making that complies with all environmental laws. They believe the secret to their success comes from their adaptability.
“Improvements in EIMS capabilities and datasets in the past several years have transformed it into the information management system of choice for fleet environmental, natural resources, range sustainment, and operational energy projects,” said Riker.
These improvements were not simply a natural progression over time. They came from the users themselves.
“We keep adding capabilities that our customer base is requesting,” said Bryan Murphy, the EIMS project manager and the contracting officer’s representative. “Over the years, we kept at it and tried to make it better. We kept listening to the users and what it is they needed.”
This philosophy has not only impacted the loyalty of usership, but also the size as well.
“EIMS’s dramatic increase in usership provides evidence of the user community’s confidence in the system,” said Riker.
This user community is not solely made up of fleet environmental planners though.
“The EIMS program is designed and funded for fleet support, but we don't discriminate,” said Murphy. “So we do have a lot of non-fleet users that have discovered EIMS who like and use it.”
This great success comes from a team in which the members don’t even all work in the same state, much less the same building.
“I'm very happy that all of the team members who have been laboring in anonymity all these years are finally getting their day in the sunshine,” said Murphy. “With an IT workforce that's dispersed and teleworking, you get a feeling after a while that you just don't know if anybody knows or cares what it is that you're doing. So having this award where they can see that people are noticing is a very valuable thing.”
This is the first time the EIMS team has been awarded the Secretary of Defense Environmental Award, and their second time being awarded the Secretary of the Navy Environmental Award, winning the first time in 2008.
For more information on the 2020 winners, visit https://www.denix.osd.mil/awards/2020secdef/.