MCAS IWAKUNI, YAMAGUCHI, JAPAN -- The air transportation division held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly constructed air freight facility at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Jan. 8, 2018.
The ceremony celebrated the full operability of the nearly 50,000-square-foot air freight facility that opened October 2017 but wasn’t fully functional until recently.
“Today is about letting everyone know that we have the capability to provide support to the air station,” said U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Esteban Arroyo, the air transportation department chief. “We have the facility and the material handling equipment capability to complete the mission. This ceremony could’ve happened a while ago, but now the stars have aligned, everything is functional, everything is operational and we are able to showcase our air freight operations.”
During the ceremony, U.S. Marines from air transportation division and Master Labor Contractors, who work side by side, gave a tour of the air freight facility to U.S. Marine Corps Col. Richard F. Fuerst, Commanding Officer of MCAS Iwakuni, along with senior-ranking leadership and guests from the station.
“Before the new addition, we weren’t able to provide security for secured cargo, we didn’t have refrigeration capabilities and we couldn’t do much as far as sustainment operations or heavy airlift operations,” said Stephen Gambert, the air terminal manager.
The new facility joins the list of assets employed by the station that are necessary to sustain the growing population of MCAS Iwakuni so that it can remain mission ready.