News: 589th BSB excels at environmental stewardship
Story by Capt. John Farmer
FORT HOOD, Texas –The Fort Hood Environmental Quality Control Committee meets on a quarterly basis and is a forum for developing ideas, coordinating activities, and developing recommendations to preserve or enhance the environment and ensure compliance with laws, regulations, and policies.
“The Fort Hood Environmental Quality Control Committee is a group of commanders and functional experts on Fort Hood that act as the proponent for environmental control on Fort Hood,” said Lt. Col. Lance Cangelosi, commander of the 589th Brigade Support Battalion “Iron Caissons,” 41st Fires Brigade “Rail Gunners.”
This collection of commanders and environmental subject matter experts from across Fort Hood conducted a walk-through of the 589th BSB motor pool here Sept. 16., to discuss best practices and lessons learned relative to environmental stewardship and safety.
“Twice a year, the committee schedules environmental walk-throughs at various installations and activities across Fort Hood to highlight different assets that are available, programs or best practices,” Cangelosi said. “For this particular walk-through … they wanted to go through an actual unit motor pool to highlight some of the best practices that exist for motor pool operations, and 589th has a reputation for having a very good environmental quality control program.”
Cangelosi said his battalion has an excellent program, because his soldiers and noncommissioned officers take extra care with sensitive operations like the storage and disposal of hazardous materials.
Additionally, he credited their success to solid work practices within the motor pool, such as not only using drip pans when vehicles are stored, but also putting drip pans under vehicles that are being maintained.
For the Iron Caisson soldiers, environmental stewardship isn’t about mandatory monthly training or Environmental Stand Down Days, but rather a culture of doing things well, taking pride in their work and not cutting corners on seemingly mundane tasks.
“I see myself in the big picture as a mentor and a teacher,”said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Thaddous Carr, the allied trades warrant officer in charge for the 589th BSB.
Carr is one of the key proponents for the battalion’s environmental quality program and as the allied trades warrant officer, he is responsible for everything that goes on in the battalion motor pool to include environmental safety.
“Showing … is knowing,” Carr said. “I lead an aggressive program as far as teaching, having systems in place, and ensuring qualified people are in place to do the daily inspections.”
For Carr, it’s far more important to teach soldiers about how to be environmentally conscious as opposed to doing it for them. He said that if he was the one doing everything, no one would learn it for themselves. His role as a teacher goes beyond himself, and he wants to ensure that the people he instructs have the tools they need to pass this on.
After some opening remarks from Cangelosi, Carr took the EQCC members on a short tour of the battalion motor pool. The members were able to see the 589th’s best practices for storing and disposing used petroleum products, oil and lubricant storage, the battalion battery shed, and then finished inside one of the maintenance bays.
Brig. Gen. Clark LeMasters, commander of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), was particularly pleased with the walk-through.
“The DPW [Department of Public Works] guys knew that you had a good environmental program down here at 589th. I saw a lot of people taking notes. I think it was a victory,” said LeMasters.
For LeMasters, the importance of discussing the environmental issues that every unit on Fort Hood faces can’t be overstated. It’s equally important for units to know that there are subject matter experts across the post they can talk to.
He said peer-to-peer communication can be less intimidating for units as opposed to interacting with some of Fort Hood’s larger environmental agencies.
“When you get that link-up with the warrant officers and their NCOs, they’re not afraid to pick the phone up and call their buds,” LeMasters said.
With the motor pool walk-through complete, members of the EQCC can now take the lessons they’ve learned back to their respective organizations, and the culture of environmental awareness can continue to grow not just in 589th BSB but across all of Fort Hood.