CBFO’s Joe Franco, second from left, receives the New Mexico Patriotic Employer Award from the N.M. ESGR in January at WIPP. Others pictured, from left to right, include Col. Tim Paul, Joint Forces Headquarters, N.M. National Guard; N.M. ESGR Chair Ray Battaglini; and New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services Secretary Timothy Hale.
CARLSBAD, N.M. – EM’s Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) was honored at a recognition event in Santa Fe this month for being nominated for the 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.
The New Mexico Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (N.M. ESGR) nominated CBFO as one of three finalists for the Freedom Award, the highest recognition given by the U.S. government to employers for their outstanding support of employees serving in the Guard and Reserve. In June, five winners will be selected from nominations nationwide from multiple categories in the national competition. CBFO was nominated for the public-sector category.
ESGR seeks to promote a culture in which U.S. employers support and value the military service of their employees. Its mission encourages employment of Guard members and Reservists.
“(CBFO) is one of the best of the best in New Mexico,” said N.M. ESGR State Chairman Raymond Battaglini. A volunteer member of the N.M. ESGR, CBFO Manager Joe Franco has been active in the New Mexico Committee’s initiatives to provide outreach for Guard and Reserve Forces throughout the state and nation. CBFO has responsibility for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and the National Transuranic Program.
In January 2014, the N.M. ESGR held its annual meeting, training and signing of a Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve at WIPP. More than 40 participants visited and pledged support.
“New Mexico can take pride in that it has the highest employment among the states for Guard members and Reservists, and I’m pleased to support our employees who are members of the military,” said Franco. “As a veteran and a former member of the U.S. Navy, I recognize the nation’s need for — and the important support provided by — the Guard and Reserve.”
The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 through ESGR to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. In the years since, 190 employers have been honored with the award. Recipients of the 2014 Freedom Award will be recognized in a ceremony this fall in Washington, D.C.
“As the military continuously evolves to meet ever-changing national security challenges, the flexibility and efficiency provided by Guard and Reserve members will take on an even more critical role,” said ESGR National Chair Paul Mock. “The Freedom Award provides an opportunity to acknowledge exceptional employers that support Guard and Reserve members as they serve our nation.”
Established in 1972, ESGR advocates initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between service members and employers. ESGR operates through a network of more than 4,900 volunteers.
WIPP Recovery Continues
In recent weeks, WIPP recovery teams have been working to identify the cause and location of the Feb. 14 radiological event. Employees are examining all available information and will determine the activities necessary to locate the cause of the release. Once this phase of the investigation is completed, teams will work to eliminate the source of contamination and implement a plan to decontaminate the mine.
For additional information, visit the WIPP Recovery website.