YOKOSUKA, Japan -- Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center Yokosuka's (FLCY) newest intern from the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) finished a six-month internship program on Aug. 23.
A graduation ceremony was held for Lt. Shohei Yamaguchi, the 190th intern to graduate from the program, on Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka.
“It was a good opportunity for me to learn about the difference in logistics between JMSDF and our U.S. counterpart," said Yamaguchi. “Using what I’ve experienced at FLCY, I’d like to contribute to the JMSDF’s future logistics support.”
NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, one of the U.S. Navy’s elite supply commands, and the JMSDF have been partnering together for more than five decades to train Japanese supply officers in their joint internship program. The program, which dates back to 1967, has graduated 190 Japanese Supply Corps officers, many of whom become senior level professionals in the JMSDF logistics system with some having gone on to reach the rank of rear or vice admiral within the JMSDF.
“It’s truly a privilege to help shape their understanding of the U.S. Navy’s Supply Corps and the mission of our Seventh Fleet” said Capt. Frank E. Nevarez, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka commanding officer. “Lt. Yamaguchi has certainly proven himself a valued member of our team. He will always be considered a member of our FLCY family.”
Assigned to FLCY’s fuel operations department, Yamaguchi’s six months of training focused on observing, researching and participating in the processes of fuel management and movement, which ensures fleet readiness throughout the Western Pacific. Yamaguchi also had an opportunity to get training at FLCY Site Marianas in Guam last month, where he assisted fuel operations and toured various fuel tank facilities at the Defense Fuel Support Point.
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.
“All the graduates of the internship program have been doing outstandingly at JMSDF in order to build bridges between the JMSDF and U.S. Navy” said Capt. Seinei Azumai, JMSDF Ship Supply Depot commanding officer, who also thanked the U.S. Navy for the long-term continuation of the program. “I’d like Lt. Yamaguchi to value the personal friendships he built at FLCY during the program and to strengthen bonds with them down the road.”
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 counterparts 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.