NEWS | July 12, 2018

Secretary of the Navy, US Forces Japan, III MEF Leadership Visit Iwakuni

By Lance Cpl. Andrew Jones Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni

MCAS IWAKUNI, YAMAGUCHI, Japan -- Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer, U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen Lawrence D. Nicholson, commanding general of III Marine Expeditionary Force, Brig. Gen. Christopher J. Mahoney, deputy commander of U.S. Forces Japan, and other high ranking U.S. military staff visited Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, July 12, 2018.

The leaders toured the air station during a visit to U.S. military bases in Japan, meeting with Marines and sailors, and visiting facilities while viewing the capabilities of the station and its units.

During their visit, Spencer and Nicholson hosted a town-hall style meeting where they met and answered questions from service members.

“I’m a firm believer, in my life so far, that the people who are facing a problem have the best solutions for that problem,” said Spencer to service members at the town hall. “I don’t have solutions for your problems. What I can do is move rocks and boulders out of the way so you have maneuvering room so that you can do your job. I have to rely on you, all of you, to be looking at what you’re doing saying, ‘how can I do this better, how can I do this faster and how can I do this more efficiently.’ That charge is on you because if we do that on a continual basis, it is a force multiplier and opens up the gap between us and our competitors in a massive way. That is the increasing of capabilities. You are a platform, what you operate is a platform. See if you can make it work better, faster and more efficiently.”

Nicholson and his staff arrived earlier than Spencer and while at the air station they visited aircraft units, had dinner with the mayor of Iwakuni City and had lunch with staff non-commissioned officers from throughout the station.

Nicholson expressed his feelings about being at MCAS Iwakuni and had some words to share with Marines and sailors at the air station.

“I’m very proud of the Marines at MCAS Iwakuni,” said Nicholson. “I’m very proud of the sailors and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force members at work here. This is a great team. You’re having an impact here in theater. This is a first responder organization and your impact here in the community, in this theater, could not be more important. Sergeant major and I are incredibly proud be visiting with you today as you work hard and prepare for whatever mission might come our way.”