YOKOSUKA, Japan -- Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center Yokosuka (FLCY) held the 100th Japan Maritime Self-Defense Program (JMSDF) internship graduation ceremony April 26, commemorating an important milestone it shares with host nation.
The JMSDF and U.S. Navy internship program spans more than 50 years. To date there have been 189 interns pass through the program, serving in various logistics capacities.
NAVSUP FLCY Commanding Officer Capt. Frank Nevarez said the junior officers who participate in the internship program are among the JMSDF’s best and brightest.
“I’ve had the tremendous opportunity to see firsthand the caliber of officers who come through our program,” said Nevarez. “It’s truly a privilege to help shape their understanding of the U.S. Navy’s Supply Corps and our mission here in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility.”
The U.S. Navy relationship with Japan has been a close and important one for many years, Nevarez said.
“The continued cooperation and friendship between the U.S and Japan over the years strengthens our nations’ bilateral relationship,” he said. “This 100th graduation ceremony milestone is significant because it helps to solidify our continuing partnership with the JMSDF.”
Typically, two interns pass through the program in a given year, with each term lasting approximately six months. In the early years, several interns would participate in the program at the same time. Lt. Toshifumi Nojima, who is the 189th intern to advance, has the distinction of graduating during the 100th term. He is currently one of two interns with FLCY and the first to graduate this year.
“The last six months at FLCY went by very fast. When I started, I did not know much about U.S. Navy logistics,” said Nojima. “With support from FLCY and my sponsor, I was able to finish the program. I am very grateful that I have had the opportunity and will make my experience a very valuable part of my life.”
JMSDF Ship Supply Depot Commanding Officer Capt. Sainai Azumai congratulated Nojima for being a reliable and promising officer and encouraged him to continue deepening his friendship with his U.S. Navy counterparts.
“You have studied a lot about the U.S. Navy supply system, especially industrial support and material management. These are main areas of concern for the JMSDF because of the many tasks we do under a limited budget,” said Azumai. “From now on, you should make every endeavor to share this experience among the other JMSDF officers.”
Azumai said he hoped the internship program continues to bear fruit for the future.
“This program has continued for 52 years, since the first JMSDF officer trainees started at the Naval Supply Depot in 1967,” he said. “Graduates of the program go on to take important, responsible logistics positions in our organization and are a bridge between the JMSDF and U.S. Navy. My hope is that the great relationship that exists between the U.S. Navy and JMSDF lasts forever.”
The internship program started as a training opportunity for young JMSDF officers to develop logistics skills from their U.S. Navy counterparts. The interns participating in the FLCY program rotate through various departments within the command, shadowing their U.S. Navy counterpart and learning logistics best practices. In the field of naval logistics, the program is an important one because it deepens ties and ensures the success of U.S. and Japan joint missions.
The JMSDF is the maritime warfare branch of the Japan Self-Defense Force. Formed after World War II, the JMSDF is in charge of security for Japan’s territorial waters, airspace and neighboring areas. The Japan-U.S. alliance, having the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangement at its core, is vital in helping maintain peace and stability, not only in Japan, but throughout the Indo-Pacific region as well.
NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka is one of eight FLCs under Commander, NAVSUP. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel, NAVSUP's mission is to provide supplies, services, and quality-of-life support to the Navy and joint warfighter. Learn more at www.navsup.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/navsup and https://twitter.com/navsupsyscom.