MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- A retirement ceremony took place for eight local national employees inside the Landing Zone at Club Iwakuni, June 26, 2013.
The retirees’ years of service varied from 18 to 35 years on station, which showed their devotion and commitment to servicemembers here.
To begin the ceremony, Lt. Col. Mike Carreiro, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni S-1 and manpower director, recognized eight retirees with an opening address expressing his thanks for their service aboard station.
“Their contribution here is that they have helped the relationship between the U.S. and Japan grow,” said Carreiro. “I personally feel it is a great luxury to work, talk and interact with Japanese citizens and workers on base. I genuinely appreciate them being on base and being partners and friends with my family and I.”
The eight local national employees receiving certificates were: Masahiko Ishizaki, facilities sheet metal worker, for 29 years of service. Hideo Tagawa, facilities laborer, for 18 years of service. Toshiyuki Kawamoto, facilities plasterer, for 30 years of service. Tetsuro Shigehiro, logistics general supply specialist, for 35 years of service. Hirokazu Yoshida, logistics administrative officer, for 27 years of
service. Nobuyoshi Yoshiki, logistics air traffic specialist, for 29 years of service. Izumi Asakawa, Navy Calibration Laboratory elect engineering technician, 23 years of service, and Yoko Furumoto, NAVCALAB administrative specialist, for 26 years of service.
Hideo Tagawa began working aboard station 18 years ago and said the way he has seen servicemembers conduct themselves surprised him and had an impact on him and his views of the U.S. Military.
“I was able to see the Marines’ polite personality, for example, opening doors for others,” said Tagawa. “Marines are like robots, they are so focused on the mission and then can flip a switch to become friendly people and still be professional. It was a very good impression (of the military) I received.”
Local national employees’ services aboard station are important to the station’s success, because without them, some of the units may not have been able to accomplish what they need to.
Local national employees are a bridge between U.S. and Japan and translate our command messages to the Japanese public.
Marines may be here for two to three years at a time before they change duty stations, but local national employees remain a constant aboard station. They are the stability and subject matter experts.