Leave It Better Than We Found It: Truman Wins CNO Environmental Award

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Lindsay A. Preston, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – Vice Adm. Phil Cullom announced aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) as the winner of the Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Award in the Large Deck Combatant category on March 16, 2017.

The CNO Environmental Awards recognize outstanding contributions to fleet readiness, increased morale and efficient economical use of resources to promote environmental protection at sea.

“We achieved significant milestones while safely executing a demanding schedule over the course of this past year, to include our eight-month deployment,” said Cmdr. Scott Morrill, Truman’s safety officer. “The foundation of our program is built on a training plan that starts when a Sailor checks on board. The environmental training is an all-hands effort that relies on the vigilance of our leadership and our Sailors on all levels.”

Environmental awareness training is required to be completed by all Truman Sailors. Similar facts and tips are also published in the plan of the day, the ‘Give ‘Em Hell Herald’ (ship’s newspaper), and the Ship’s Information Training and Entertainment (SITE) television program.

“Our training and commitment to environmental protection is evident in our record of zero reportable spills, releases of hazardous material (HAZMAT) or incident to marine mammals,” said Morrill.

One Sailor aboard Truman ensured HAZMAT issue and re-utilization efforts aligned with planned maintenance and procedural checklists.

“We strive to be the best in the fleet not only to protect the environment but our crew as well,” said Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Harrison Letchworth, assistant leading petty officer in HAZMAT issue and offload.

Truman Sailors collaborated with Sailors assigned to Carrier Air Wing 7 during corrosion prevention on air crafts in the hangar bay. This process involves using isocyanate, a paint used on air crafts that can be very dangerous if not used safely.

“It takes the entire crew to follow the proper procedures when handling HAZMAT and disposing of it safely as well as maintain fire prevention regulations. Our Truman standard is ‘leave it better than we found it’ and we definitely displayed our dedication to the environment this past year.”

In addition to HAZMAT management, Truman also exercises extreme caution when operating in areas likely to contain marine mammals. The crew employs every effort to minimize any potential negative effects on marine mammals.

“Efforts include knowing marine mammals’ patterns in geographic areas where the ship operates, scanning for mammals with passive [SONAR] systems and training our lookouts and airborne assets prior to commencing operations,” said Sonar Technician (Surface) 1st Class John Birmingham, leading petty officer in anti-submarine warfare planning under the Operations Department. “It is imperative we follow the protective measures assessment protocol prior to executing training. This is when we scan the surrounding area for mammals and ensure no harm will come to them.”

The awards honor individuals, teams and installations for their outstanding achievements and innovative work to protect the environment while sustaining mission readiness.

“Congratulations to all our accomplished winners for their impressive achievements in protecting environmental assets while maintaining mission readiness,” said Vice Adm. Phil Cullom, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics (N4). “The Navy commends you for your innovative and tireless efforts to demonstrate environmental stewardship and ensure national security. Bravo Zulu!”

 

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