MARINE CORPS AIR STATION, Japan -- U.S. Marine Corps Col. Richard Fuerst, the commanding officer of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni, hosted a Sound of Freedom Campaign with Nagi Town representatives at MCAS Iwakuni, July 17, 2019.
The campaign consisted of a tour throughout the air station to give representatives a better understanding of the importance of the base and base operations in hopes of gaining support from the local community.
“Being a good neighbor and maintaining readiness are both at the forefront of my efforts as CO,” said Fuerst. “The Sound of Freedom campaign invites members of the community to the installation to see a part of America’s enduring commitment to fulfill our defense obligations under the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security while taking every precaution to be considerate of our impact on the local community.”
The event started with Nagi Town representatives receiving a brief from Fuerst that gave information on various units on the installation, aviation training and readiness and a review of safety policies and regulations.
The guests also, had the opportunity to ask questions to MCAS Iwakuni leadership and staff members during the brief, then they received a tour of the base, visiting Marine Wing Support Squadron 171.
“The chance to study what responsibilities the station has and the opportunity to to see the Marines and Sailors working on site offers the community relief in what the Marines do on base,” said Masachika Oku, mayor of Nagi Town. “Maybe later down the road Marines from MCAS Iwakuni can have the opportunity to come visit Nagi Town and see what the people are like.”
The Nagi Town Sound of Freedom tour was just one of several tours that have occurred over the past few weeks, with Waki Town visiting on June 25 and Fuji Town representatives visiting on July 18 as part of a larger effort by Col. Fuerst to inform the Japanese community about MCAS Iwakuni.
“The Sound of Freedom Campaign brings local government and community members onto the air station to provide a deeper understanding of what we do here and how that presence is an important part of the U.S.-Japan Alliance,” said Fuerst.
These Sound of Freedom tours come near the end of Col. Fuerst’s time as commanding officer, with just one more scheduled to take place before he leaves.