GROTON, Conn. – Sailors and Department of Navy civilians at Naval Submarine Base (SUBASE) New London kept Earth Day efforts green with a multi-day, base-wide clean-up, April 28-30.
Celebrated on April 22, Earth Day is an international event focused on raising awareness of and concern for the environment. At SUBASE New London, volunteers acted locally to make a global and base-wide impact.
“A command priority onboard SUBASE is to make it a better place to work and live,” said SUBASE New London Command Master Chief Kellen Voland. “Our First Lieutenant Team and our tenant commands’ efforts to spruce this place up after another harsh New England winter have been critical to that effort and awesome to watch.”
The First Lieutenant department, who maintains the upkeep and cleanliness of the installation, coordinated the event which enjoyed base-wide participation.
“Teamwork makes the dream work,” said Chief Engineman Bradley Bruns, First Lieutenant Department leading chief petty officer. “We managed to get months and months of work done the last few days. Big thanks to SUBSCOL [Naval Submarine School], and all the other departments that came out to help. The work ethic is unparalleled to anything else you’ll see in the world. Hooyah Navy!”
Around 10 groups came together to make this event possible. One group of Sailors who came out to volunteer, was the SUBASE New London Junior Enlisted Association (JEA). The group is an organization for young Sailors looking for camaraderie, mentorship, and community involvement.
“I am so happy that we were able to show up and support our SUBASE community by helping to create a clean environment,” said Information System Technician 2nd Class Aviana Nash, Vice President of JEA. “Over the past year, opportunities like this have been limited due to COVID-19, so it is amazing that we were able to gather together to make this happen.”
Part of the clean-up provided an additional benefit as Sailors bagged sand in locations like the base’s Alpha Lot to help prepare for hurricane season.
“The sand pile has been here for about a year and it just seemed like the perfect time to take care of it,” said Sonar Technician (Submarine) 2nd Class Dakota Spahr. “The sandbags will be used to act as a barrier to prevent flood damage. If there were torrential rains or tropical storms to potentially flood areas of the base, we’re now prepared.”
The enthusiastic spirit of the volunteers did not go unnoticed by Voland.
“Earth Day is about taking care of our home because it is - in fact - the only one we have,” said Voland. “We aim to empower our Community with the same spirit, leaving SUBASE, and the world, a little better today than it was yesterday.”
The Naval Submarine School builds a foundation upon which officers and enlisted personnel are prepared to develop the competence and proficiency in skills necessary to operate and maintain their submarines. The Naval Submarine School is part of the Navy’s Submarine Learning Center, and is located aboard Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.
For more on Submarine Learning Center visit https://www.netc.navy.mil/SLC/ and follow on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/submarinelearningcenter/