Missile Ranger Report
White Sands Missile Range was selected as a winner of the 2016 Secretary of Defense Environmental Award when it was named as the top performer for Cultural Resources Management achievements in fiscal years 2013 to 2015 April 21.
The program won the Secretary of the Army award in February and represented the Army for the Department of Defense award in March. A diverse panel of judges representing federal and state agencies, academia and the private sector select the winners.
The Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards recognize individuals, teams and installations for their exceptional environmental achievements and innovative, cost-effective environmental practices. “Our men and women work hard to keep environmental stewardship a top priority while simultaneously advancing our National Defense Mission.” These efforts “foster a special type of innovation worthy of national recognition,” stated Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, in a DoD press release.
In FY 2015, DoD invested approximately $3.8 billion for its environmental programs: $1.8 billion to cleanup contamination from past DoD activities; $1.3 billion to comply with environmental laws; $377 million to protect natural and cultural resources; and $184 million for research and development to reduce environmental impacts of DoD activities and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of environmental solutions. These investments help DoD to continue ensuring the protection of human health and the environment, and to sustain the resources required to support the readiness of our Nation’s Armed Forces.
The Cultural Resource Management Program at WSMR, consisting of three government archaeologists, Jim Bowman, Bill Godby and Stan Berryman, who recently retired, manage 8,300 recorded archaeological sites, several thousand facilities and structures, a historic main post district and two National Historic Landmarks: Trinity Site, where the first atomic bomb was tested, and the V-2 Launch Complex 33.
The range is the largest overland test facility in the U.S. and includes structures, facilities and archaeological sites over much of its 2.2 million acres. At the height of the Cold War it was the most instrumented range in the world, with state-of-the-art tracking telescopes, cinetheodolites, photographic instruments that collect trajectory data, radars and telemetry equipment. With technological changes, many of these sites became obsolete and unused. In support of the Army’s Facilities Reduction Program, more than 175 facilities were inventoried and evaluated for their historic significance.
“It’s a tremendous honor and opportunity to work at WSMR” said Bill Godby, WSMR archaeologist and Cultural Resource manager. “The success of our program would not be possible without the continual support of the Army, the WSMR Command and the entire staff of the Environmental Division.”
Godby also noted that “the efforts of many individuals on a daily basis, including contractors, Tribal partners, University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University staff, are why we won this award. The three of us could not achieve this level of work by ourselves”.
Jose Gallegos, Director of the Directorate of Public Works, formerly Chief of the Environmental Division during the award period stated, “I’ve worked closely with Bill, Jim and Stan and learned a great deal about cultural resources and was impressed from the beginning by their dedication and professionalism. I’m very proud of their work and being associated with this award.”
The WSMR Cultural Resource Management Program has achieved a high level of excellence by continually reaching beyond the confines of the office, seeking innovative and cost effective ways to identify, protect and preserve the tremendous cultural resources they manage. Their efforts have strengthened the foundation of the program and its future while ensuring a positive and productive impact to the military mission at WSMR.
For more information on the DoD Environmental Awards Program, visit: www.denix.osd.mil/awards.