In this file photo, Yeoman 1st Class Erik Estrada, far right, assigned to the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40), helps local volunteers pack mulch into bags in the village of Dededo, Guam. Frank Cable Sailors teamed up with volunteers from Island Girl Power, a local community service program for young girls, to clean and renovate a series of parks. Frank Cable, forward deployed to the island of Guam, conducts maintenance and support of submarines and surface vessels deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (Photo by MC2 Greg House)
ASAN, Guam (NNS) -- Naval Munitions Command East Asia Division (NMCEAD) Unit Guam and the submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40), homeported in Guam, were named the 2016 Environmental Stewardship Flagship Award winners for small overseas and large sea categories, respectively.
The award is part of the Navy's Community Service Program and recognizes the best year-round volunteer supported program or special project that promotes education and good stewardship of environmental resources.
Cmdr. Christopher Hagen, NMCEAD Unit Guam commanding officer, said though his command is small, Sailors work hard to not only meet the mission, but to actively engage with the community to forge partnerships.
"The real key to our success is a crew of Sailors [who] truly care about the community and Guam," he said. "The Sailors get as much out of the events as who the events are for."
Command Sailors volunteered more than 1,300 hours of community service from July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016. Volunteers engaged with students from local elementary and high schools, non-profit organizations and village mayors to promote community stewardship, civic responsibility and educational excellence.
"It is always said the military is a big part of the Guam community," Haden said. "But our Sailors recognize that the Guam community is a big part of us. It's not about giving back to the community; it is about being an active part of the community."
During the 2015-2016 award period, Sailors from Frank Cable engaged with 3,400 members of the local community with various projects from Guam's Department of Parks and Recreation to local villages and non-profit organizations.
Cmdr. Ed Callahan, Frank Cable executive officer, said command Sailors stay motivated during community relations projects because of the positive difference their efforts bring to others.
"Enjoying where you live, who you live near and the places you get to experience is important to the morale and well-being of our Sailors and that is where strong community support makes a positive difference for our Sailors," he said.
Callahan added the award only drives his command to continue to volunteer in the community in the future.
"We realize our work in the community and toward environmental safety is not close to being complete," he said. "We plan to continue to look for new community engagement events."