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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler has been recognized as having the best safety program in the Marine Corps.

MCB Camp Butler, the catch-all name for all Marine Corps bases on Okinawa, with Camp Fuji and Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station on mainland Japan, won the Department of the Navy 2004 Marine Corps Center of Safety Excellence Award, according to a news release.

The secretary of the Navy created the award, open to Marine installations worldwide, three years ago. This is the first time MCB Butler has won.

Charles Roberts, MCB Butler safety director, accepted the award in a Sept. 9 Pentagon ceremony, according to the release.

Roberts presented the award to MCB Butler commander Brig. Gen. James F. Flock during a ceremony here Sept. 17.

An award memorandum signed by Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England and Gen. Michael W. Hagee, Marine Corps commandant, stated that Butler was recognized for its many safety programs and initiatives, particularly the development of an asbestos data information network to reduce exposure to asbestos in work areas; a “flash report” program for immediate mishap notification; and an automated safety deficiency program to track safety problems in base buildings.

Butler also was recognized for establishing satellite safety offices at various Marine camps on Okinawa; a driver improvement program for young Marines; and developing a water safety film about local water hazards, Roberts said.

“It’s fair to say that winning the award is a significant accomplishment,” Roberts stated in the news release.

“I think it’s really more than a safety office award,” Flock stated. “It’s a reflection of what our priorities are as a command. A lot of people worked hard for this award and I very much appreciate their efforts.”

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