The Michigan Army National Guard is proud to be a national leader in environmental stewardship, energy conservation, and natural resource management. The MIARNG strives to strategically and scientifically balance Soldier training requirements with environmental sustainability to provide modern mobilization preparation that minimizes negative impact on Michigan’s natural resources.
Soldier training requirements and facilities across the United States have grown significantly in size and complexity in the past decade. Today’s Soldier performs a wider variety of tasks than ever before, and thus needs training scenarios that present as many of those challenges as possible prior to deployment at home or abroad. The Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center in northern Michigan is one of the largest National Guard training facilities in the country with 144,000 acres and cutting-edge technology including a full-size training village that can adapt to accommodate a variety of realistic training scenarios. Service members from across the country, and around the globe, travel to train there.
The Fort Custer Training Center and the Grand Ledge Army Aviation Support Facility are additional examples of MIARNG growth in recent years – all offering unique training options to National Guard units across the country and around the globe (Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Canadian, and Liberian leaders and troops have been guests at these facilities).
But for all of the growth and changes within MIARNG training facilities one message from every level of leadership remains constant: respect and honor the environment. Preserving the natural beauty and varied resources Michigan offers is part of every project plan. It is expected that Michigan Guardsmen, contractors and other project partners will be conscientious environmental consumers so that future generations can also enjoy Michigan’s natural gifts. To formalize that expectation, Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, adjutant general of the Michigan National Guard and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, issued the following policy statement in 2014.
Michigan Army National Guard Environmental Policy Statement
The Michigan Army National Guard (MIARNG) is a dynamic organization comprised of men and women committed to defending and protecting the citizens of the State of Michigan and the American public, both domestically and abroad. Readiness is a top priority. Our ability to accomplish our mission is enhanced through sustainable actions including ensuring adequate personnel strength, training proficiency, equipment serviceability, and conservation of training lands and other environmental assets. These activities occur at Michigan Army National Guard facilities and training sites across the state.
The MIARNG is committed to environmental stewardship at these facilities and training areas. A sustainable training environment is critical to our continued utilization of these resources. Through sound sustainability management practices, the MIARNG is committed to:
• Maximizing the availability of training areas and facilities to enable Soldier training and readiness, today and into the future.
• Achieve an ultimate goal of Net Zero Energy, Water and Waste to sustain our natural resources and advance our nation’s energy security.
• Preventing pollution of our training lands, water, and air to ensure continued utilization of these resources.
• Maintaining compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local environmental regulations, and other requirements to which we subscribe that relate to our environmental aspects.
• Identifying and reviewing environmental aspects, impacts, and requirements early in our force management and planning processes to minimize unforeseen delays and obstacles to mission and unit readiness.
• Establishing and reviewing, on a regular basis, environmental Objectives and Targets for improving how we manage energy, water, and waste for both environmental and mission benefits.
Adherence to these commitments, and the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) standard, is vital to MIARNG readiness and mission accomplishment. This policy will be communicated to all personnel working for, or on the behalf of, MIARNG, and be made available to the public.
Gregory J. Vadnais
Major General, MIARNG
The Adjutant General