Boots on the Ground: Saving Species, Supporting the Mission

  • Published
  • By AFIMSC Public Affairs
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

The Department of the Air Force’s successful land stewardship efforts are showcased in an inspiring video success story in support of Department of the Defense’s natural resources conservation mission.  

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment recently released a seven-minute video filmed at Vandenberg Space Force Base, California. The clip explores how the Air and Space forces balance the vital military testing, training and operational mission at the sprawling base with the DAF’s role in the Defense Department’s conservation mission.  

The video is available at:, and

DoD’s conservation mission encompasses more than 500 at-risk species on nearly 27 million acres of land in 50 states and U.S. territories.  The Air Force Civil Engineer Center’s natural resources team is helping preserve 123 at-risk species that live on 54 Air Force installations across nine million acres of land.   

Joel Sartore, National Geographic Photo Ark photographer and story narrator, takes viewers on a visual tour of a conservation success and beyond. The video addresses compatible land use while simultaneously promoting long-term sustainability and stewardship of critical natural resources and species. The viewer is also introduced to several DoD employees and conservation partners, who dedicate their careers to supporting the military mission and species conservation—showing the land and “critters” through their eyes. 

AFCEC provides natural resources management support to Air Force headquarters, major commands, and installations. Subject matter experts in a wide variety of environmental disciplines help develop policy, ecosystem management, and land use planning principles to conserve natural resources on military lands while ensuring no net loss in the capability of the natural infrastructure to sustain the military mission now and in the future.  For more on the Air Force natural resources and environmental restoration programs, visit the Air Force Civil Engineer Center web page at: 

Development of an additional more comprehensive video is underway, for release in Fall 2024. This full-length video will explore success stories of conservation on DoD lands, many that offer the last protection for some of our nation’s most vulnerable species.