MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan (July, 18 2016) --
Guests and service members aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, congregated at the Landing Zone inside Club Iwakuni July 15, 2016, to honor 25 Master Labor Contract and Indirect Hire Agreement Japanese employees in their retirement.
After being a part of the MCAS Iwakuni community for so long, the ceremony allowed the air station an opportunity to show the Japanese contractors how much they are appreciated.
U.S. Marine Corps Col. Robert V. Boucher, commanding officer of MCAS Iwakuni, gave a speech expressing his gratitude and respect toward the retirees in their service to the station.
“I can assure you that we could not have accomplished our mission here without your loyal and dedicated service,” said Boucher. “I hope you take a great deal of personal satisfaction in knowing that the air station’s success is your success.”
Some of the retirees have worked on the air station for over 30 years, and others are close to hitting that same mark.
“Before the ceremony, I didn’t even feel like I was retiring, but once I was attending it actually hit me,” said Tadahiro Ozako, a computer graphics artist and photographer with the public affairs office.
Boucher said in the time the retirees have spent here, he hopes their experiences have provided them with unique rewards that enriched their lives.
When working aboard the station, the MLC and IHA employees are tasked with overcoming language barriers, cultural differences and a frequent change of co-workers. Even with the challenge, the MLC and IHA employees are able to succeed in their jobs and create friendships along the way.
“It was a very valuable experience for me to work here," said Kyoko Ogawa, a contract specialist with Facility Engineering Acquisition Division Iwakuni. “I really appreciated my co-workers and believe we had a good team. We communicated, we helped each other and we respected each other. I hope to keep a good relationship with them.”
Boucher ended the ceremony with a final message to the retirees.
“I wish each one of you the very best life has to offer as you enter what I’m sure will be a happy and prosperous retirement,” said Boucher. “On behalf of all the Marines, sailors and civilians of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, I offer a sincere congratulations and a heartfelt thank you for all you have contributed to our organization and community.”
MLC and IHA employees will continue to work with the air station and build bonds in their journey to improving the U.S. and Japanese alliance.