MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Ambassador Caroline Bouvier Kennedy, U.S. ambassador to Japan, made her first official visit to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Jan. 28, 2016.
Kennedy visited to gain a better understanding of MCAS Iwakuni’s community and witness the ongoing transformation of the air station through the multitude of construction projects, which costs more than a billion dollars a year, driven by the Defense Policy Review Initiative.
“Certainly, visiting Japan has given me a real understanding of what we have invested here – how strong and important our alliance is,” said Kennedy.
Kennedy first visited the air traffic control tower for a bird’s eye view of what approximately $3 million dollars a day of construction looks like.
Kennedy then visited Marines with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152. While at the squadron’s hangar, Kennedy viewed a KC-130J Super Hercules, gaining an understanding on the multiple capabilities of the aircraft in the Pacific theater. She commended the Marines on their efforts in supporting and fostering better relations between Japan and the U.S.
“It’s nice to see a government official come down – take time out of her day – to come speak with the Marines and tell us how important the mission that we are doing is for the United States of America,” said Gunnery Sgt. Michael Forras, VMGR-152 squadron gunnery sergeant.
“The U.S. - Japan alliance is the cornerstone of the future,” said Kennedy. “I hope you all realize the choices you are making and how proud of you the embassy is to work with our colleagues in the military on a daily basis. Thank you all for your service.”
Afterward, Kennedy visited Air Rescue Squadron 71, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.