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SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Second place isn’t half bad.

Sasebo Naval Base was named the U.S. Navy’s runner-up this month for the Commander in Chief’s Award for Installation Excellence 2008 and will receive a cash prize.

The award recognizes one installation from each military service for excellence in the use of resources and innovative management that increases productivity and improves the quality of life for personnel, according to the Navy.

Sasebo came in second among a pool of 11 nominated institutions. Naval Base Coronado in San Diego took the top prize.

Sasebo’s chief staff officer, Cmdr. Jonathan Lewis, urged the base to focus on next year’s competition.

“Thank you for all your hard work and [I’m] looking forward to putting in a great package again this year,” Lewis wrote in an e-mail to base personnel.

The base has not been told how much money it will be awarded for coming in second, but estimates put the prize at $200,000, money that will go into historic and cultural preservation, base spokesman Chuck Howard said Wednesday.

Sasebo already is well known for its history and culture.

Last year, it was honored for its historic preservation efforts with the Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Award.

The base also joined with Sasebo city to offer a guided public walking tour of on-base historic monuments. The tour was so successful, it will become a regular offering to Sasebo visitors, Howard said.

The award money could be used for a variety of monuments around the base, including a monument to the decades of service by Japanese base employees, Howard said.

“Many people would say, ‘We just don’t know how we’d get business done without them,’” he said.

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