Photo Information

Members of the California Public Utilities Commission tour MCAS Miramar’s energy operations center as well as the microgrid, and other current energy conservation projects on the flight line and at the Miramar Landfill on MCAS Miramar, Dec. 3, 2018. The Marine Corps Energy program on Marine Corps Air Station Miramar is responsible for finding and enacting new, innovative ways to improve energy efficiency throughout the base.

Photo by Sgt. Jake McClung

Two Marine Corps Installations Win 2019 Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards

23 Apr 2019 | Maj. Simba Chigwida The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

Each year, the Department of Defense awards individuals, teams and installations for exceptional environmental achievements. Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler received awards for Sustainability, Non-Industrial Installation and Environmental Quality, Overseas Installation, respectively. 

“MCAS Miramar and MCB Butler’s efforts highlight a great example of what can be done when we focus on building energy resilience,” said Maj. Gen. Coglianese, commander of Marine Corps Installations Command. “These installations are known for adopting innovative new practices to address environmental stewardship.”

Each year since 1962, the Secretary of Defense has honored installations, teams and individuals for outstanding conservation achievements, innovative environmental practices and partnerships that improve quality of life and promote efficiencies without compromising the Department of Defense’s mission success. 

“Our installations generate combat power. We cannot remain dependent on one source of energy and we must continue to analyze new renewable energy sources,” said Coglianese. “We are very proud of our Marine Corps installations and their efforts to make our bases more resilient.” 

Nearly 60 judges with relevant expertise from both the public and private sector evaluated nominees over the six central subject areas: natural resources conservation, environmental quality, sustainability, environmental restoration, cultural resources management and environmental excellence in weapon system acquisition. 

The Sustainability, Non-Industrial Installation Award recognizes efforts by a DoD non-industrial installation with a measurable focus on energy efficiency, renewable energy practices, greenhouse gas reduction efforts, procurement of sustainable goods and services, waste diversion, and efforts towards energy resilience. 

Recent MCAS Miramar accomplishments include: 

- In FY17, MCAS Miramar constructed an installation-wide microgrid that will provide 100 percent renewable energy and energy distribution capable of supporting over 100 mission-critical facilities for three weeks when disconnected from the grid. 
- In FY17 and FY18, MCAS Miramar invested $13 million to expand on energy resilience efforts, including items such as energy storage, electric vehicles, building control integration and base-wide demand management on the installation. 
- In FY18, MCAS Miramar entered an Intergovernmental Support Agreement with the City of San Diego to procure an additional 1.6 megawatts of landfill gas generated power as part of the City’s Pure Water Program. 
- In FY17 and FY18, MCAS Miramar implemented utility expansion projects to convert major irrigation sites, which increased reclaimed water infrastructure by more than five miles and provided a 45 percent conversion to reclaimed water irrigation. 
- MCAS Miramar expanded innovative mobility efforts by equipping six hybrid-electric passenger and cargo vans with vehicle-to-grid technology, allowing vehicles to balance energy loads by charging during off-peak times and sending power back to the grid when supply is compromised. 

MCAS Miramar is the largest air station in the Marine Corps and provides diverse infrastructure to enhance combat readiness for the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing. MCAS Miramar encompasses over 23,000 acres of mesas and undeveloped foothills.

For more information about MCAS Miramar’s efforts, please visit:

The Environmental Quality, Overseas Installation Award recognizes efforts by an overseas installation that ensure mission completion and the protection of human health in the categories of environmental planning, waste management, and compliance with existing environmental laws, policies and regulations. 

Recent MCB Butler accomplishments include: 

- In FY18, MCB Butler’s Qualified Recycling Program  avoided disposal costs that totaled more than $950,000 through energy efficiency improvements. 
- In FY17, MCB Butler’s Hawker Battery Reuse Program returned 201 batteries to units for reuse, generating a total savings of $67,000. 
- At MCB Butler and MCAS Futenma, personnel completed radon testing in 200 buildings and mitigated radon in 10 buildings. 
- MCB Butler initiated a hazardous waste risk reduction audit as part of the annual Environmental Management Systems Objectives and Targets. 
- During Earth Week, MCB Butler partnered with local communities to cleanup local riverways, beaches and parks. The installation also partnered with the Okinawa Environmental Forum to discuss environmental initiatives across the island and areas of mutual interest. 

MCB Butler is home to the III Marine Expeditionary Force and Jungle Warfare Training Center. The installation also serves as the headquarters for Marine Corps Installations Pacific. Over 3,000 species of flora and fauna inhabit MCB Butler along with several hundred archeological sites.

For more information about MCB Butler’s efforts, please visit: 

For more information about all of the 2019 Secretary of Defense Environmental Award winners, please visit: