Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni Marine Corps Community Services conducted the grand opening of a new gas station at Iwakuni, Japan, Nov. 6, 2017.
This gas station provides a secondary place for Status of Forces Agreement personnel to fuel up on the air station and facilitates other amenities such as coin-operated vacuums, a tire pressure check station and an automatic car wash.
“This gas station is a great increase of capability and service to the MCAS Iwakuni community because we are doubling what we had,” said Andrew Chung, operations manager with the Marine Corps Exchange. “Originally we only had two dispensers and four pumps at the north side gas station and with the increase of the base population we were greatly over worked. We basically doubled our capacity by matching the north side gas station with 10,000 gallons worth of fuel and two dispensers with four pumps.”
The fuel pumps take either debit or credit cards. Cash purchases will not be available for fuel. Yen is accepted at the car wash and quarters at the vacuums.
Many base residents currently go out of their way to fuel personal vehicles on the other side of base. The new location means more convenience for those who reside on the southside.
“I don’t have to come out of my way now,” said U.S. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Mariano Llantada, the staff non-commissioned officer in charge at aircraft rescue and firefighting and one of the first customers of the new gas station. “I usually travel past the new location so now I don’t have to go to the other side of base.”
Like many other facilities that benefit air station residents, the new gas station was funded by Japan through the Defense Policy Review Initiative and coordinated with MCCS to provide more convenience for the growing air station.
This new facility is one of many examples of the cooperation between the United States and Japan as well as the generosity and hospitality of the Japanese government.
“The gas station was built due to the expansion of the base,” said Chung. “It was identified through the DPRI that there was going to be the need for another gas station. They looked for the need when they looked at the overall base plan and as a result they built this wonderful thing.”